Children with Special Health Care Needs

The Children with Special Health Care Needs program is the “umbrella” which houses Early Intervention (EI), Preschool Special Education (CPSE) and Child Find. It is also a resource and referral program for children birth through age 21. The CSHCN program provides assistance to families who may need help accessing various health care professionals and other community resources.

Staff is available for care-coordination. We offer telephone assistance and/or home visit support that may be needed. We can team with you and your Primary Care Provider to help ensure that your child receives the best plan of services for his/her optimal health and development.

There is no cost to families for participation in CSHCN, EI, Preschool Special Education and Child Find.

Programs for Children with Special Needs: Early Intervention

Program Overview:

Early Intervention is a statewide program that provides therapies and intervention services for infants and toddlers with developmental delays and disabilities.

Eligibility criteria for the Early Intervention Program - Children under the age of three who have a disability or meet program criteria for developmental delay. Child must be a resident of Cayuga County and can be referred by a physician, daycare provider, parent or other adult involved in the child’s life.

How eligibility is determined?  –
A child who is referred because of a diagnosed condition that often leads to developmental delay, such as Down syndrome will always be eligible for early intervention services. If your child has a delay in development and no diagnosed condition, a multidisciplinary evaluation will be provided to determine eligibility. Eligibility criteria is defined in the NYS regulation that governs Early Intervention Program (EIP) and the evaluation team will compare your child’s performance/behavior with that criteria. Performing this evaluation helps determine what Early Intervention services may or may not be needed. The child’s/family’s strengths and needs will be examined during the multidisciplinary evaluation process.

What Services are provided? -
Early intervention services are services that are:
  1. aimed at meeting children’s developmental needs and helping parents move their child towards age appropriate behavior and
  2. included in an Individualized Family Services Plan (IFSP) agreed to by the parent and the Early Intervention Official.
Examples of Services your child may be eligible for include but are not limited to:
  • Service coordination
  • Physical, speech & occupational therapies

For more information on Early Intervention in Cayuga County and New York State click here

Contact the Early Intervention Official at (315) 253-1560.


Programs for Children with Special Needs: Child Find Program

Program Overview:

Child Find is a combined effort between you, your doctor and our staff that monitors the developmental progress of your child in the areas of physical, cognitive, communication, social/emotional and self help skill development.  

If your child is at risk for delay in development, you will receive periodic developmental questionnaires. Our staff will give you information on growth and development and talk with your child’s doctor to confirm regular care and check- ups. In some instances, a home visit can be arranged.
If a screening determines a developmental delay, Child Find staff will assist you in finding the services you and your child will need through a referral to Early Intervention.

Contact the Child Find Program Director at (315) 253-1560

Preschool Special Education Program

Program Overview:

The preschool Special Education Program is a partnership between the Cayuga County Health Department and local school districts, providing services for children ages 3-5 who exhibit delays in development that affect current “academic” success. Services received depend upon the extent of your child’s needs, as determined by an evaluation provided by an independent evaluator.

Port of entry for this program is a child’s local school district – the committee for
Pre-School Special Education Chairperson. He/ She will arrange for an evaluation, based upon the concerns you have. You may refer to Section 4410 of the State Education Law for eligibility criteria.

Once your child is determined eligible for pre-school special education services, an Individual Education Plan (IEP) is developed.

The Health Department’s primary responsibilities include:
  • Payer of services
  • Coordination of transportation to services
  • Holding contracts with providers of services

Contact Preschool Special Education Program Director at (315) 253-1560