A federally funded program that coordinates efforts to assist children with disabilities met Wednesday to finalize their report for submission to the Office of Special Education Programs.
The Public School System’s Interagency Coordinating Council for Early Intervention Program met to talk about their Annual Performance Report, which is due Feb. 1, 2017.
The Early Intervention Program brings service providers, parents, and teachers together to support children with conditions such as autism, Down’s syndrome, deafness, blindness, and more. The EIP also screens children who are suspected of having developmental delays in walking, talking, or at least a 25 percent delay in one or more skills.
Under the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, or IDEA, students with disabilities are given free public education that is suited to their needs. A part of IDEA focuses on children from birth to age 3 and their families.
In collaboration with PSS and the Department of Public Health, the Early Intervention Program meets quarterly. Its members are chosen by Gov. Ralph DLG Torres.
The Early Intervention Program seeks out babies with suspected development delays in order to screen them for proper services.
EIP (Part C) interim coordinator Robin L. Palacios said the specifics of the report have yet to be announced to the public. She said the EIP must first confirm the figures. She did share that out of 17 targets set by the Interagency Coordinating Council, only 11 are being met.
“Today, at the [Interagency Coordinating Counci] meeting, we are going over our Annual Performance Report. There are 11 indicators that the CNMI must report on annually by Feb. 1, every year, to the Office of Special Education Programs,” said Palacios. “For this reporting year, there are six targets that we as a program did not meet. Right now what we are trying to do is gather stakeholders’ input on why we did not make the target and get more information on how we could [improve] the program.”
If you suspect your child to have developmental delays, contact the EIP office at 664-4841 for no-cost screenings.