Are Early Intervention Services Free in SC?

If your child has a developmental delay, early intervention is the best course of action. You might be wondering, “What is early intervention, and how can it help my child?” or “Are early intervention services free in SC?” We’re here to tell you everything you need to know.

Your Guide to Early Intervention in SC

Developmental delays in infants and toddlers are more common than most people know. According to the CDC, one in six children from the ages of 3 years through 17 years has one or more developmental disabilities. Many of these delays can be addressed with suitable therapies so children can still thrive and live a happy, healthy life. 

What Is Early Intervention?

Early intervention is the collection of services that supports babies and children (and their families) with developmental delays and disabilities. These services include a wide array of therapies, including speech and language, physical, occupational, and more. The goal of EI is to positively impact a child’s ability to learn new skills, overcome challenges, and increase their success in school and throughout life.

Are Early Intervention Services Free in SC?

Yes, early intervention services are free in South Carolina. The programs are publicly funded and provide free services to any child who is eligible

What Is the Early Intervention Referral Process in SC?

If you suspect your child has a developmental delay and would benefit from early intervention services, making a referral for them as soon as possible is best. A child can also be referred by caregivers, doctors, teachers, daycare providers, or friends.
If the child being referred is between 0 and 3 years of age, you should contact BabyNet. BabyNet is South Carolina’s interagency early intervention system for this specific age group with disabilities or developmental delays. You can submit a referral through the BabyNet Referral Form or call their team at 1-866-512-8881.
If the child you’re referring is between 3 and 6 years old, you should contact DDSN (South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs). DDSN is South Carolina’s agency that plans, develops, coordinates, and funds services for children and adults with developmental delays and disabilities. You can call their toll-free number at 1-800-289-7012 to make your referral.

What Are the Types of Early Intervention Services?

Early intervention includes many different services to help a child thrive and grow. Below we’ve listed ten of the most common types of services associated with EI
  • Evaluations – An early interventionist will meet with your child, assess their development, and create an action plan. These early intervention evaluations are free of cost. 
  • Service Coordination & Case Management – If your child is eligible for early intervention, you’ll be matched with a service coordinator that will manage your child’s case and create an IEP that focuses on their specific needs and goals. 
  • Speech Therapy – Speech therapy can help determine the root cause of a delay or disability and provide a plan of action.
  • Physical and Occupational Therapy – Physical and occupational therapy helps children improve their small and fine motor skills. Treatments focus on flexibility, strength, posture, gait, sensory processing, balance, and coordination. 
  • Infant Massage – Infant massage can keep your child relaxed and healthy while providing benefits including reduced stress, improved sleep, stimulated growth, improved gastrointestinal functioning, and relieved teething pain.
  • Hearing and Vision Services – Therapists will work to discover the root cause of hearing and vision delays and provide appropriate adaptive equipment and services.
  • Nutrition Services – Nutrition services can help underweight children who need to adhere to special diets. 
  • Nursing Services – Nurses can help families learn how to properly care for their children if they need special care, such as tube feeding, bandage cleaning, and more.
  • Special Instruction & Family Training – Special instruction equips families with skills to help their child reach their maximum potential.
  • Support Groups – Support groups provide support and coping outlets for family members and loved ones. 

What Are the Benefits of Early Intervention?

If you’re new to early intervention, you’re probably wondering what the best benefits are and how they will affect your child. While each child is unique and will have their own journey with EI, these are the top five benefits of early intervention:
  • South Carolina early intervention services are free! Yes, these high-quality services are available at no cost to your family so that you can focus on your child’s success. 
  • Your child gets to learn through play, so therapy is always fun! Early intervention should never be draining work for your child. It’s a specific type of play tailored to your child’s specific needs, so they’ll be excited to learn and grow.
  • Early intervention services help your child establish a routine from your home so your child feels comfortable taking on new things and trying new activities. Children thrive when they have a routine they’re comfortable with and boundaries they can comprehend.
  • Early intervention isn’t just important for the child with a developmental delay – it’s also beneficial for the rest of the family. With early intervention services, the whole family will get the help they need to support the child as they learn and grow.
  • What’s the best benefit of early intervention? It works! It’s been proven that with the right therapies, provided as early as possible, EI services can positively affect a child’s developmental path and help them gain adequate cognitive, social, communication, and physical skills.

Begin Early Intervention Services — at No Cost!

If you think early intervention might be helpful for your child, we encourage you to contact our team at About Play today. There are many high-quality services available that are free of cost, so you can focus on what matters most – your child. There’s no time to waste; take action and start watching your child thrive today.

If you live in South Carolina and think your infant or child is experiencing developmental delays, we can help.

where do we offer early intervention services?

Our services are available for babies, toddlers, and their families in almost every county in South Carolina.

Click on your county to see the early interventionists available.