Education - The Pre-School Years

Most children with spina bifida and/or hydrocephalus will qualify for early intervention services. These services are available for infants and toddlers from ages birth to five years old. 
Early intervention services look at five areas of your children's development: physical development; cognitive development; communication; social or emotional development; and adaptive development. If your child is having problems in any of these areas, he or she may receive services designed to help them reach their full potential.
Pre-school children do not have a specific right to education. However, they are entitled to certain health services which are related to education. The Health Service Executive is responsible for providing psychological services and speech and language therapy services for pre-school children with disabilities who are assessed as needing these services. Assessments of children under the age of 5 are carried out under the assessment of need provisions of the Disability Act 2005.
Support services are provided and the service you are referred to is dependent on which facilities are available in your county. Usually services will fall into one of the following providers:
Early Intervention Team
Referrals can be made through your Paediatrician, GPs, Public Health Nurse, SBHI Family Support Workers, or parents can also contact the Early Intervention Team directly. Contact your local HSE to see if there is an Early Intervention Team in your county. 
For further information visit: HSE
Enable Ireland
Service provisions in Enable Ireland vary from county to county but are usually serviced by a team which includes: physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech and language therapy, social work, clinical psychology, paediatrician, early education, and child care.
More information on services in specific areas by visiting: ENABLE
Primary, Community and Continuing Care (PCCC)
Children with disabilities are entitled to avail of the range of community care services. In many cases, they have priority in access to the services. This service is provided by the HSE in your local community.
For further information visit: HSE
Central Remedial Clinic (CRC)
The Central Remedial Clinic (CRC) provides a range of specialised services for children and adults with physical disabilities. Its facilities and services are available to people from all over Ireland.
CRC specialise in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of children and adults with a wide range of physical conditions. 
For further information on services in your community visit: CRC
Under 5's Assessment of Need
An independent assessment of need is an assessment of the full range of your child's needs associated with their disability. When the assessment is complete, a HSE Liaison Officer will prepare a service statement for you. The service statement will say what services and supports will be provided to your child and will be prepared within 1 month of the assessment being completed. You will receive your child's assessment report and service statement at the same time.
For further details: click here
What is a Multidisciplinary Team?
A Multidisciplinary Team is a group of professionals from diverse disciplines who work together, usually on an ongoing basis. 
Professionals often use the word 'discipline' to mean a 'field of study’, such as medicine, social work, or education. 
A Multidisciplinary Team could consist of GPs, Consultants, Social Workers, Physiotherapists, Clinic Nurse Specialists, Occupational Therapists, SBHI Family Support Worker, Parents/Guardians/Carers, Teachers, and any other professional who may be working with your child such as a Special Needs Assistant. 
The team works together to find the best solution to your child’s social, emotional, and physical needs.

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