Each county in Pennsylvania contains an Early Intervention program. For more information about Blair County Early Intervention, please call (814) 949-7230, Ext. 108. If you live outside of Blair County and would like additional information, you can call the CONNECT Helpline at 1-800-692-7288. CONNECT staff may refer a family to the appropriate local agency to receive further information.
Early intervention services use everyday experiences, events, and routines as the context for child growth and learning. This is called routines-based early intervention. In routines-based early intervention, the family identifies outcomes for their child and family that drives the intervention, chooses preferred family routines and activities, and collaborates with a professional to develop systematic strategies for embedding intervention into these times and places.
Early Intervention services are intended to assist the family in helping their infant or toddler with special needs grow and learn and to enhance the family capacity to meet the developmental needs of their child. There are several services offered through early intervention, including service coordination, special instruction (developmental, vision, or hearing), occupational therapy, speech-language pathology, physical therapy and social work.
Services are provided in the child and family natural environment. The natural environment includes the routines and activities that are typical for the child and his or her family, such as mealtime, playing with family and friends, and riding in the car. It also includes the places where the child and family goes, such as their home, stores, the park, a childcare center, a place of worship, and community events.
Children from birth until three years old and their families are eligible to receive early intervention services if they meet one of the following eligibility criteria:
Informed clinical opinion is part of the eligibility decision and may be used to establish eligibility, especially when there are no standardized measures appropriate to the child.
Early Intervention is a Department of Public Welfare Program and services are provided at no cost to families.
If you need information about early intervention services for a child ages 3 to 5 and you live within the Altoona Area School District, call the Learning Express Pre-school at (814) 946-8465. If you live in the Tyrone Area School District, call (814) 684-1342 x2705. If you live anywhere else in Blair County, please contact Appalachia Intermediate Unit 8 at (814) 940-0223.