Alliance for Early Intervention
Advocacy Starts Young
The Oregon Alliance for Early Intervention (AEI) is a grassroots organization that receives grant funding and support from the Oregon Council on Developmental Disabilities. AEI is dedicated to engaging parents and professionals in advocacy efforts for Early Intervention/Early Childhood Special Ed services. AEI connects leaders within the early intervention community and families with a heart for leadership to create opportunities for meaningful advocacy. Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education (EI/ECSE) is a critical program that provides special education services for babies, toddlers, and preschoolers experiencing developmental delays and disabilities.
Children who receive EI/ECSE services range from birth to age five and are experiencing conditions such as developmental delay, genetic disorders, cerebral palsy, autism, communication disorders, hearing or vision impairments, and other health or medical issues.
One Family’s Success in Early Intervention: Liam
Liam is a happy three-year old who has received Early Intervention services through the Clatsop Service Center of Northwest Regional Education Service District (NWRESD) since he was five months old. The youngest of four kids, Liam and his family live in a rural, coastal part of Oregon where there has not been consistent private providers and specialists to support Liam’s developmental needs and the health challenges he experiences. Because of this, Early Intervention services have been an important and consistent part of Liam’s life and his family’s life.
Through Early Intervention, Liam receives physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech, and vision services in his home. Liam has built relationships with his providers, and he loves interacting and working with them.
Liam’s parents are grateful for the services they can access locally. “Early Intervention has provided a lot of support to our family, and it has all been really valuable. Early Intervention helps with everything.”
When members of the Oregon Legislature’s Joint Committee on Ways and Means did their “road show” around the state, Liam’s mom drove an hour and a half down the coast with Liam to share their story with legislators because she felt like it was really important to let them know how much Early Intervention services have positively impacted Liam and their family, and how much they depend on those services. “In rural communities, early intervention services and early childhood special education services provide some of the only specialized care and instruction available to very young children experiencing disability. In communities like mine across the state children count on these services so that they can access a quality education. Every dollar spent directly aids in providing children real support and accommodations so that they can grow and learn and thrive and be active participants in learning. Money spent toward this now means less money needed for education support later.”
Liam is now in the process of transitioning to Early Childhood Special Education services, and his family is excited to see him continue to grow, develop and thrive in his community!
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