Alabama's Early Intervention System (EI)


Early Intervention provides supports and services for infants and toddlers under the age of three who have a developmental delay or a medical diagnosis that can delay normal development, which can prevent the child from meeting developmental milestones. Early intervention supports and services focus on teaching the parents and caregivers ways to help the child learn and participate in everyday activities.

Alabama's Early Intervention System receives funding from the U.S. Department of Education and Alabama's Education Trust Fund and is governed by the following legislation:

Every program involved in Alabama’s Early Intervention System receives annual technical assistance and is monitored regularly. If you have any questions about this process, you may contact EI State Office.


Infants and toddlers from birth to age 3 who either have a diagnosed physical or mental condition which has a high probability of resulting in developmental delay or are experiencing a developmental delay in one or more of the following areas:

  • Cognitive development
  • Physical development, including vision and hearing
  • Communication development
  • Social or emotional development
  • Adaptive development skills

Eligibility is determined after your family is assigned a service coordinator and they complete an evaluation with your child, which can be done at home or at day care or another appropriate setting.

While each child develops at his or her own pace, EI has a check list that parents and caregivers can compare their child’s activities with the time when most children usually start the activity. If your child seems to be behind in doing several activities at the appropriate milestones, discuss it with your child’s doctor and ask to be referred to EI.

Download the Step Ahead brochure with the Milestones Check List in English here, y en Español aquí.

An IFSP is a document that is developed with the parents that outlines the desired outcomes or goals for the child and the supports and services that are necessary to assist the child and family in meeting these outcomes. This IFSP tells the family the frequency and intensity of the supports.

Service and supports provided under EI are designed to assist the child and family achieve the IFSP outcomes. It’s important to understand that our services do NOT replace medical services, even if they are similar. Also, you may need to seek other services to meet all of the needs of your child in addition to EI services. EI providers are all required to meet the approved ICC Personnel Standards. (link to download ICC Standards)

Click here to view the IFSP form.

EI is required to assist eligible families in the process of transitioning their 3-year-old from EI services and supports into a school setting and informing families about potential placement options for their children. The process usually begins with the family and service coordinator developing a plan together. The service coordinator will then schedule a meeting for the family to discuss details of public pre-school services with the local school. The child’s placement is ultimately the family’s decision and they are never required to accept.

A written Transition Plan should include goals and activities that will support families and a discussion about local placement options and what transition will mean to a particular family.

A written Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) for transitioning should include the discussion of:

  • Personal meaning of transition to family
  • Available community placements for 3-year-olds
  • Parent preference for placement
  • Steps to help make a smooth transition

Click here to find out more about Opting Out of LEA Notification Policy.

The goal of early intervention is to enable young children with disabilities and developmental delays to be active and successful participants during their early childhood years and in the future.

The Child Outcomes Summary Process (COS) summarizes information on a child's functioning in three child outcome areas using a 7-point scale.

  • Outcome area 1: Positive social-emotional skills including social relationships

    Description: Attachment. Responding to, initiating, and sustaining interactions with others. Social games and back-and-forth communication are a few examples.

  • Outcome area 2: Acquisition and use of knowledge and skills

    Description: Persist, show eagerness and awareness, imitate/repeat actions, explore the environment. Figure things out, learn and use sounds, words, and sentences. Respond to gestures/verbal requests.

  • Outcome area 3: Use of appropriate behaviors to meet needs

    Description: Move with increasing control and purpose (e.g., reach, roll, crawl, walk, run, climb) to navigate the environment - with accommodations as needed, eating and drinking and dressing and undressing both with more independence as they learn, age, and grow.

For more information, download the 7-point Scale Program and the AEIS Introduction to Child Outcomes here.


ADRS State Office
602 S. Lawrence St.
Montgomery, AL 36104
P: (334) 293-7500
TFN: 1-800-543-3098
FAX: (334) 293-7383

EI Office Locations


Americans with Disabilities Act

ADA Hotline


1-888-574-2257 (TTY)


AEIS Training Sessions Available

Specialized training by Early Intervention professionals is available upon request. Contact: Shannon Foster at