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Program for at-risk infants, toddlers sees hike in referrals

May 05, 2006|by KAREN HANNA

An early-intervention program that serves at-risk infants and toddlers experienced a 9 percent increase in referrals over one year, director Diane Sanford told the Washington County Board of Education.

With collaboration from the health department and the department of social services, the school system is the lead agency in helping children, ages birth to 3, who have experienced delays, illness or atypical development, said Sanford, who presented information about the program during Tuesday's meeting.

The free program, which operates out of Marshall Street School, provides therapists who work with children in their homes, Sanford said. At any one time, the program serves 125 to 130 families, she said.

"There are probably more that have not been identified," Sanford said after her presentation.

About 20 percent of the children served by the early-intervention program catch up and no longer need services, Sanford said. Children ages 4 and older who still need extra help are served through individual education plans, she said.

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