Early Intervention

Congratulations on the birth of your new baby!

We can provide you with current and informative resources about Down syndrome and hope to meet you and your new baby soon in our Boynton Beach Resource Center.

All children living in Palm Beach County with the “established condition” of Down syndrome are eligible to receive early intervention services through a federal, state, and locally funded program called Early Steps. If you have not already contacted the Early Steps Program you should do that now. The main number is 561-881-2822 or you can reach the intake/referral line directly at 561-882-6426. This agency is responsible for administering early intervention services to children with disabilities from birth to three years old in Palm Beach County.

Research shows that children with Down syndrome benefit from early intervention services. The process will include an assessment of all developmental areas, at which time your baby will begin receiving services such as speech or oral motor therapy, physical therapy  and occupational therapy. Another service offered is a Developmental Specialist. This person can help you follow the cognitive development of your new baby by providing therapy in your home and using your baby’s own toys. The Developmental Specialist can show you exercises and games and answer your questions about developmental milestones. Services should be delivered in a child’s natural environment. For most children between birth and three this is the family home or daycare and not a clinical setting.

Early Steps here in Palm Beach County operates a transdisciplinary model of service delivery. This means that your child will have one primary service provider who oversees the need for therapy and intervention. Very different than the past model, the new model provides extremely limited direct service. This model presumes parent as teacher which makes your participation in a local support group like Gold Coast Down Syndrome Organization more important than ever! Children with Down syndrome clearly need, and benefit from, early intervention.

You and your family may feel overwhelmed if you have just found out that your new baby has Down syndrome. A member of the Gold Coast Down Syndrome Organization can visit your home to share information with you about Down syndrome and the resources of the organization. For more information, please feel welcome to call 561-752-3383 or email gcdso@bellsouth.net. Other families of infants and toddlers participate in our regularly scheduled Meet, Greet, Play and Learn meetings. We hope you will too!

If you live in Broward County, please contact the Broward Gold Coast Down Syndrome Organization via their website or by phone 954-577-4122. If you live in Martin County, please contact the Treasure Coast Down Syndrome Awareness Group via their website or by phone 772-546-7057.

Again, congratulations on the birth of your new baby!

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