Step 1: Referral

Your first step into the Early Intervention Program begins with your child's referral to your Early Intervention Official (EIO). Professionals must refer babies and toddlers to the Early Intervention Official – unless the parent says no – when there is a concern about child development. As a parent, you can also refer your child to your Early Intervention Official if you suspect a problem. If you have this book, chances are your child has already been referred to your Early Intervention Official. If you do need to make a referral you can:

  1. Contact your Early Intervention Official (see sample letter #1), or call 1-800-522-5006; in New York City–311.
  2. Talk with your doctor or someone else you trust and ask them to help you with the referral.

The referral process helps you learn about the Early Intervention Program. You must decide if early intervention makes sense for you and your child. You must give your permission to have your child evaluated for the program and to receive services.


When a professional refers a child to the EIP, he or she must:

  • Tell parents about services available and how services may help.
  • Inform parents that the child will be referred – unless the parents say no to the referral.
  • Inform parents about the referral in the language they use, whenever possible.
  • Make sure all information given to the EIO is kept confidential.

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