Starting Speech

Step 2. Screening

DOCTORS REFERRAL

Talk to your child's doctor if you have concerns about your child's development. It can be helpful to bring in a copy of the developmental milestones to reference at your visit.  Your doctor may be able to refer you to a speech-language pathologist for a screening. Many pediatricians are not trained in speech and language development. Consider reaching out to a speech therapist directly if your concerns are not addressed.

For more help on How to Talk with a Doctor click here to download a 3 step guide (English and Spanish).

NO DOCTORS REFERRAL

You do not need a doctors referral to have your child screened. All states are required to screen any child at risk for delays in speech or language.

If your child is under the age of three find the contact information to your states Early Intervention provided below. 

If your child is nearing the age of three or older they can be screened through your local school district. Click here to find out more about the Child Find program.

You can also have your child screen through a local clinics or private practices. A qualified speech therapist will be licensed by the American Speech and Hearing Association (ASHA). Click here to find a licensed speech-language pathologist in your area.

Will I have to pay for speech therapy?

If your child is found to be eligible, they can receive free speech therapy through your state. Children birth to three receive services through your state's Early Intervention program (see list of offices below). If they are ages 3-18, contact your local school district's special education department for services.

Speech Therapy can also be provided through local clinics and private practices. Some accept insurance or work as out-of-network/private pay providers. Click here to find a licensed speech-language pathologist in your area.

Early Intervention Offices by State

Alabama’s Early Intervention System
Department of Rehabilitation Services
http://rehab.alabama.gov/individuals-and-families/early-intervention
1-800-543-3098 (or TTY 800-499-1816)
1-866-450-2838 (en Español)

ALASKA
Alaska Infant Learning Program: Early Intervention
Office of Children’s Services
http://dhss.alaska.gov/ocs/Pages/infantlearning/
907-269-8442
877-HSS-FMLY

ARIZONA
Arizona Early Intervention Program (AzEIP)
Department of Economic Security
https://www.azdes.gov/main.aspx?menu=98&id=3026
(602) 532-9960
(888) 439-5609 (Toll free in Arizona)

ARKANSAS
First Connections: Arkansas Infant and Toddler Program
Department of Human Services
http://humanservices.arkansas.gov/ddds/Pages/FirstConnectionsProgram.aspx
800-643-8258

CALIFORNIA
Early Start
California Department of Developmental Services
https://dds.ca.gov/EarlyStart/
(800) 515-BABY

COLORADO
Early Intervention Colorado
Department of Human Services
http://www.eicolorado.org/
(888) 777-4041

CONNECTICUT
Birth to Three
Connecticut Department of Developmental Services
http://www.birth23.org/
(800) 505-7000
Birth to Three by Town: http://www.birth23.org/towns/

DC
Strong Start DC Early Intervention Program
Office of the State Superintendent of Education
http://osse.dc.gov/service/dc-early-intervention-program
(202) 727-3665

DELAWARE
Birth to Three Early Intervention System
Division of Public Health
http://www.dhss.delaware.gov/dms/epqc/birth3/directry.html
(302) 255-9134

FLORIDA
Florida Early Steps
Children’s Medical Services
http://www.cms-kids.com/families/early_steps/early_steps.html
(800) 654-4440

GEORGIA
Babies Can’t Wait
Georgia Department of Public Health
https://dph.georgia.gov/Babies-Cant-Wait
(800) 229-2038
Contact Information by District: http://dph.georgia.gov/sites/dph.georgia.gov/files/csncoordinator.2004.pdf

HAWAII
Early Intervention Section
Hawaii Department of Health
http://health.hawaii.gov/eis/
Oahu: (808) 594-0066
Neighbor Islands: (800) 235-5477

IDAHO
Idaho Infant Toddler Program
Department of Health and Welfare
http://www.healthandwelfare.idaho.gov/Children/InfantToddlerProgram/Earlyinterventionservices/tabid/404/Default.aspx
Dial 2-1-1 or (800) 926-2588

ILLINOIS
Illinois Early Intervention
Department of Human Services
http://www.dhs.state.il.us/ei
(217) 524-1596 – Option 1
Illinois Automated Helpline:  1-800-323-4769

INDIANA
First Steps Early Intervention System
Family and Social Services Administration
http://www.in.gov/fssa/4655.htm
(800) 545-7763
Contact Information by Cluster/County: http://www.in.gov/fssa/ddrs/2816.htm

IOWA
Early ACCESS Iowa
www.educateiowa.gov/pk-12/early-childhood/early-access
(888) IAKIDS1 (425-4371)
earlyaccessia@vnsdm.org
Contact Information by Region: http://www.earlyaccessiowa.org/early_access_contacts.php

KANSAS
Kansas Infant-Toddler Services
Department of Health and Environment
http://www.ksits.org/
(800) 332-6262
Local Contact Information: http://www.ksits.org/download/network_brochure.pdf

KENTUCKY
First Steps
Kentucky Cabinet for Health and Family Services
http://chfs.ky.gov/dph/firststeps.htm
(877) 41STEPS or (877) 417-8377
Local Contact Information: http://chfs.ky.gov/dph/firstSteps/How+to+Contact+Local+Point+of+Entry+Offices.htm

LOUISIANA
EarlySteps
Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals
http://new.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/page/139/n/139
(225) 342-9500
Regional Contact Information: http://new.dhh.louisiana.gov/index.cfm/directory/detail/609

MAINE
Child Development Services
Maine Department of Education
http://www.maine.gov/doe/cds
(207) 624-6660

MARYLAND
Division of Special Education and Early Intervention Services
Maryland Department of Education
http://www.marylandpublicschools.org/MSDE/divisions/earlyinterv/
(410) 767-0261 or (800) 535-0182

MASSACHUSETTS
Massachusetts Early Intervention Program
Department of Health and Human Services
http://www.mass.gov/eohhs/gov/departments/dph/programs/family-health/early-intervention/
(617) 624-5901

MICHIGAN
Early On Michigan
Department of Community Health
http://www.1800earlyon.org/
(800) 327-5966

MINNESOTA
Help Me Grow: Minnesota’s Early Intervention System
Department of Health
http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/cfh/program/cyshn/earlyintro.cfm
866-693-GROW (4769)

MISSISSIPPI
First Steps: Early Intervention Program
Mississippi State Department of Health
http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/41,0,74.html
(800) 451-3903
Local Contact Information: http://msdh.ms.gov/msdhsite/_static/19,0,166.html

MISSOURI
First Steps: Missouri’s Early Intervention Program
Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
http://dese.mo.gov/se/fs/
(573) 522-8762

MONTANA
Montana Early Intervention Services
Developmental Services Division
http://www.dphhs.mt.gov/dsd/homebasedservicestofamilies/earlyinterventionservices.shtml
(406) 444-5647
Contact Information by Region: http://www.dphhs.mt.gov/fssac/providers.pdf

NEBRASKA
Nebraska Early Development Network
Department of Education and Department of Health and Human Services
http://edn.ne.gov/
(402) 471-2471 or (888) 806-6287

NEVADA
Nevada Early Intervention Services
Department of Health and Human Services
http://dhhs.nv.gov/Programs/IDEA/Early_Intervention_Programs/ 
(800) 522-0066

NEW HAMPSHIRE
Family Centered Early Supports and Services
Department of Health and Human Services
http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dcbcs/bds/earlysupport/
Local Contact Information: http://www.dhhs.nh.gov/dcbcs/bds/earlysupport/documents/directory.pdf

NEW JERSEY
New Jersey Early Intervention System
Division of Family Health Services
http://www.nj.gov/health/fhs/eis/
(888) 653-4463

NEW MEXICO
Family Infant Toddler Program
New Mexico Department of Health
http://nmhealth.org/ddsd/nmfit/
(505) 476-8975

NEW YORK
New York State Early Intervention Program
Department of Health
www.health.ny.gov/community/infants_children/early_intervention/
(518) 473-7016
County Contact Information: http://www.health.ny.gov/community/infants_children/early_intervention/county_eip.htm

NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina Infant-Toddler Program
Department of Health and Human Services
http://www.beearly.nc.gov/
(919) 707-5520
Local Contact Information: http://www.beearly.nc.gov/index.php/contact/cdsa

NORTH DAKOTA
Early Intervention
North Dakota Department of Human Services
http://www.nd.gov/dhs/services/disabilities/earlyintervention/
Local Contact Information: http://www.nd.gov/dhs/services/disabilities/earlyintervention/contact.html

OHIO
Help Me Grow: Ohio’s Early Intervention Program
Department of Health
helpmegrow.ohio.gov
(614) 644-8389
County Contact Information: 
http://www.helpmegrow.ohio.gov/Early%20Intervention/Contact%20EI%20Staff.aspx

OKLAHOMA
SoonerStart/Early Intervention
State Department of Education
http://www.ok.gov/sde/soonerstart-0
(405) 521-3301
Scroll Down at his Link for County Contact Information: http://ok.gov/sde/staff-directory#SoonerStart

OREGON
Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Ed
Department of Education
www.ode.state.or.us/search/results/?id=252
(503) 947-5703 

PENNSYLVANIA
Early Intervention Services
Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare
www.dhs.state.pa.us/forchildren/earlyinterventionservices
(800) 692-7288

RHODE ISLAND
Early Intervention Program
Rhode Island Department of Human Services
http://www.eohhs.ri.gov/Consumer/ConsumerInformation/Healthcare/PeoplewithSpecialNeedsandDisabilities/Children/EarlyIntervention.aspx
(401) 462-0318

SOUTH CAROLINA
BabyNet: South Carolina’s Early Intervention System
https://msp.scdhhs.gov/babynet/site-page/children-and-families
(877) 621-0865
Regional Contact Information: https://msp.scdhhs.gov/babynet/site-page/local-contact-information

SOUTH DAKOTA
South Dakota Birth to Three
Department of Education
http://doe.sd.gov/oess/Birthto3.aspx
(605) 773-3678

TENNESSEE
Tennessee’s Early Intervention System (TEIS)
Department of Education
www.tennessee.gov/education/topic/tennessee-early-intervention-system-teis
(615) 741-9873
(800) 852-7157

TEXAS
Texas Early Childhood Intervention Services
Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services
https://hhs.texas.gov/services/disability/early-childhood-intervention-services
1-877-787-8999, select a language, then select Option 3
UTAH
Baby Watch Early Intervention Program
Utah Department of Health Bureau of Child Development
http://www.utahbabywatch.org/
(800) 961-4226

VERMONT
Early Intervention Services for Infants and Toddlers
Vermont Department for Children and Families
http://dcf.vermont.gov/cdd/cis/IDEA_Part_C_early_intervention
(800) 649-2642
Regional Contact Information: http://dcf.vermont.gov/cdd/cis/contacts

VIRGINIA
Infant and Toddler Connection of Virginia
Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services
http://www.infantva.org/
(800) 234-1448

WASHINGTON
Early Support for Infants and Toddlers (ESIT)
Washington State Department of Early Learning
http://del.wa.gov/development/esit/
(800) 322-2588
Contact Information Directory: http://del.wa.gov/publications/esit/docs/ContactsDirectory.pdf

WEST VIRGINIA
West Virginia Birth to Three
Department of Health and Human Resources
www.wvdhhr.org/birth23/
(304) 558-5388

WISCONSIN
Birth to 3 Program
Wisconsin Department of Health Services
www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/children/birthto3/
(800) 642-7837
County Contact Information: www.dhs.wisconsin.gov/children/birthto3/contacts/familycountycontacts.asp

WYOMING
Early Intervention and Education Unit
Wyoming Department of Health
www.health.wyo.gov/ddd/earlychildhood
(307) 777-7115

 

** Resource list adapted from Autism Speaks