A neurological disorder that affects one or more of the basic psychological processes involved in understanding or in using spoken or written language. The disability may manifest itself in an imperfect ability to listen, think, speak, read, write, spell or to do mathematical calculations. Learning disabilities should not be confused with learning problems which are primarily the result of visual, hearing, or motor handicaps; of intellectual disabilities; or of emotional disturbance.
The New York State Early Intervention Program (EIP) is part of the nationwide EIP. It is for infants and toddlers under three years of age who may not be making progress like other children because of a developmental delay or disability. A disability means that a child has a diagnosed physical or mental condition that may lead to developmental problems. These include, but are not limited to, autism, Down syndrome, motor disorders, or vision and hearing problems. A developmental delay means a child is behind in some area of development, such as growth, learning and thinking, or communicating.
The ﬁrst step is your child's referral to the EIP in the county where you live. All counties in New York State (NYS) and New York City have an EIP. Children who may need services must ﬁrst be referred to the EIP. Parents can refer their own child to the EIP if they have a concern about their child's development. In NYS, certain professionals are required to refer children to the EIP if a developmental problem is suspected. After referral, your child will be evaluated by qualiﬁed professionals. Your county EIP or the New York City EIP will help you get services if your child is found to be eligible. Health insurance, including private insurance and Medicaid, may be used to pay for early intervention services. EIP services must be provided at no cost to you and will not affect your insurance coverage.
View Early Intervention Programs using our MSNavigator Mapping Tool.
The Hard to Place/Hard to Serve Unit works to assist caregivers and individuals in receiving the most appropriate community-based or residential services; minimize delays in arranging services or placements; and resolves barriers that impede timely service delivery or placement.
The Hard to Place/Hard to Serve Unit becomes involved ONLY after all program options and dispute resolution procedures have been exhausted at the local and regional levels, or if a caregiver feels their child's needs are not being met by existing systems.
How to Make a Referral
The agent making a referral on behalf of a child must provide the Council with the following:
A referral containing all of the information mentioned above may be submitted to:
Sheila Jackson, Coordinator, Hard-to-Place/Hard-to-Serve Unit
Kathleen Rivers, Assistant Coordinator, Hard-to-Place/Hard-to-Serve Unit
Interagency Coordination and Case Resolution Bureau
NYS Council on Children and Families
52 Washington Street
West Building, Suite 99
Rensselaer, NY 12144
The National Down Syndrome Congress (NDSC) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to an improved world for individuals with Down syndrome. Founded in 1973, we are the leading national resource of support and information for anyone touched by or seeking to learn about Down syndrome, from the moment of prenatal diagnosis through adulthood.
The purpose of the NDSC is to promote the interests of people with Down syndrome and their families through advocacy, public awareness, and information.
NYSTART is a community-based program that provides crisis prevention and response services to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities who present with complex behavioral and mental health needs, and to their families and others in the community who provide support. NYSTART is not a separate system and does not replace existing services.
The NYSTART program offers training, consultation, therapeutic services and technical assistance to enhance the ability of the community to support eligible individuals and focuses on establishing integrated services with providers. Providing supports that help individuals to remain in their home or community placement is NYSTART’s first priority.
Pure Vision Arts (PVA) is New York’s first specialized art studio and exhibition space for people with developmental disabilities. PVA is staffed by trained professionals with backgrounds in art education, fine arts, and art therapy who provide mentoring and support to the artists who attend the studio.
Pure Vision Arts is ultimately about facilitating social change by creating opportunities for access and inclusion in the arts for people with neurological challenges. Many PVA artists have led extraordinary lives and the sheer power and uniqueness of their work helps to break down negative public misperceptions and stereotypes about people who have disabilities. In a very short time, PVA has become a vital resource for new and emerging artists of vision who would otherwise remain culturally and socially isolated.
Schools for Children/Youth with Disabilities include, 853 schools, state-operated schools, special act school districts, and state-supported (4201) schools. These special education schools believe that all students have the capacity to learn in a manner that fosters self-esteem, connects them to a supportive school community and fosters an optimistic worldview. These schools work with children and youth who struggle with internal and external factors beyond their control that have contributed to a failure to thrive in school. These schools strive to create an environment that cultivates interpersonal relationships, maintains structure and provides opportunities to build competence.
View Chapter 853/Union-Free/Special Act Schools using the MS Navigator mapping tool.
The Shield Institute's preschool programs, located in the south west section of the Bronx as well as in Flushing, Queens, provide services to approximately 300 preschoolers on a daily basis. The preschool program is regulated and funded through the New York State Education Department. It provides developmentally appropriate instruction in a variety of classroom models.
The School Age Program at The Shield Institute provides special education classrooms and related services for students ages 5-21. Their classrooms are highly individualized and provide structured teaching, augmentative communication, aided language and the use of technology according to the New York State Alternative Learning Standards.
Sprout’s travel program is dedicated to helping individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities grow through challenging and safe travel experiences and social activities. Sprout operates close to one hundred domestic and international trips every year, Sprout provides its participants many travel opportunities in the company of their peers and with the supervision and support of exceptional Sprout Leaders.
Sprout offers a wide variety of trip options including ever-popular destinations like Lake George, Cape Cod, Atlantic City, Orlando, Virginia Beach and Washington D.C; special theme trips have included Baseball Hall Of Fame, Amusement Parks trip and Cruises. Sprout has also offered international travel to cities in Germany, Italy, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Mexico and many other exciting destinations.