Happy Family

FAMILY SERVICES

Families with Children Birth to Three

 

All children learn at different rates. When a parent wonders if their child may be delayed or if they learn their child has a developmental disability, it can be a confusing, emotionally charged time. It may be the beginning of a journey that they did not choose. It may mean that their child needs some extra help to "catch up" to his or her peers, or it may be the first time a parent learns that their child may have long-term special needs. It also means they will be navigating uncharted waters replete with new information and new people entering their life and the life of their children. 

Ability Network service providers support, inform, and empower parents, grandparents, siblings, and other care providers - who truly are the key to the child's development. Everyone participates. We take the journey together.

If you feel your infant or toddler may have delays, anyone can make a referral to Missouri's First Steps program by calling this toll free number 1-866-583-2392 

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Families with School-Aged Children

Early Childhood Special Education — If your child is enrolled in Missouri First Steps or another state’s Part C of IDEA program (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act), your service coordinator will provide information to you about Early Childhood Special Education Part B of IDEA. If your child is not enrolled in a Part C program and you suspect delays, contact your local school district for information and to be evaluated. 

Other School-Aged Children – If your school district is in need of a specific service, Ability Network, Inc. contracts with many schools and agencies throughout Missouri. We have a variety of professionals available including Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Special Education Teachers, Teachers of Deaf/Hearing Impaired, Teachers of Visually Impaired, Behavior Specialists and Implementers, Orientation and Mobility Specialists, Interpreters of the Deaf, Foreign Language Translators, Licensed Clinical Social Workers and Licensed Professional Counselors. We would be happy to talk with you about how we can help you. Please call our office at 866-483-3555 or 573-883-8181. 

 

Here are some questions with answers that may help you:

What is Early Intervention?


Early intervention is a system of services that helps infants and toddlers with developmental delays or disabilities. It promotes collaboration among parents, service providers, and other important people in the child’s life to enhance the child’s development and support the needs of the family. Supports and services are embedded in typical routines and activities. Early intervention is available in every state under federal law. Early intervention brings families together with early interventionists so that families can learn new ways to encourage and support their child’s development within their daily activities.




How do I find out about Early Intervention Services?


If you live in Missouri, you can call 866-583-2392 toll-free, and you will be connected with someone in your geographical region of the state. Missouri’s early intervention program is called “First Steps”. If you live outside of Missouri, look for your state’s contact information at https://ectacenter.org/contact/ptccoord.asp




What are examples of Early Intervention Services?


If your infant or toddler has a qualifying diagnosed disability or a significant developmental delay in one or more of the five developmental areas, your child will likely be eligible for early intervention services. In Missouri, you will be assigned to a service coordinator and a “primary provider” which would be either a Special Instructor, Speech Language Pathologist, Occupational Therapist or Physical Therapist. Your child may also need a temporary supporting provider to assist with additional concerns. At some point in time, your child may need an additional provider, called an “ancillary provider”. Examples of ancillary providers may be a dietitian, social worker, licensed professional counselor, applied behavior analysis consultant, assistive technology provider, etc. Family-directed services are meant to help family members understand the special needs of their child and how to enhance his or her development.




During visits, what will the service provider and I work on?


At an Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP) meeting, you will discuss your priorities which will be developed into outcomes. First Steps is a family-focused program designed not only to serve the needs of the child but also the family as a whole. Parent/caregiver participation is essential for effective services and is the primary focus of those who serve the family. First Steps providers focus on those who serve the family. They will meet you in your home or another natural environment. During visits, you will have an opportunity to practice strategies with your child with the guidance of the service provider and determine what strategies work best for you, your child, and your family. The strategies you develop together will easily fit into your everyday life. Using parent-coaching strategies, service providers help parents and other caregivers discover ways they can recognize learning opportunities for their child throughout their daily routines.




What if my child doesn't qualify for early intervention services


Please contact our office at 573-883-8181 or 866-483-3555, and we can suggest other options.





WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

Caring Child
TRACY

I spoke with the parents of K.M. yesterday. First of all, they LOVE the PT and the PTA from Ability Network - LOVE! Mom is so happy with the progress he is making. Both the mom and the Physician Assistant remarked on how much better his mobility has improved since your agency began working with him. Thank you so much.

Mother and a Child
CHRIS

I want to brag about your providers and the fantastic job they do. I always tell them how much I enjoy working with them but also wanted to spread the praise to you.

Child Playing
BRIANNA

I am thoroughly impressed by your office and the support provided when I have needed something. You all are awesome!