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first steps

taking the

The First Steps program is an early intervention service available to aid eligible families.

{ by: jaime rafferty }


t can be alarming when a pediatrician informs a parent that

eligibility and subsequently service coordination that ensures the

their child is not reaching developmental milestones.

child is receiving the necessary resources that best meets their

If unnoticed by the family, Mom and Dad may run a gambit of


emotions from sadness to anger. Though many parents realize the

Services may include speech therapy to address speech or

news could be worse, it’s still difficult adjusting to the idea that

communication delays or feeding concerns; physical therapy

your child may need services outside of parental love and care to

for gross motor delays (rolling, crawling, standing, walking);

help them to develop appropriately.

occupational therapy geared to aid with fine motor delays

(upper body or hand movements) or sensory motor issues and

Processing the information can be easier when you discover

help is just a phone call away and parents make that first step to

developmental intervention for self-help or social skills concerns.

learn more about First Steps!

Though the pediatrician may be the first to verbalize the

Mitzi Helton, First Steps Service Coordinator for the Green

concern and can take that first step to receiving intervention

River District says, “It is important for families to know that if

services but it isn’t necessary to have a medical referral for a

they have a concern their child may not be developing as expected,

child to be evaluated. This means, a parent may have concerns

or has an established risk diagnosis, First Steps is available to

themselves and can actually contact First Steps. Virtually anyone

evaluate and provide services if needed during those critical

can make the referral.

developmental years of birth to three years old.”

First Steps (FS) is the statewide early intervention for children,

established risk diagnosis. This is a diagnosis given at birth or later

birth to three, and their families who are identified with a

and may be a physical or mental condition that results in a higher

developmental delay and/or established risk diagnosis that may

probability of a developmental delay.

need assistance with improving skills. Early intervention services

are available in every state for eligible children.

Autism, Muscular Dystrophy, Cerebral Palsy, and Fetal Alcohol

FS provides screening and evaluation that determines

Syndrome, just to name a few. Referrals for these will often be from


. July 2012

Some children automatically qualify for services by having an

Examples of established risk diagnoses are: Downs syndrome,

Owensboro Parent - July 2012  
Owensboro Parent - July 2012  

Owensboro Parent, the FREE guide to raising a family in Owensboro, Kentucky. Featured Articles: Parent Talk, The Last Cupcake, Adoption A...