First Steps offers coordinated services and assistance to young children with special needs and their families. First Steps is designed for children, birth to age three, who have delayed development or diagnosed conditions that are associated with developmental disabilities. First Steps is a collaborative effort of four state agencies - the Departments of Elementary and Secondary Education, Health, Mental Health, and Social Services. First Steps is supported through federal and state dollars, public and private insurance reimbursement, and family cost participation.
Children who are eligible for this program are children between the ages of birth and 36 months who have been determined to have a diagnosed condition that has a high probability of developmental delay or disability; OR children who have a developmental delay, which is defined as functioning at half the developmental level (i.e., 50% delay) that would be expected for children developing within normal limits and of equal age. The delay must be identified in one or more of the following areas: cognitive, communication, adaptive, physical (including vision and hearing), and social/emotional development. For additional information, click here.