EI Family Survey

What Is Early Intervention?

Early Intervention is a combination of services and supports that help children with developmental delays and their families. A developmental delay occurs when a child’s progression through milestones, slows, stops, or reverses.

BLaST Intermediate Unit 17 Early Intervention services are founded on values that include individualizing the supports for children and families, providing those supports in places familiar to the child and family, and building on the supports that already exist in the child’s life.  We provide services to children and families in Bradford, Lycoming, Sullivan, and Tioga counties.

What are the areas of developmental progress?

The below areas of your child’s development may be screened and evaluated:

  • Cognitive or “Thinking” Skills
  • Communication Skills
  • Fine Motor and Large Motor Skills
  • Adaptive and Self-Help Skills
  • Social and Behavioral Skills
  • Hearing and Vision


Developmental Milestones

By 2 years, a child:

  • Speaks several words together
  • Feeds self with spoon and drinks from cup
  • Points to body parts when asked
  • Kicks a ball, walks up and down stairs
  • Likes to hear stories, plays alone for a short time

By 3 years, a child:

  • Enjoys pretending with toys and adults
  • Easily picks up very small objects
  • Uses three-word sentences
  • Enjoys playing with children but may be shy
  • Puts on coat, shoes, hat

By 4 years, a child:

  • Tells little stories
  • Understands concept of some numbers and colors
  • Speaks in longer phrases/sentences
  • Dresses and feeds self
  • Gets along and plays with other children

By 5 years, a child:

  • Matches spoken words with pictures
  • Follows directions that have two steps
  • Speaks clearly and can be understood by others in the family
  • Recognizes and copies some shapes and letters
  • Counts to ten

What is a Developmental Evaluation?

A developmental evaluation consists of various tests that assess the skill abilities of children and identify their strengths and weaknesses.  Since children progress at different rates and skill abilities overlap, all areas of development are evaluated to provide an overall picture of your child’s current skill abilities.

When should I consider an evaluation for my child?

If you feel that your child’s developmental abilities are not where they should be for his/her age in any skill area, you can refer your child for an evaluation based on your concerns.  If your child is experiencing difficulty in learning new age-appropriate skills, a referral for an evaluation should be considered.  Children with chronic health concerns, medical diagnoses, or limitations affecting developmental progress can be referred for an evaluation.

How do I make a referral for a Developmental Evaluation?

If you would like to refer your child for a developmental evaluation, please call to schedule:

BLaST IU 17: Nikki Ayres (570) 673-6001 ext. 2002

Alternately, if you would like to refer your child for a developmental evaluation …

After an evaluation, what is next?

Once the evaluation has been completed, teachers and therapists involved in the assessment process meet with parents to discuss the evaluation results.  Suggested activities and recommendations are shared with the parents.  Specialized programs and services will be considered if a child is determined to be eligible and in need.

Who is eligible for Early Intervention programs and services?

Children between three years old and the age of entry to school who demonstrate at least a 25% delay in developmental skills and a need for specially designed instruction are eligible for Early Intervention Services provided through BLaST Intermediate Unit 17.

The free and confidential services are of the parent’s choice.


Have questions or want more information? Contact our Early Intervention Program Supervisor.

Photo of Rebecca Swinehart
Early Intervention Program Supervisor – Lycoming County Student Services
Work Phone: 570-323-8561 ext. 1003
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Photo of Sheena Hindman
Early Intervention Program Supervisor – Bradford, Sullivan, and Tioga Counties Student Services
Work Phone: 570-673-6001 ext. 2015
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