Early ACCESS (Birth – 2 years old)

Early ACCESS is a partnership between families with young children, birth through age two, and providers from the Departments of Education, Public Health, Human Services, and the Child Health Specialty Clinics. Services are typically provided in the home at no cost to the family.

We can help you identify needs and services that will be beneficial to your child and family. Early ACCESS providers will support you in learning to address your child’s needs within your daily activities using a team approach.

For more information about Early ACCESS and infant toddler growth and development activities, please visit the Early ACCESS state website.

If you think your child may need assistance, you can make a referral or request an evaluation by completing the referral form or contacting:

Pam Kabela

Amanda Hennigar

Gina Greene, Central Rivers Early ACCESS Regional Coordinator.


Early childhood special education (3 – 5 years old)

Special Education services are available to children ages 3-5, who may be identified as needing services.  The AEA is the agency within the state of Iowa who has been given the responsibility for identifying children with special needs. The AEA works closely with school districts to provide the services which children need.

What special education services are available to children ages 3-5 years of age?   Instructional Services and consulting, Occupational Services, Physical Therapy, Speech Pathology, instructional services for children who are visually impaired, audiology,  as well as access to school social workers, school psychologists, and nurse consultants.

Who We Are

An early childhood specialist trained to work with young children will be one of the people who will follow-up with you.  Depending on your concern other professionals may be part of the team reviewing your concerns including a Team Representative, Speech Language pathologist occupational therapist, physical therapist, audiologist. occupational therapist, school psychologist or school social worker.

What Services We Provide

Services are provided in accordance with the Division of Early Childhood recommended practices.  Depending on the severity of learning problem, the team, including the parent, will determine the next steps which may include a full and individual evaluation to determine if the child’s learning is discrepant from other children who are the same age and has a disability.  If the child is eligible for services an Individual Educational Program (IEP) is developed.  The IEP identifies the learning needs of the child, the curriculum and the teaching strategies that will be used to teach the child as well as the intensity of the instruction.  Services may include instruction in a special education environment or in the general education environment.  The parents along with the special education team will work with the family to make those decisions.  If warranted, the team will determine if a Teacher of Record is needed.  This service is provided by an Early Childhood Special Education teacher who will follow the IEP to ensure services are delivered as planned.

Resources

Resources for parents and families of young children include materials from the Central Rivers AEA Media Services.  This includes many literacy materials to support early readers including e-books, a variety of children’s books; Books on tape; READ ALOUD books;  Book Flix (PK-5). Visit Central Rivers AEA Get Media for all the resources available.

How do I make a referral for AEA services?

If you are a parent who is concerned about your child’s learning and development contact Central Rivers AEA to make a referral by phoning the AEA office nearest you.  When you speak to the receptionist, she will ask you about your concerns for your child’s learning and development.  Within a few days, someone will contact you about your concerns.

  • If you are a teacher, you can make a referral by filling out the top part of the 3-5 year old referral form. The date you discussed the referral with the child’s parent must be added to the form. The form should be given to the Early Childhood Special educator or consultant who serves your program.
  • If you are an outside agency, you can make a referral by calling the nearest Central Rivers AEA office. You will need to provide basic information about the child and provide the date that you spoke with the child’s parent about making the referral.

What will happen when I make a referral?

Someone will call you to discuss the concerns you have about your child. Depending on the concerns, the team, including the parent, will determine the next steps which may include an evaluation to determine if the child’s learning is different from other children who are the same age and do not have a disability.  If the child is eligible for services, an Individual Educational Program (IEP) is developed. The IEP identifies the learning needs of the child, the curriculum and the teaching strategies that will be used to teach the child as well as the intensity of the instruction. Services may include instruction in a special education environment or in the general education environment. The parents along with the special education team will work with the family to make those decisions.