Early Intervention programs are federally-mandated programs for children, ages birth to three, who have any type of developmental delay or at risk for having a developmental delay. Each state runs its own program, and each may have different eligibility criteria and services. Each state uses a different name for its program. You can find your state’s program on this list from the Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center.
Most children with feeding tubes will qualify for Early Intervention because they are unable to eat and drink or meet their nutritional needs. Children with feeding tubes typically qualify for feeding therapy. They may also qualify for physical, occupational or speech therapies. In some states, adaptive equipment, medical care, vision/hearing services, and transportation may also be provided. Most states provide services in the home setting, though some are facility-based.
In most states, a pediatrician recommendation is required to receive services. Services are typically offered for free regardless of insurance coverage or income, though some states require parent co-pays.
We recommend that any child who has a feeding tube be evaluated for Early Intervention services.