Children with Down syndrome usually experience delays in physical, cognitive and/or language development. Early intervention services and support can address these delays and help your child develop. Because a child with Down syndrome meets necessary eligibility requirements, the Regional Center of Orange County will designate a Service Coordinator for your child that will help you secure and coordinate early intervention services and support at minimal or no cost to your family.
You will work with your Regional Center Service Coordinator to identify your child's strengths and challenges to create a plan to help your child reach the next developmental level. As a parent, you have the right to participate in the process of developing the service plan that details the services and support your child and family will receive.
Although each child has individual developmental needs, most children with Down syndrome will benefit from occupational, physical and speech/language therapy at some point during their first three years.
These services may be provided in your home, in a therapy center, in a program with other babies, in child care, or in another natural setting. You may want to talk to professionals, DSAOC and/or other parents, as well as your Regional Center Service Coordinator to discuss options. Through these discussions, you can better inform yourself about which environment meets the needs of your child and your family.
If your Service Coordinator is unable to answer questions or concerns regarding your child, you can contact your Regional Center's area manager or Early Start Coordinator.
If you have not already done so through your hospital or physician, you can and should begin to access early intervention services and support for your child by contacting the Regional Center of Orange County's Intake & Assessment Department at 714.796.5354.
Further information about the Regional Center and California's Early Start Program can be obtained by visiting their websites or by contacting the DSAOC Center.
Regional Center of Orange County (RCOC) : Vist Site
California's Early Start Program Visit Site
AFTER EARLY START
(Three through Five Years and Beyond)
When your child reaches the age of three, your local public school district replaces the Regional Center as the primary provider of direct services (education and therapies) for your child. However, even after this transition, your child remains a Regional Center consumer, and your family remains eligible for a variety of Regional Center services.
These services include: ongoing service coordination, support during and after transition to the school district, consultation with specialists on staff to discuss behavioral, medical or educational issues, liaison to CalOptima on-site at the Regional Center, behavior management classes and workshops scheduled periodically throughout the County, and coordination with community service providers such as health, welfare, schools and recreation services.