Glossary of Terms Used for Early Intervention and Special Education Services

Annual Evaluation - the meeting conducted on an annual basis to evaluate the Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) for a child and the child's family, and, as appropriate, to revise its provisions.

Assessment - the ongoing procedures used by qualified personnel throughout the period of a child's eligibility to identify:

  • the child's unique needs;
  • the family's resources, priorities, and concerns related to the development of the child; and
  • the nature and extent of early intervention services that are needed by the child and the child's family.

Child Advocate - a parent, legal guardian, surrogate parent or professional, paid or unpaid, who acts on behalf of a child and family to protect their rights and interests and ensure their access to services for which they are eligible.

Due Process - the rights afforded parents/legal guardians/surrogate parents in ensuring that children and families receive the early intervention services to which they are entitled under Part C.

Early Intervention - A collection of services provided by public and private agencies and designed by law to support eligible children and their families in enhancing a child's potential growth and development from birth to age three.

Early Intervention Record - Any personally identifiable information about a child and or family generated by the early intervention system that pertains to evaluation and assessment, development of the IFSP and delivery of early intervention services.

Evaluation - Procedures used by qualified personnel to determine a child's initial and continuing eligibility for early intervention services, consistent with the state's definition of infants and toddlers with disabilities.

Interagency Coordinating Council (ICC) - the council that each state and jurisdiction participating in Part C must establish to assure coordination and cooperation of all participating agencies in implementing the early intervention program.

Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) - the written plan for providing early intervention and other services to eligible children and families.

Infants and Toddlers with Disabilities - children from birth to age three who are eligible for early intervention services because they:

  • Are experiencing a developmental delay of at least 25%, as measured and verified by appropriate methods, in one or more of the following areas: cognitive, physical, communication, social and emotional adaptive; or
  • Exhibit atypical development or behavior in at least one of the above areas, demonstrated by abnormal quality or function, that interferes with current development and is likely to result in subsequent delay, even when diagnostic procedures do not indicate a delay of 25 percent; or
  • Have a diagnosed physical or mental condition that has a high probability of resulting in developmental delay.

Interim Service Coordinator - individual designated at the single point of entry to assist the referred child and family through the initial evaluation, assessment, and IFSP process.

Lead Agency - the Maryland Infants and Toddlers Program/Preschool Services branch is designated within the Maryland State Department of Education as the lead agency responsible for the planning, supervision, monitoring, and technical assistance for implementing Early Intervention Services for Infants and Toddlers with disabilities.

Local Lead Agency - the agency designated by the local governing authority in each county and Baltimore City to administer the interagency system of early intervention services under the direction of the Maryland State Department of Education, which is the Maryland State lead agency.

Multidisciplinary - the involvement of two or more professions in the provision of integrated and coordinated services, including evaluation and assessment activities and the development of the IFSP.

Native Language - the language or mode of communication normally used by the parent of an eligible child.

Natural Environment - home or community settings that are natural or typical for a child of the same age without disabilities.

Part B - Part B of the Education of Handicap Act (Individuals with Disabilities Education Act) provides free appropriate public education and education-related services to all school-age children with disabilities (ages 3-21 in most states). Part B was enacted originally in 1975 as Public Law 94-142.

Part C - Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act, formerly the Education of the Handicapped Act (EHA) enacted by Public Law 99-457 (reauthorize as Public Law 102-119). It establishes the early intervention program for eligible infants and toddlers birth through age two and their families.

Parent - a parent, guardian, a person acting as a parent of a child, or a surrogate parent. The term does not refer to the State if the child is a ward of the State.

Periodic Reviews - a review of the IFSP conducted every six months, more frequently as conditions warrant or at a family's request.

Procedural Safeguards - standards and procedures to protect the rights of children, their parents, and surrogate parents under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.

Service Coordinator - the individual selected by an early intervention team and designated in an IFSP to coordinate and facilitate early intervention services and integrate the family into the process. Whether they are a service provider or veteran parent, the case manager must demonstrate understanding of the laws and nature of the process.

Service Provider - a public or private agency designated to provide early intervention services for an eligible child and the child's family in accordance with an approved IFSP.

Single Point of Entry - the local contact point designated to accept referrals from sources that suspect developmental delay in an infant or toddler.

Transition - occurs at the age of three when a child and family are no longer eligible for services under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) . This is a collaborative process involving families, Part C and Part B programs, and as appropriate, other community-based preschool programs to ensure uninterrupted provision of appropriate services. Planning and decision making must occur well in advance of the child's third birthday.

Contact Information

Division of Early Intervention and Special Education Services
200 West Baltimore Street
Baltimore, MD 21201
Phone: 410-767-0249
Fax: 410-333-8165