Early Steps

Creating a Brighter Future For Children under Age 3 with Developmental Delays

Early Steps is Florida’s early intervention system that offers services, to eligible children, birth to thirty-six months, with significant developmental delays or a condition likely to result in a developmental delay. Parents, caregivers or professionals who feel a child has a developmental delay or is at risk of having a developmental delay are encouraged to contact Early Steps of Central Florida to make a referral. If it is found that the child needs an assessment, an appointment will be given to the family for the child to have an evaluation by Early Steps. Infants and toddlers are assessed in the following developmental domains to determine eligibility: physical, cognitive, adaptive, social-emotional and communication.

An Individualized Family Support Plan,(IFSP),is created based on goals and outcomes for every child who qualifies for Early Steps. A Team Based Primary Care Provider Approach is used to empower families with the knowledge and skills to support their child. A Primary Care Provider is assigned to a family based on the needs of the child, goals, and expertise in the areas of needed support. Services are provided where the child lives, learns and plays. There is no income requirement to qualify for services and no out of pocket costs to families. Private insurance and Medicaid will be billed. Early Steps assists with transition to the Public School System for children needing support after their third birthday.

As much as you can, allow your child to try new tasks, be part of decisions, make decisions on their own, and be exposed to new experiences. These build a strong foundation for the future. Allow your child to make mistakes while you are there for support.

Early Steps of Central Florida, also known as the Developmental Center for Infants and Children, serves families in Orange, Osceola and Seminole Counties. On January 1st, 2000, Orlando Health Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children brought together core programs to help children, heal families and build communities at the Howard Phillips Center for Children and Families. As one of the six core programs, the goal of Early Steps of Central Florida is to provide culturally appropriate support to help families strengthen their child’s intellectual, physical, social, sensory and emotional abilities. Services include assessing for the presence of delays and disabilities, providing direct services and therapies to support child development and the family, and a range of educational workshops, social activities and resources.

Experts who make up the Early Steps of Central Florida Team include: Family Care Coordinators; Family Resource Specialists; Speech-Language Pathologists; Infant Toddler Developmental Specialists; Occupational and Physical Therapists.

To make a referral, email R-DCintake@orlandohealth.com or call 407-317-7430 ext. 2121 and provide the following information: your name and relationship to the child, the child’s full name, the child’s date of birth and a phone number.

The Developmental Center for Infants & Children/Early Steps has served over 3,000 infants and toddlers each year since 2000 when it was integrated into The Howard Phillips Center structure. The Developmental Center for Infants and Toddlers/Early Steps is a place to grow strong.

The Developmental Center for Infants & Children / Early Steps is located at The Howard Phillips Center for Children and Families at 601 W. Michigan Street in Orlando. Early Steps is a program sponsored by the Department of Health. Visit ArnoldPalmerHospital.com/hpc.for more information.

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