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Early intervention for infants and toddlers

Texas Health and Human Services, Early Childhood Intervention (ECI)

Health and Human Services (HHS), Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) program is a state-wide comprehensive system of services that provides early intervention for infants and toddlers birth to 36 months of age who have developmental delays, disabilities or a medical condition likely to lead to a developmental delay. 

ECI Infant and Toddler Development

ECI helps babies and toddlers learn skills that typically develop during the first three years of life.  ECI services address enrolled children’s growth across all developmental domains such as:

  • cognitive (thinking, learning, solving problems)
  • communication (talking, listening, understanding)
  • motor – fine and gross motor skills (reaching, grabbing, rolling, walking, sitting)
  • personal-social development (interacting with others, controlling emotions, feeling secure, building and maintaining relationships)
  • adaptive (eating, dressing, bathing).

ECI Services

ECI provides a variety of services through a diverse set of professionals. Examples of services include:

  • Hearing and vision educational services
  • Speech, occupational and physical therapy services
  • Nutrition services
  • Specialized skills training
  • Counseling
  • Assistive Technology
  • Case Management.

Parents are involved in every part of the ECI service from developing an annual Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP), reviewing the IFSP to ensure it is responsive to their needs and actively participating in services with ECI professionals.

Eligibility for Services

ECI determines eligibility for infants and toddlers living in Texas who are birth to 36 months of age based on one or more of the following criteria:

  • A medically diagnosed condition
  • An auditory or visual impairment, or
  • A developmental delay.

Important Information to Know

  • How do I find ECI services in my community?

ECI provides services in every Texas County through a variety of organizations such as Community Health Centers, private non-profits, independent school districts and Educational Service Centers.  To find a local program in your area go to the ECI Program Search.

  • Who can refer children to ECI?

Anyone can make a referral to ECI who suspects a child may have a developmental delay. Professionals who provide services to families and children often refer children to ECI. When referring families to ECI, the best approach is to explain ECI services, make the referral together or inform the family a referral will be made on their behalf.  

  • How can I find a list of medical diagnosis for ECI?

Certain medical diagnoses that can lead to a developmental delay can qualify children for ECI. These can be found on the ECI website under “Medical Diagnosis.”

  • Does ECI have publications I can share with families?

ECI brochures are available to the public and can be ordered through the ECI on-line ordering system at no charge. The system is user-friendly and allows orders to be placed quickly and efficiently.  Organizations or individuals can create their own “public ordering” account to order materials.

For more information about ECI services, please contact the ECI state office at 512-776-4300 or visit the HHS Early Childhood Intervention website.

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