23 Feb PGTPL Community Resource: First Steps
Plainfield-Guilford Township Public Library’s mission is to be the place to connect, discover, learn, and enjoy. With this community resource spotlight, our goal is to connect our patrons to an early intervention agency, First Steps.
Every child develops at their own rate. There are milestones that are typical for different ages and stages. Ask your child’s pediatrician for advice on skills to meet milestones, information about appropriate age-level expectations, and if you have any concerns about your child’s development.
The CDC has a milestone app for children 2 months old to 5 years old. Parents can track multiple children. This app includes:
- easy-to-use milestone checklists
- videos and photos to help explain milestones
- tips and activities for building skills and development
- advice on when to act early
First Steps of Central Indiana features a milestone checklist on their website. This PDF brochure highlights birth through 3 years and includes a list of milestones and activities by age level, as well as points of concern. Visit www.cibaby.com for more information. Also on their website is information on how to submit a referral, as well as a provider list.
Early Intervention Matters!
If your child isn’t meeting milestones, early intervention matters. With a foundation of skills, children can focus on learning and growing in new ways. When do babies usually sit up? At what age can my child jump? Everything from first babbles to sharing toys is a milestone. What if you’re concerned about your child’s development? For anyone in the Plainfield, Indiana area, First Steps of Central Indiana is an excellent resource.
First Steps is a family centered early intervention program for infants and toddlers from birth to age three who may not be growing and learning appropriately for their age or who have a medical condition(s) that would likely lead to developmental delays.
Plainfield, Indiana is in Cluster G and the point of entry for First Steps Services is:
1776 N. Meridian St., Suite 300
Indianapolis, IN 46202
How does First Steps work?
First Steps of Central Indiana is for any child from birth to age 3. Services are not income-dependent. First Steps serves everyone using a sliding scale for cost of services. First Steps is not just for babies learning to walk; they assist and refer to other services and therapies as well.
Anyone can refer a child to First Steps. Doctors’ referrals are the most common, followed by parent referrals, but parents do not have to go through a physician for a First Steps referral. Caregivers, family members, or friends can also refer a child if needed. Call
To start, there is a no-cost evaluation of the child. As part of the evaluation, someone from First Steps will contact the family for an intake appointment, discussing demographics and developmental concerns. Then First Steps will determine the evaluation team. First Steps works with speech therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, and developmental therapists. Usually two therapists will be sent to the home to evaluate the child.
My child qualifies for First Steps, now what?
If eligible for services, an individual family service plan will be created. This is a one-year plan that may be completed before one year, or could also be renewed at the end of the year for future services, depending on the child’s progress and needs.
Then the family is given a list of contracted providers to choose therapy services for their child. Parents or guardians select a provider and schedule services through the agency.
What happens if my child is too old to qualify for First Steps?
Many families discover their child needs therapeutic intervention close to, or soon after their child’s third birthday. If your child is older than 3, the First Steps website has many service providers listed. You can call and ask for more information from a provider, or ask your doctor for more advice. Children only qualify for First Steps from 0-3. If your child qualifies for First Steps and has an individual family service plan when your child turns 3, First Steps helps families transition the child into pre-school or other services for assistance.
Navigating parenthood is tough at times, especially if you have questions or concerns. The library can locate information or resources to help! Visit our early literacy page on our website for information on pre-reading skills. Then be sure to check out our Early Literacy playlist on our PGTPL Children’s Room YouTube Channel for activities, books, and ideas for promoting language and reading skills.