Birth to 3
You may have already started scrolling the internet for available resources for your child that has been newly diagnosed or needs some additional assistance. It can be very confusing and overwhelming. Lets start at the beginning:
Northeastern Florida Early Steps
If you suspect your child has a delay or is newly diagnosed, you can seek help through the State of Florida’s Early Steps system. This program is at no cost to the family and is not income qualified. It is for children birth to 3 years of age. You can self-refer or get your child’s pediatrician to refer you for an evaluation. If your child was a preemie and weighs under 1200 grams at birth they automatically qualify as an established condition.
No Cost to you Developmental Evaluations
They will do a developmental evaluation to determine if your little one needs services. Here is a link to qualifications. Early Steps Qualifications Services can be speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, infant/toddler development specialist and more. Therapy is done in the natural environment, so in the home and/or daycare or community. They have playgroups so that you can meet other families and your children can have opportunities to play in an inclusive environment. To reach them to schedule an evaluation you can call 904-360-7022.
If you have insurance and want to set up private therapy apart from Early Steps there is other really great resources in town. Call you insurance company and ask for in-network providers for the therapy that you are searching for. If your child has Medicaid then there will not be any copays for therapy sessions with Medicaid.
Stay tuned to our blog for more valuable resources and services for your family.
Your child is born with special needs and you are suddenly thrown into a world of acronyms, long, hard to pronounce medical terms, specialists, therapists, lots of extra appointments, diets and lots of advice from well meaning strangers, friends and family but no real solutions. Your head is spinning and you suddenly feel isolated with nobody to turn to that is going through what you are going through. You scour the internet for answers but you become more lost then when you logged onto the computer because there is so much conflicting information online. You are not sure where to even begin or what to search or seek out.
Take a deep breath, there are many parents right here in the community that can lend you a hand. Look up and look around, you will become an expert in recognizing these mommy’s and daddy’s because we all share a common mission, to have our children receive the best care and resources available. The best resources and information that I found for my son when he was small and even now was from talking to other parents that have children with different abilities in varying stages of development.
This community of families and their children are strong, informed, educated in the needs of their children and are like the FBI in locating resources for their children to flourish. The most amazing part of these families is that they are excited to share what they learned with you to make your road a little easier. So the next time you are out and about, look around, you may be surprised who was meant to cross your path to lend you a hand and help you find the answers you have been struggling with. Lifetime bonds are made this way!