Early Childhood Intervention (ECI)

ECI provides services to families with children (ages birth to 36 months) who have developmental delays and disabilities. Families and ECI professionals work together as a team to plan appropriate services based on the unique strengths and needs of the child and family. Services are provided in places where the child lives, learns, and plays, such as in the home, child care, and groups. For more information contact ECI of North Central Texas at 817-446-8000 or 1-888-754-0524 (toll free).

Services in ECI can include:

  • Assistive Technology: Services & Devices
  • Audiology
  • Developmental Services
  • Early Identification, Screening & Assessment
  • Family Counseling
  • Family Education
  • Medical Services (diagnostic or evaluation services used to determine eligibility)
  • Nursing Services
  • Nutrition Services
  • Occupational Therapy
  • Physical Therapy
  • Psychological Services
  • Service Coordination
  • Social-Work Services
  • Speech-Language Therapy
  • Vision Services

How much do services cost?

The following services are provided at no cost regardless of income:

  • Evaluation/assessment
  • Development of the Individual Family Service Plan (IFSP)
  • Service coordination
  • Translation and interpretation services, if needed
  • Services for children with auditory and visual impairments who are eligible for services from ECI and local school districts
  • Services for children in foster care or in conservatorship of the state
  • Families with children enrolled in Medicaid or CHIP, or another public benefit program listed in the Family Cost Share brochure whose income is below 250% of the Federal Poverty Level, do not pay for any ECI services. Other families pay a cost share determined by a sliding fee scale based on family size and net income after allowable deductions.

What if a child is age 3 or older?

Services are available for children and young adults with a disability, ages 3 through 21, through your local school district. A referral for assessment may be made by contacting the director of special education for your local school district. The telephone number can be found in the white pages of the phone book.

Determining Eligibility

Income is not a factor in determining eligibility. ECI determines eligibility for children under age 3 based on:

Developmental Delay:

Children who are delayed in one or more of the following areas of development:

  • Cognitive: difficulty with playing, learning and thinking
  • Motor: gross, fine and oral
  • Communication: limited understanding or responses in communicating with others
  • Social-emotional: attachment problems, limited parent/family interactions or behavior concerns
  • Self-help skills: feeding

Atypical Development:

  • Children who may perform within their appropriate age range on test instruments, but whose patterns of development are different from their peers.
  • Atypical sensory-motor development: muscle tone, reflex or postural reaction responses, oral-motor skills and sensory integration
  • Atypical language or cognition: state regulation, attention span, perseveration, information processing
  • Atypical emotional or social patterns: social responsiveness, affective development, attachment patterns, and self-targeted behaviors

Medically Diagnosed Condition:

Children who have a medically diagnosed condition with a high probability of developmental delay are automatically eligible for ECI services.

Children with auditory and/or vision concerns should be referred for eligibility determination.