Help Me Grow of Cincinnati – Early Intervention Program

What is Ohio Early Intervention?

Early intervention provides coordinated services to parents of infants and toddlers with disabilities or developmental delays in Ohio. While it exists in every county in Ohio, Early Intervention in Cincinnati is part of Hamilton county’s Help Me Grow.

Help Me Grow – At a glance

  • Early intervention supports families with infants and toddlers to reach their potential and be on track developmentally.
  • Infants and toddlers may qualify for help if they have developmental delays or specific health conditions.
  • Eligibility is determined based on an evaluation or a diagnosed medical condition.
  • If your child is eligible, a service plan will be written, and services will be provided at little to no cost to you in your home.
  • Early intervention is one branch of Help Me Grow.

Who is Early Intervention for?

Families with children from birth to age three living in Cincinnati and Hamilton county

If you have concerns about your child’s development, including:

  • speech concerns
  • motor concerns such as not crawling, walking, or tight muscles
  • feeding concerns such as stuffing food, choking, gagging, or being unable to use a spoon and fork
  • behavior concerns such as aggressive behavior, frustration, head-banging or biting
  • sensory problems such as being a picky eater, avoiding certain textures, or avoiding touching textures
  • social situations such as lack of eye contact, not playing with peers, or not responding to their name
  • problems with vision or hearing
  • concerns for Autism

Anyone can be referred to Early Intervention regardless of their income. Self-referrals can be made. You can also speak to your child’s pediatrician about the program.

How will Early Intervention help?

Early intervention believes in supporting parents and caregivers in helping their child reach their potential. Services are provided during a child’s everyday routines and activities. Play is a child’s work, and children learn best through play. The Primary Service Provider for your family will provide support and strategies to help your child’s development get on track in the area you desire. Services are provided in your child’s natural environment where they feel most comfortable. While services can be provided in person, virtual services using telehealth technology are now an option for both convenience and safety due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Parents are a child’s first and best teacher, and your child’s providers will work with parents and caregivers to ensure they have the tools and knowledge to work with your child.

Who are the providers?

Early Intervention in Cincinnati uses the Hamilton county board of developmental disability services to provide early intervention services. This agency comprises a team of people available to support your child. The group consists of speech therapists (speech-language pathologists), physical therapists, occupational therapists, developmental specialists, and behavior support coaches. Your assigned Service Coordinator will connect you to this agency to have therapists and providers assigned to your family.

Early intervention is different than getting individual therapy from another provider. ABC Pediatric Therapies and Cincinnati Children’s Hospital are two examples of providers with therapists for children from birth to 3. These providers use a medical model approach to therapy for your child. In addition, early intervention supports your child’s natural learning environment by utilizing a parent coaching approach.

How to refer

If you have concerns about your child’s development, reach out to Early Intervention in Cincinnati and Hamilton county. You can complete an online referral form at: https://odhgateway.odh.ohio.gov/ochids/public/refer or by calling (513) 434-3322 or (800) 755-GROW.