The EI Colorado Evaluation
Why should I have my child evaluated?
The EI Colorado evaluation gives families a snapshot of how a child is doing in the five areas of development. The five areas of development are cognitive (problem solving, play), social-emotional (interactions with others and self-soothing), physical (how a child moves), communication and language, and self-help/adaptive skills (such as feeding and dressing). The EI Colorado evaluation will determine if your child could use some extra support in one or more areas of their learning and growth or if the child is right on track.
Either way, families learn more about their child, the child's strengths and challenges, and how they can best support the child's development.
There is no cost to your family for the EI evaluation.
What's the Early Intervention (EI) Colorado evaluation like?
The EI Colorado evaluation is easier than you may think! The evaluation will be scheduled at a time and place that is convenient for your family. This could be in your home (in person or virtually) or another location in the community.
Because the EI Colorado evaluation offers an overall picture of how your child is growing and developing, more than one professional will participate in the evaluation. The professionals that complete the EI Colorado evaluation have different specialties, and all of them are qualified to work with babies and toddlers.
Parents are partners in the evaluation process. You will participate during the appointment and receive results soon after the evaluation, sometimes in the same appointment.
What happens after the EI Colorado evaluation?
Information from the EI Colorado evaluation is used to determine whether or not your child is eligible to receive EI Colorado services.
Unless your family would like more time, the EI Colorado evaluation and the plan for services (called the Individualized Family Service Plan, or IFSP) for eligible children must be completed within 45 days of the referral date. Your child will not be evaluated or receive EI Colorado services unless you, as the parent, give your written permission.
What are the requirements to qualify for EI Colorado services?
Children qualify to receive EI services if they have a significant delay of 25% or more in two or more areas of development or a 33% or more delay in one or more areas of development. Children also qualify for EI Colorado services if they are diagnosed with a condition* that will likely cause a significant delay in development or if they live with a parent who has a developmental disability.
*Early Intervention Colorado works with a panel of physicians to determine the physical or mental conditions that have a high probability of resulting in a significant level of developmental delay. EI Colorado maintains the database of all diagnosed conditions.
What is the next step if my child qualifies for EI Colorado services?
If your child is eligible for EI Colorado services, you will be connected with your local EI program and assigned to a service coordinator. The service coordinator will work with you to schedule a meeting to create the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP). The IFSP is a summary of the support that your child and family can receive and how EI Colorado services will be provided to your family.
The IFSP is based on your family’s priorities for your child. Your family, the service coordinator, and an early intervention provider will work together to create the IFSP and review and update it regularly.
The IFSP includes information on how your child currently relates to others, uses their skills, gets their needs met, and the progress you would like to see your child make during their time in EI Colorado.
The EI Colorado evaluation and IFSP development (which includes child and family assessment) should occur within 45 days from the date the referral was made to Early Intervention Colorado.
What if the EI Colorado evaluation shows my child is not eligible for EI Colorado services?
If your child is not eligible for EI Colorado services, your care navigator can connect you with other resources in the community to support your child and your family. If you have concerns about your child in the future, your child can be referred through the EI Colorado Referral Form at any time until their 3rd birthday.
If you disagree with the results of the EI Colorado evaluation to determine eligibility, please contact your care navigator for dispute options.
For more information here is a list of state and national resources and a brochure with information on development, Staying on Track.
A Snapshot of Your Child's Development in Five Areas
The Early Intervention (EI) Colorado evaluation is a wonderful opportunity for families to learn more about their child and how the child is progressing in each of the five areas of development.
After a child is referred to EI Colorado, the family will be contacted within seven days by a care navigator who will walk them through their rights and talk to them about the process. After speaking with the care navigator, families can decide to move forward with an evaluation for their child.
The EI Colorado program is completely voluntary, and parents must provide permission at every point in the process.