Early Intervention Services (EI) in Pennsylvania provide support and services to families with children, from birth to age three, who have a developmental delay or disability. Funded through the county MH/MR office, services include an array of supports and resources for children that enhance daily opportunities for learning.
Team members, including the EI Special Instructor from YAP and the Supports Coordinators from the county EI/MH/MR, work with families on building skills in adaptive behavior, cognitive skills, communication, physical development and social/emotional skills. Early Intervention is a family integrative service that incorporates the family's natural environment and includes the family's strengths, routine, and typical daily activities.
YAP began providing Early Intervention Services in Lebanon County one year ago and is currently working with 20 infants and toddlers throughout the county. LuAnn Frentz is the EI Specialist, providing individualized Special Instruction and Behavior Support to children and their families. Most of the children have a developmental delay, although some are diagnosed with autism or genetic disorders such as Tyrosinemia or Aicardi Syndrome.
In response to the growing need for qualified service providers, Chatham University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania recently offered scholarships for their Infant Mental Health Certification Program. Staci Shupp, Director of the Lebanon County YAP Family Based and Early Intervention Programs, was awarded one of these scholarships and is eager to bring continued expertise to the Lebanon Early Intervention Program. YAP Early Intervention programs have also been initiated in other PA counties such as Somerset and Bedford, with plans to continue expansion into additional counties across the state.