Early access

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.

How do I make a referral?

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

Nicole Heiselman

Amanda Hennigar

Gina Greene, Central Rivers AEA 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 to have need.  The Area Education Agency (AEA) is the agency within the state of Iowa who has been given the responsibility for identifying children with special needs in education. The AEA works closely with school districts to provide those services for each child.

Who We Are

Qualified team members, working together to serve the needs of young children. Our team consists of, Early Childhood Collaborators (certified educators), Team Representatives, often educators, School Physiologists, or School Social Workers, and additional instructional and consulting services include, Speech Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Audiologists, Vision teachers, and nurse consultants.

What Services We Provide

Services are provided in accordance with the Division of Early Childhood Recommended Practices.  Depending on the severity of learning challenge(s), the team including the parent/caregiver 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 age, resulting in 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 and/or in the general education environment.  The parents along with the  special education team will work together to make those decisions.

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 Get Media for all the resources available.

How do I make a referral for AEA services?

  • Parents: If you are concerned about your child’s learning and/or development, please contact Rebekah Troyer at Central Rivers AEA, via email or phone call.
  • Teachers in a school-based preschool: Referrals may be made by contacting your Early Childhood Collaborator, Team Representative, or other appropriate staff (i.e. SLP for speech/language concerns). Provide your contact person with the date you discussed the referral with the child’s parent.
  • Medical providers and outside agencies/center-based providers: Referrals may be made by contacting Rebekah Troyer at Central Rivers AEA, via email or phone call. You will need to provide basic information about the child as well as the date that you spoke with the child’s parent about making the referral.
Rebekah Troyer
rtroyer@centralriversaea.org
(319)268-7608

What will happen when I make a referral?

You will receive a call from a qualified team member to discuss the concerns you have for your child. Depending on the concerns, the team, including the parent/caregiver, 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 and/or in the general education environment. The parents along with the special education team will work together to make those decisions.