FAQ & Glossary
[ Skip to Glossary ]
Frequently Asked Questions

How do I know if my child is eligible for early start services?
If you think that your child is demonstrating developmental delays, you should contact the early start program at 1-800-515-BABY to arrange an assessment for your child. If your child is found to be eligible for early start services, an individualized family service plan (IFSP) will be implemented.

What kinds of services can the early start team offer my child?
It depends on what the individual needs of your child are and what your priorities and concerns are. Early intervention services may include:

  • Assistive technology
  • Audiology
  • Family training, counseling, and home visits
  • Health services
  • Medical services for diagnostic/evaluation purposes only
  • Nursing services
  • Nutrition services
  • Occupational therapy
  • Physical therapy
  • Psychological services
  • Respite services
  • Service coordination (case management)
  • Social work services
  • Special instruction
  • Speech and language services
  • Transportation and related costs
  • Vision services

How much do early start services cost?
Early start services are provided to eligible children 0-3 years of age and their families at no cost. Early start services are funded by Federal and State General Funds.

What will be discussed during an IFSP meeting?
Your child's development and any concerns that you may have will be discussed at every IFSP meeting. The early start team will also review previous goals and objectives and set new goals and objectives for your child.

When are children due for an IFSP meeting?
Each child in the early start system is supposed to be formally assessed every 6 months. An IFSP meeting will be arranged with the early start team at that time.

What happens when my child turns three?
Early Start services and services from the AIM program end on your child's third birthday. Your school district is responsible for providing services for your child at age three. Three to six months before your child's third birthday you will meet with a school district representative to discuss the process of transitioning to school district services. For more detailed information on the transition process click here.

Why is my child just playing, isn't he supposed to be working?
Infants and toddlers learn new skills through play. AIM uses play based activities to work on skills in all areas of development. Play makes learning new skills fun and interesting for children.

What services will my child receive at AIM?
Early Intervention services are provided in a team approach. An early interventionist/infant educator will be your primary service provider. Other therapists such as a physical therapist, occupational therapist, and speech therapist are available on a consultant basis to make recommendations, which are then carried out by parents and the early interventionist. A social worker is also available to talk to parents as needed.

How can my child attend AIM?
Children are referred to AIM through the San Andreas Regional Center. If you are currently a client of the regional center, talk to your SARC service coordinator. If you are not currently receiving early intervention services and you think your child may have a developmental delay, call and refer your child to Early Start for a developmental evaluation.

>> Back to Top


Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP)
A written early intervention plan describing the child's current level of development; the family's strengths and needs related to enhancement of the infant's or toddler's development; goals for the child and the other family members (as applicable), including the criteria, procedures, and time lines used to evaluate progress (the IFSP should be evaluated and adjusted at least once a year and reviewed every six months); and the specific early intervention services needed to meet the goals (including frequency and intensity of method of delivering services, the projected date of initiating services, and the anticipated duration of services). The IFSP is developed and implemented by the child's parents and multidisciplinary early intervention team (for example, the service coordinator, infant educator, physical therapist, occupational therapist, or speech and language therapist). The name of the person responsible for implementation for the IFSP should be listed on the IFSP. If it is likely that the child will require special services at age three, a transition plan should also be stated in the IFSP. The IFSP is required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) for all children receiving early intervention services.

Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA)
A federal law (Public Law 105-17) reauthorized in 1997 that amends the Education for all Handicapped Children Act. Part C (formerly know as part H) of the law focuses on services to infants and toddlers who are at-risk or have developmental delays. Part B focuses on services to pre-schoolers and school-aged children with developmental disabilities.

Individualized Education Plan (IEP)
A written plan required by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) for all children in special education, ages three and up. The IEP includes a statement of the child's current level of development (abilities and impairments) and an individualized plan of instruction, including the goals, the specific services to be provided, the people who will carry out the services, the standards and time lines for evaluating progress, and the amount and degree to which the child will participate with non-handicapped peers at school. The IEP is developed by the child's parents and the professionals who evaluate and work with the child.

Increased tone (stiffness) in the muscles

Decreased tone, or floppiness, in the muscles, characterized by excessive range of motion of the joints and little muscle resistance when parts of the body are being moved. Hyotonia is often observed in babies who are ill due to a heart defect, children with Down Syndrome or other chromosomal abnormalities, babies with certain types of cerebral palsy, and premature infants.

Oral Motor
Referring to movements of the mouth

Sensory Integration
The ability of the central nervous system to receive, process, and learn from sensations (such as touch, movement, sight, sound, smell, and the pull of gravity) in order to develop skills.

Sensory Integration Therapy
A therapy technique used to help the child with sensory problems to integrate (receive, process, and learn from) sensations from the body and the environment. The goal is to help the child with tactile defensiveness, poor motor planning, decreased attending skills, or inadequate body awareness to integrate sensory information. Sensory integration therapy may include massage, use of vibration, and play activities that include swinging, rocking, bouncing, spinning, crawling/creeping through tunnels or over mats, jumping on a mat or trampoline, and playing on inclines or scooter boards. Encouraging the child to touch or play with different textures and mediums, such as fabrics, sand, water, paint, beans, rice, or play dough may be a part of sensory integration therapy.

Corrected Age/Adjusted Age
The age a premature infant would be if he or she had been born on his or her due date. For example, a baby born three months prematurely has a corrected age of six months when he is actually nine months (chronologically, or from his birth date). This is an important consideration when measuring the premature infant's development, because the time missed in the uterus should be a factor in determining the appropriate expectations for the child.

Child-Directed Instruction
Instruction based on the individual interests of the child. Child-directed instruction allows the infant or young child to choose from available and teacher-planned activities designed to stimulate learning and promote the learning objective. The skillful teacher must be able to adjust and adapt so that the child's interests can be used to create new challenges and learning. The teacher must constantly evaluate and add to the activity at the appropriate time so that the child is challenged but not frustrated.

Magnetic Resonance Imaging. This is a test that uses radio waves and magnetic fields (not radiation) to produce two-dimensional images of the brain, a joint, or another section of the body. MRI's are invaluable tools for diagnosing many different conditions and for monitoring the treatments of other ailments.

This prefix has to do with the stomach. For example: gastroesophogeal reflux.

This prefix has to do with blood. For example: hematocrit (the ratio of the number of red blood cells to the volume of whole blood).

This prefix has to do with the liver. For example: hepatitis (an inflammation of the liver).

This prefix has to do with the kidneys. For example: nephrotoxic (something that is poisonous to the kidneys).

>> Back to Top