HVP Chatroom:

What advice would give another parent when it comes to getting their child tested for early intervention?

“There is no harm or shame in having a child tested for services. My son received EI for a speech delay from age 2 to 3.5. It was the best thing we could have done for him. He was so frustrated not being able to communicate. I would tell any parent who thinks their child needs more support to call. And realize that services are only successful when the parents follow through with the providers tips and homework.” — Kat Hoolan, Greenville 

“Don’t hesitate to get your child evaluated. If he needs services, you will not only get help for your child, but you will gain a support system of people who are all rooting for him to progress. It is a wonderful program filled with fantastic professionals.” — Amanda Merzbach, Westtown

“We are in the middle of the evaluation process and starting physical therapy with EI for my 13-month-old twin son. The hardest thing is making that first phone call, but everything after that has been nothing short of caring, kind, supportive and encouraging on my little guy’s behalf. I can’t wait to see what is in store for him!” — Marci Wade, Warwick

“My advice would be: Don’t be in denial. It's not about you, it's about what's best for your child. Start young and be consistent. Early intervention is the key to preventing and correcting many issues. It can only help, not hurt.” — Christine Guerrier, Pine Bush

Wondering whether to make the call? Our local experts walk your through the process

“I used to work for EI and for a human services agency serving children with EI. I think asking professionals with more expertise than myself was the best option for my kids. I was having difficulty understanding what was tipping off their behavior. Turns out my twins are delayed in both gross and fine motor skills. I had no idea. One also has a mild sensory processing disorder, which I also had no clue. Our experience was very positive. Everything moved along pretty quickly and it wasn't a fight to get what my kids need. In my previous work as an advocate I saw some families really having to fight. I am so thankful our district has been so willing to work with us.” — Roxanne Ferber, Saugerties

“My son was 2 and we felt he had delayed speech. Come to find out he had fluid behind his ear. Between the treatment and speech therapy, he has done a 180. I recommend parents ask questions if there is a concern. You are with your child more than anyone, so you should have that gut feeling.” — Christopher Michael, Poughkeepsie

“My now 13-year-old son, who was diagnosed with cerebral palsy when he was a few weeks old, received it for three years. We were told that he would never walk in his life, but with all of the therapy he received from EIP you would never know he had any type of disability! My son, who is 4 years old, has gotten speech therapy for the past three years now thru EIP and he was transitioned in the school district this year. He is now in kindergarten and he has made great strides with his speech delay due to him being tongue-tied and having to have surgery to loosen the skin under his tongue. If you have a therapist who is not a match with your child’s personality, move on to the next therapist until you find your perfect match that will help your child achieve his goals. I have many reasons to be appreciative to the EIP!” — Kathy Brooks, Beacon

“My daughter, now 7, has Down syndrome. She began receiving services at 6 weeks old and continued with PT, OT, speech, and special instruction until she was 3 and transitioned to preschool services. It was the greatest gift we were ever given. She is now in 2nd grade with her peers, can read and write, and participates in her community.” — Courtney McDermott, Middletown

“My son’s doctor thought my child was fine. I, on the other hand, felt his speech was delayed and his oral muscles were not developing. I pushed for early intervention and he qualified. At age 4, he still receives speech therapy and I’m very pleased with his progress. I usually tell others that it's not labeling your child and it can't hurt. On the flip side if they need help and don't get it they may not outgrow it and be picked on when school begins.” — Sara Howell, Monroe

“Lost time is truly lost progress. It's so much harder to catch up the further behind they get. My son caught up to his age group after 6 months of EI and speech therapy. He'd been almost non-verbal and using his own sign language until we called. Most EI referrals are mom to mom!” — Maureen Zecchini, Washingtonville

“I had concerns about my son's development shortly before he turned 1. Many friends and relatives dismissed my concerns saying he's just a baby, let him be, he'll be fine. I initially called EI exclusively with concerns about feeding issues and when they evaluated him, it turned out that he had a significant communication delay as well along with a few other delays/concerns. He is a little over 2 years old now and has been working with EI for a year. They have been absolutely invaluable, kind, compassionate and devoted. I would advise parents to go with your gut feelings, regardless of what other people say. You need to be the voice for your child to get his needs met.” — Wendy Palmer, New Paltz

“My son is 2-and-a-half and has been getting early intervention for a year. We are so grateful for all of the help. He is now a preschooler with a disability. My 7-month-old has been in EI since she was 2 months old. It has been a wonderful experience. The earlier services start, the better.” — Liz Mann, Poughkeepsie