Parent Resources

What is early intervention?

If your child is behind in any area of development within the broad range of expected growth, it may be cause for concern. Early intervention is the term used to describe the services and supports that are available to evaluate and assess your child’s strengths and weaknesses, and to help you address any possible challenges early on with a comprehensive, personalized program of care.

Early Intervention therapists provide infants and toddlers with individualized therapeutic support, such as speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and other specialized services, to promote learning and growth. Therapies are designed to address each child’s specific needs and provide families with the skills to help their child navigate their daily surroundings and activities.

The framework of early intervention

Familiar Places & Faces

Your child learns best in a comfortable environment, with the people they know. From getting dressed to playing games, early intervention sessions take place in your child’s home or daycare center, allowing him or her to practice daily routines and activities with therapeutic guidance and support.

Your Child, Your Therapy

Every child has unique needs, and our team of therapists and supervisors will work hand-in-hand with you to create and implement a customized, comprehensive, and flexible program of care so that your child continuously progresses, learns, and achieves.

Together, We Can

Your child’s success involves the support of your whole family. We provide personalized education and training for family members so they can promote the recommended methodologies and strategies for your child in a way that is consistent with their values and lifestyle.

Your child’s milestones

Your child goes through many delightful stages of development during infancy and toddlerhood. Smiling, cooing, laughing, reaching, crawling — many of them emerge naturally over time, as he or she progresses from one milestone to the next.

But what if your child is not reaching these expected milestones?

If you are concerned about your child’s development, it is important to understand that children don’t all learn at the same pace or schedule. A professional evaluation can help you assess whether therapeutic measures are necessary or not.

Expected milestones fall into a broad spectrum of what is considered typical for children of any selected age range.

The Five Areas of Early Childhood Development

What else do we need to know?

Thinking, learning and solving problems

Is your baby or toddler exploring the world around them and trying to learn about it?


Relating to other people

Does your baby smile at others or try to communicate with sounds? Does your toddler ask for help or show feelings?


Using and understanding language

Does your baby coo or babble? Does your toddler understand you and use words correctly?


Using small and large muscle groups

Fine motor: Can your baby grasp objects? Can your toddler hold a utensil or color with a crayon?

Gross motor: Can your baby sit up, roll over, or cruise? Can your toddler jump, run, or climb up stairs?


Handling everyday tasks

Can your toddler participate in feeding, dressing, or bathing?

Developmental Milestones

Three Months:

  • Lifts and turns head from side to side when lying on stomach
  • Grasps rattle when rattle is placed in hand
  • Smiles when smiled at
  • Visually tracks a moving object or person
  • Turns head toward bright colors, lights, and toward and the sound of a human voice
  • Makes cooing and gurgling sounds

Six Months

  • Holds head steady when sitting (with some help)
  • Rolls over
  • Reaches for and grasps objects
  • Helps hold bottle during feeding
  • Explores by mouthing and banging objects
  • Pulls up to sitting position if hands are grasped
  • Opens mouth for spoon
  • Babbles and imitates some sounds
  • Knows familiar faces

Twelve Months

  • Drinks from cup with help
  • Rolls over
  • Grasps small objects with thumb and forefinger
  • Sits unsupported
  • Crawls
  • Pulls self up to stand
  • Stands alone momentarily
  • Begins to use objects, like a like a brush, correctly
  • Babbles, but with inflection, which sounds like talking
  • Says first word
  • Waves goodbye
  • Understands simple commands

Eighteen Months

  • Turns pages in a book
  • Stacks two blocks
  • Walks independently
  • Scribbles with crayons
  • Identifies object in a picture book
  • Begins to sort by shapes and colors
  • Follows simple, one-step directions
  • Says 8-10 words others can understand
  • Repeats words heard in conversation
  • Looks at person speaking to him or her
  • Asks for something by pointing or using one word
  • Acts out familiar activity in play (i.e. pretending to eat)
  • Recognizes self in mirror or pictures

Two Years

  • Feeds self with spoon
  • Builds tower with blocks
  • Walks upstairs with help
  • Explores surroundings
  • Begins to make believe play
  • Can and will follow directions
  • Enjoys looking at the same books over and over
  • Speaks about 50 words
  • Uses 2-3 word sentences
  • Comforts a distressed friend of parent
  • Refers to self by name and uses “me” and “mine”
  • Points to eyes, ears, or nose when asked

Three Years

  • Walks up steps, alternating feet
  • Turns pages in a book one at a time
  • Pays attention for about three minutes
  • Counts 2-3 objects
  • Follows simple one-step commands
  • Can talk about what happened yesterday
  • Uses 3-5 word sentences
  • Asks short questions
  • Names at least one color correctly
  • Knows first and last name
  • Recognizes & understands most common objects & pictures

Do you:

Have concerns about your child’s development?

Worry that your child is not reaching developmental milestones as quickly as you think they should be, or they seem to function differently from peers?

Struggle with getting through daily routines with your child?

Have a diagnosis for your child, and are wondering what provider is best for you?

We're here to help.

Request an at-home evaluation to determine if your child is eligible for early intervention services at no cost to your family.

Learn about pregnancy resources available in Philadelphia here.