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Programs & Services

Additional Services
 
Early Intervention

The Early Intervention Program (EIP) is a public program that provides many different types of early intervention services to infants and toddlers under the age of three with special needs. Children with diagnosed conditions that lead to developmental delay (such as Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, etc.) are eligible for the EIP. Children with no diagnosis who have delays in development may be eligible for the EIP if their delays are serious enough. In New York State, the Department of Health is the lead state agency responsible for the Early Intervention Program.
 
A child's eligibility for the program can be determined only by state-approved evaluators under contract, and all services must be authorized by the county.
 
Blythedale Children's Hospital is approved by New York State and contracts with Westchester and Rockland Counties to provide extensive Early Intervention services.
 
Evaluation
Children between the ages of birth to three years who are referred to Blythedale Children's Hospital through the New York State Early Intervention Program are eligible for evaluation at no cost to their families. Evaluation and treatment planning are performed by a multi-disciplinary team that may consist of therapists, physiatrists (rehabilitation doctors), neurologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, special education teachers, audiologists, social workers, nurses, nutritionists, and other specialty consultants.
 
Children from birth to three years of age who may have a developmental delay or diagnosed disability should be evaluated, including children with the following difficulties:

• Delays or lags in reaching their developmental milestones ;
• Congenital or acquired abnormalities such as vision or hearing impairments; and
• Diagnosed medical conditions such as cerebral palsy, neuromuscular or other neurological disorders.
 
Treatment
Blythedale provides a program designed especially for each eligible child. Early Intervention services are identified (in collaboration with the parent) and authorized by Westchester or Rockland Counties, and are provided at no out-of-pocket cost. Health insurance may be used for approved services. All other costs for EIP services are paid for by Westchester or Rockland County and New York State. Children may receive individual services through our outpatient department or attend our center-based special education program. We serve children with a wide range of needs.
 
As the region's premiere rehabilitation hospital dedicated solely to children, we have the largest pediatric therapy department, including speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy. The expertise of our highly skilled, multidisciplinary staff enables us to provide coordinated, comprehensive, individualized programs for the children and families we serve. Parents and staff work closely together to develop goals and implement plans. In addition to therapies, Blythedale’s outpatient services include audiology, nutrition and assistive technology.
 
Our Center-Based Special Education Program provides services in an educationally stimulating and nurturing environment that promotes growth in cognitive, language, motor and social development. Along with special education teachers, our multidisciplinary team includes specialists on physical, occupational, and speech therapies, psychology, social work, physiatry, pediatrics, nursing, audiology and nutrition.
 
Service Coordination services are provided by a professional social worker to assure a comprehensive service plan is developed for each child and family in accordance with their needs.
 
Parents’ Role
Parents participate in their child's therapy sessions and learn to continue suggested activities at home. It is helpful for parents to understand that they are not alone. Professional social workers are available to meet with and support families who have children with developmental delays.
 
 
For Further Information on Early Intervention
Potentially eligible children must be referred to the Westchester County Early Intervention Program at (914) 813-5094, or visit http://www.health.state.ny.us/nysdoh/child/index.htm for further details.
 
For additional information about Blythedale's programs, please call Lisa Petrucelli, Coordinator of Early Childhood and Outpatient Programs, at (914) 831-2454.
 
The Early Intervention Program is publicly funded and regulated by the New York State Department of Health, and in each County, by that County's Department of Health.
 
 
Autism
 
Blythedale is pleased to offer its Early Intervention/Pre-School Program for Autistic Children for those children who have been identified with a suspected spectral disorder (including Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Childhood Disintegrative Disorder, or Rett's Syndrome). Clinical specialists provide a thorough and integrated evaluation, in order to identify each child's individual needs and tailor a treatment plan.

For children in the Autism Program, a specially designed classroom that features sensory, play, tabletop, individual and reward stations, provides a warm and welcoming environment.
 
Blythedale’s Autism Program uses techniques including Applied Behavior Analysis and DIR FloorTime to minimize maladaptive and accentuate positive behaviors and engagement. In order to aid in the development of language in children who are often completely non-verbal, and to help them establish the skills they need to function among their classmates and family members, Blythedale employs a variety of teaching tools. Software from Meyer-Johnson, and a computer program called Boardmaker help nonverbal children develop language skills by associating letters and words with specific colors and shapes. These same colors and shapes can be used as markers that teachers and parents use to guide autistic children through everyday activities (e.g. finding the appropriate place to sit, or navigating a busy classroom).

As with all of Blythedale’s programs, the Hospital provides children in the Autism Program with "wrap-around” medical and therapeutic services through a multi-disciplinary team of health professionals, including physicians, nurses and speech therapists.

For further information about this program, please call Lisa Petrucelli, Coordinator of Early Childhood and Outpatient Programs, at (914) 831-2454.
 
Committee on Preschool Special Education
 
The New York State Education Department oversees a statewide preschool special education program with school districts, municipalities, approved providers, and parents. Evaluations and services are provided to eligible children who have a disability that affects their learning. Funding for evaluations and services is provided by municipalities and the State.
 
Blythedale Children's Hospital is well-suited to provide evaluation and treatment services for young children.
 
As the region's premiere rehabilitation hospital dedicated solely to children, we have the largest departments of speech therapy, occupational therapy and physical therapy. The expertise of our highly skilled, multidisciplinary staff enables us to provide coordinated, comprehensive, individualized programs for the children and families we serve. Parents and staff work closely together to develop goals and implement plans.
 
Evaluation
Children between the ages of 3 to 5 years who are referred to Blythedale Children's Hospital through their local Committee on Preschool Special Education are eligible for assessment at no cost to their families.
 
Evaluation and treatment planning are performed by a multidisciplinary team that may consist of therapists, special education teachers, audiologists, physiatrists (rehabilitation doctors), neurologists, psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, nurses, nutritionists, and other specialty consultants.
 
Children 3 to 5 years of age with difficulties that may interfere with their learning and functioning in preschool should be evaluated. For example, children with the following difficulties:

• delays or lags in cognitive, language, motor or social emotional development ;
• congenital or acquired abnormalities; and
• diagnosed medical conditions such as cerebral palsy, neuromuscular or other neurological disorders.
Treatment
At Blythedale, we provide individualized related services to eligible children through our outpatient department. We serve children with a wide range of needs. Some need only one therapy, while others may be medically complex. Related services include therapies, such as physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech-language therapy.

Parents’ Role
Parents participate in their child's therapy sessions and learn to continue suggested activities at home.
It is helpful for parents to understand that they are not alone. Professional social workers are available to meet with and support families whose children are having difficulties that interfere with their ability to perform in preschool.
 
 
For Further Information about Committee on Preschool Special Education
Call Lisa Petrucelli, Coordinator of Early Childhood and Outpatient Programs, at (914) 831-2454.

Or you may call your local school district directly and ask for information about the Committee on Preschool Special Education Program.
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