`

Information Packets

Crossing the Bridge: Transition from Early Intervention to Preschool

Time flies doesn’t it? If your child will be turning three in the next year and you are currently receiving early intervention services, you may be wondering: what exactly is transition?

For children who have Individual Family Service Plans (IFSPs) through the Regional Center, transition is the process of moving from early intervention to preschool and/or other services when your child is close to turning 3 years old. 


Autism Info Packet

Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is characterized by:

  • Persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts; Restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities;
  • Symptoms must be present in the early developmental period (typically recognized in the first two years of life); and,
  • Symptoms cause clinically significant impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of current functioning.

The term “spectrum” refers to the wide range of symptoms, skills, and levels of impairment or disability that children with ASD can have. Some children are mildly impaired by their symptoms, while others are severely disabled. The latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5) no longer includes Asperger’s syndrome; the characteristics of Asperger’s syndrome are included within the broader category of ASD.


Cerebral Palsy Info Packet

Cerebral palsy—also known as CP—is a condition caused by injury to the parts of the brain that control our ability to use our muscles and bodies. Cerebral means having to do with the brain. Palsy means weakness or problems with using the muscles. Often the injury happens before birth, sometimes during delivery, or soon after being born. CP can be mild, moderate, or severe. Mild CP may mean a child is clumsy. A child with moderate or severe CP may have to use a wheelchair and other special equipment. Sometimes children with CP can also have learning problems, problems with hearing or seeing (called sensory problems), or intellectual disabilities. Usually, the greater the injury to the brain, the more severe the CP. However, CP doesn’t get worse over time, and most children with CP have a normal life span. 


Learning Disabilities Info Packet

Learning disability is a general term that describes specific kinds of learning problems. A learning disability can cause a person to have trouble learning and using certain skills.  The skills most often affected are: reading, writing, listening, speaking, reasoning, and doing math. “Learning disabilities” is not the only term used to describe these difficulties.

Others include:

  • dyslexia—which refers to difficulties in reading;
  • dysgraphia—which refers to difficulties in writing; and
  • dyscalcula—which refers to difficulties in math. 

ADHD Info Packet

Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) is a condition that can make it hard for a person to sit still, control behavior, and pay attention. These difficulties usually begin before the person is 7 years old. However, these behaviors may not be noticed until the child is older. Doctors do not know just what causes ADHD. However, researchers who study the brain are coming closer to understanding what may cause ADHD. They believe that some people with ADHD do not have enough of certain chemicals (called neurotransmitters) in their brain. These chemicals help the brain control behavior. Parents and teachers do not cause ADHD. Still, there are many things that both parents and teachers can do to help a child with ADHD.

  • Some children in early intervention may be eligible for preschool special education services through an Individualized Education Program (IEP) from the local school district.
  • Some children with developmental disabilities may be eligible for supported living services through an Individualized Program Plan (IPP) from the Regional Center.
  • Some children may no longer need any specialized services.
  • Other children may go on to early childhood programs or to other appropriate community services. 

Down Syndrome Info Packet

Down syndrome is the most common and readily identifiable chromosomal condition associated with intellectual disabilities. It is caused by a chromosomal abnormality: for some unknown reason, an accident in cell development results in 47 instead of the usual 46 chromosomes. This extra chromosome changes the orderly development of the body and brain. In most cases, the diagnosis of Down syndrome is made according to results from a chromosome test administered shortly after birth.

Just as in the normal population, there is a wide variation in mental abilities, behavior, and developmental progress in individuals with Down syndrome. Their level of intellectual disability may range from mild to severe, with the majority functioning in the mild to moderate range. Because children with Down syndrome differ in ability, it’s important that families and members of the intervention team place few limitations on potential capabilities and possible achievements. Each child with Down syndrome has his or her own talents and unique capacities, and it’s important to recognize these and reinforce them. 


Mental Health Guide

The National Institute of Mental Health estimates that one in ten children and adolescents in the US suffers from mental illness severe enough to require treatment. Parents and family members are often the first to notice changes in a child. Sometimes parents find it hard to talk about their concerns, perhaps because of the stigma that often accompanies mental disorders or because they simply do not know what services are available or where to find them. Recognizing your child’s problems and seeking treatment early can help your child and family cope with the challenges facing you.

This guide will help you to:

  • Learn more about emotional, behavioral, and mental health conditions
  • Identify those of your child’s behaviors that are of particular concern to you
  • Become knowledgeable about the types of mental health services available to you and your family
  • Understand how community mental health, the schools, and other agencies can work together to support your child and your family
  • Learn how to work in partnership with your providers
  • Understand your rights and responsibilities
  • Learn where to go for advocacy and support in San Francisco