The department may award grants for covered services to children and their families who are eligible under this chapter.
Repealed or Renumbered
Repealed or Renumbered
Repealed or Renumbered
It is the purpose of this chapter to
(1) subject to the availability of funding, provide quality learning and related early intervention family support services to eligible children under the age of three who have developmental delays or disabilities and, on a discretionary basis, to those children under the age of three who are at risk of developmental delays or disabilities;
(2) bring together and make optimal use of all available federal, state, local, and private resources for the benefit of children under the age of three with developmental delays or disabilities and their families;
(3) expand and improve existing learning and early intervention services and to provide and arrange for comprehensive services through local agencies and statewide support programs.
(a) A child and the child's family are eligible for core early intervention services and additional early intervention services under this chapter if the child is under the age of three and
(1) experiencing developmental delay or disability; or
(2) at risk of experiencing developmental delay or disability if early intervention services are not provided.
(b) If the department estimates that funding available for services under this chapter will be insufficient to provide services to all persons who are eligible under (a) of this section, the department shall eliminate coverage for services in the following order:
(1) additional early intervention services for persons eligible under (a)(2) of this section;
(2) additional early intervention services for persons eligible under (a)(1) of this section;
(3) core early intervention services for persons eligible under (a)(2) of this section; and
(4) core early intervention services for persons eligible under (a)(1) of this section.
(a) The department shall establish a comprehensive system for finding children and their families who are eligible for services under this chapter. This child find system must
(1) include a public awareness program focusing on early identification of developmentally delayed and disabled children under three years of age;
(2) provide for participation by primary referral sources; and
(3) include procedures with timelines for referral of eligible participants to service providers.
(b) The department shall, within 45 days after a child's referral for services under (a) of this section, ensure that all affected public agencies and service providers
(1) provide for a comprehensive multidisciplinary evaluation of the functioning of the child and the needs of the child's family so that the family can appropriately assist in the development of the child;
(2) in consultation with the child's parents, develop a written individualized service plan that identifies how the needs of the child and the family could be met.
(a) The department shall adopt regulations necessary to implement this chapter, including regulations
(1) for personnel development, including preservice and in-service training programs for providers of early intervention services;
(2) to govern resolution of intra-agency and interagency disputes about the provision of services under this chapter and the financial responsibility of the respective parties for those services;
(3) that ensure that services are provided to children and their families in a timely manner pending the resolution of disputes among public agencies or service providers;
(4) providing for due process with respect to the rights of children and parents who are eligible for services under this chapter; the regulations must provide that during the pendency of a complaint about a change in services, the child and family shall continue to receive the prior services unless the state and the family otherwise agree, or, if the complaint relates to an application for initial services, the child and family shall receive the services that are not in dispute; and
(5) for the award of grants under this chapter.
(b) The department shall establish a system for compiling data on the numbers of children and their families in the state who need early intervention services, the numbers being served, the types of services provided, and other information as required under federal law. Personally identifiable information obtained under this chapter is confidential for purposes of AS 40.25.110 - 40.25.120.
The individualized family service plan developed under AS 47.20.090(b)(2) shall be based on the evaluation conducted under AS 47.20.090(b)(1) and must include, subject to AS 47.20.080 (b),
(1) provisions for case management services to implement the plan, including the name of the case manager from the profession most immediately relevant to the child's or family's needs who will be responsible for the implementation of the plan and coordination with other agencies and persons;
(2) a statement of the child's present levels of physical development, cognitive development, language and speech development, psychosocial development, and self-help skills, based on appropriate objective criteria;
(3) a description of the family's concerns, priorities, and resources as they relate to the future enhancement of the child's development;
(4) a description of the specific early intervention services that will help meet the unique needs of the child and the family, including the frequency, intensity, and method with which the services should be delivered;
(5) the projected dates for initiation of services and the anticipated duration of the services;
(6) an outline of the major outcomes expected to be achieved for the child and the family along with the criteria, procedures, and timelines that will be used to determine the degree to which progress toward achieving the outcomes are being made and whether modifications or revisions of the outcomes or services are necessary; and
(7) a statement of the steps that will be taken to support the transition of the child and the family to the use of services available under other appropriate programs, including programs for children who are three years of age or older.
(a) The department, with the assistance of the Governor's Council for the Handicapped and Gifted, shall establish a coordinated, comprehensive, statewide system of multidisciplinary interagency programs that provide appropriate early intervention services to eligible persons under this chapter.
(b) The department is the lead agency for purposes of federal law with respect to the administration of the early intervention services system required under (a) of this section. The department shall establish and administer the system required under (a) of this section so that the state is eligible for the maximum available funding from public and private sources.
(c) In connection with the system established under (a) of this section, the department shall
(1) develop a state plan that identifies the best methods of providing services to children under the age of three with developmental delays or disabilities and their families and report to the governor on the extent to which that plan is being implemented in the state;
(2) develop and implement an educational program concerning the nature and effects of developmental delays and disabilities;
(3) serve as a clearinghouse for educational materials and information about developmental delays and disabilities;
(4) organize and encourage training programs for persons who provide services to children under the age of three with developmental delays and disabilities and their families;
(5) establish a training program for paraprofessionals who provide services to children under the age of three with developmental delays and disabilities and their families;
(6) cooperate with other public and private agencies and individuals to facilitate the transition of children served in the early intervention system to the formal education system;
(7) identify and use all public and private resources available to the state; and
(8) monitor and evaluate the services provided to ensure the demonstrable effectiveness of the services and compliance with state and federal law and department policy regarding the provision of early intervention services.
In this chapter,
(1) 'additional early intervention services' means
(A) family training and counseling;
(B) speech pathology and audiology;
(C) occupational therapy;
(D) physical therapy;
(E) psychological services;
(F) medical services only for diagnostic or evaluation purposes; and
(G) health services for the child that are necessary to enable the child to benefit from the other early intervention services;
(2) 'core early intervention services' means
(A) case management services;
(B) special instruction; and
(C) early identification, screening, and assessment;
(3) 'department' means the Department of Health and Social Services;
(4) 'developmentally delayed' means functioning at least 15 percent below a chronological or corrected age or 1.5 standard deviations below age appropriate norms in one or more of the following areas: cognitive development, gross motor development, sensory development, speech or language development, or psychosocial development, including self-help skills and behavior, as measured and verified by appropriate diagnostic instruments and procedures or through systematic observation of functional abilities in a daily routine by two professionals and a parent, developmental history, and appropriate assessment procedures;
(5) 'disability' means having an identifiable physical, mental, sensory, or psychosocial condition that has a probability of resulting in developmental delay even though a developmental delay may not be exhibited at the time the condition is identified, including
(A) chromosomal abnormalities associated with delays in development, such as Down's syndrome, Turner's syndrome, Cornelia de Lange syndrome, or fragile X syndrome;
(B) other syndromes and conditions associated with delays in development, such as fetal alcohol syndrome, cocaine and other drug-related syndromes, metabolic disorders, cleft lip, or cleft palate;
(C) neurological disorders associated with delays in development, such as cerebral palsy, microcephaly, hydrocephaly, spina bifida, or periventricular leukomalacia;
(D) sensory impairment, such as hearing loss or deafness, visual loss or blindness, or a combination of hearing and visual loss, that interferes with the child's ability to respond effectively to environmental stimulus;
(E) congenital infections, such as rubella, cytomegalovirus, toxoplasmosis, or acquired immune deficiency syndrome;
(F) chronic illness or conditions that may limit learning or development, such as cystic fibrosis, bronchopulmonary dysplasia, tracheostomies, amputations, arthritis, or muscular dystrophy;
(G) psychosocial disorders, such as reactive attachment disorder, infant autism, or childhood schizophrenia; or
(H) atypical growth patterns consistent with a prognosis of developmental delay based upon parental and professional judgment, such as failure to thrive;
(6) 'early intervention services' or 'services' means services that are designed to help meet the developmental needs of a child under the age of three who is developmentally delayed or disabled or at risk of developmental delay or disability or the needs of the child's family so that the family can support the child's development.