Early Intervention

The Center offers a comprehensive array of highly specialized educational  and therapy services for eligible children and their families from diagnosis until 36 months of age. Parents and other caregivers receive guidance on how to meet the child’s needs throughout their daily routines through assessment, demonstration of activities and recommendations for adaptations in the child’s environment. All services are offered at home and other community sites, such as day care centers. Families are provided assistance with transition into preschool services in their local school district when their child turns three years.

Our professional staff include teachers of the visually impaired, orientation & mobility specialists, and occupational, physical and speech therapists. Because vision impacts all areas of development, therapy professionals from the center have been specifically trained to work with children with vision loss. We believe that a coordinated team approach, when more than one service is recommended, results in improved quality of care.

Assessments and direct services include:

  • Functional Vision Assessment
    A teacher who is certified in visual impairments works with and observes the children using a variety of specialized toys and lighting to determine how the child uses their vision and how they compensate for their visual impairment.
  • Educational Services
    Parents learn how to help their children use their residual vision to the fullest potential for learning as well as develop skills through other senses to compensate for their vision limitations.
  • Orientation and Mobility Services
    Once a child begins to move and walk, orientation and mobility specialists are available to conduct an evaluation and services.   Their role is to teach children to orient and understand where they are in space and to move safely from place to place.
  • Occupational Therapy Services 
    An occupational therapist addresses children’s feeding and self-help skills, their ability to process a variety of sensory information, the use of their hands and small muscles.
  • Physical Therapy Services 
    A physical therapist addresses children’s ability to use bigger muscle groups to perform skills like sitting, crawling, standing and walking. They can also  assist with specialized positioning equipment.
  • Speech and Language Therapy Services
    A speech and language pathologist addresses feeding skills, a child’s ability to communicate, and to understand the communication of others.

Our families tell us that creating opportunities for connections with other families for learning and sharing is important. For that reason, we offer group learning opportunities just for families with young children:

  • Buddy Builders: A Sense-able Play Group for Parents and Tots
    Parent-child classes are offered as a drop in class designed for families to come when they can. Classes meet weekly at the Center. Classes are action packed, with music therapy, different lighting and toy adaptations, and specialized activities. Additionally, parents also attend a parent meeting where they can share common concerns and resolutions and connect with each other.
  • Low Vision Evaluations
    A low vision evaluation provides an assessment of how the visual system is functioning for a particular child.

    • what a child can see (“visual acuity”)
    • where they can see it (“visual field”)
    • how robust his or her image might be (“contrast”)

A low vision evaluation will provide critical information on the child’s specific capabilities and limitations to parents, teachers, and other early intervention providers in order to develop educational strategies, including environmental modifications and suggestions for magnification.

  • Parent Universities
    These are short term parent meetings, usually one to three sessions, on a specific topic. Topics range from common eye conditions to issues pertaining to young children, such as feeding, behavior challenges or transition to preschool.

Check out this video of our Early Intervention Program!


Getting Started

A federal law requires that states provide early intervention services to eligible children, birth to 36 months. That law is the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (or IDEA), and services to infants and toddlers is Part C of IDEA. The following steps will assist you in getting started with services:

  • Request an application for the early intervention program in your state. Complete and return that application. You will be assigned to a service coordinator, who can assist in determining your child’s eligibility for the program and in identifying your and your child’s needs as well as identifying community resources which can address those needs.
  • Illinois Families:
    Child and Family Connections
    Phone Numbers: 888-594-8364 or 618-624-3399
    Statewide Voice: 1-800-323-GROW
    Child & Family Connections Website
  • Missouri Families:
    Missouri First Steps Program
    Phone Number:  St. Louis Office: 314-453-9203
  • First Steps Website
  • Enroll for services through the Center. The center requires each family to complete an admission form and sign a release form to provide authorization for the Center to request a physicians report indicating that your child has a visual impairment.

The Delta Gamma Center provides these individualized services consistent with the philosophy and regulations of the Individual with Disabilities Act (IDEA). Professional staff are certified, licensed and credentialed with the early intervention systems for the States of Missouri and Illinois. For more information on early intervention and IDEA click here.

Early Intervention Admission Form

Please please call 314-776-1300 for questions and information on forms.