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The Importance of Early Intervention

By Lisa Kraft, Director of Special Services

Early identification of developmental concerns in infants and toddlers can significantly improve outcomes for children, families, and communities. Early physical, social, and emotional development provides the foundation for language and cognitive skills. During the first three years of life, a child’s brain is the most flexible in their ability to learn and change. Therefore, early intervention is the most effective when provided earlier in life.

Help Me Grow Minnesota ( is a statewide system of collaboration to best identify infants and toddlers who are in need of early intervention services. The website also provides valuable information to families regarding developmental milestones. Physicians, hospitals, parents, childcare providers, public health, social service and others can refer a child to Help Me Grow. This referral is immediately forwarded to the appropriate school district. The district will contact the family to arrange for a screening or evaluation to determine if a child is eligible for infant and toddler intervention or preschool special education services.

Early Childhood Special Education (ECSE) for infants and toddlers in the Hutchinson Public Schools provides early intervention to children who show developmental delays in the areas of cognitive development, speech and language, motor skills, adaptive skills, vision or hearing loss, or social and emotional skills. Trained ECSE teachers and specialists work with the parents and the child to meet developmental and educational goals through an Individual Family Service Plan. These services are delivered to the child primarily in his or her home or place of childcare.

How To Make a Special Education Referral for an Infant or Toddler

If you have concerns about an infant or toddlers’ development or if your child was born with a significant medical condition you can make a referral. Visit the Help Me Grow Minnesota website ( and click on Refer a Child to complete the referral process. As well, a referral can be made directly to Hutchinson Public Schools Early Childhood Special Education Department at West Elementary by calling 234-2619. The ECSE team is ready to help you and your child work toward meeting developmental milestones. If you have any further questions about early childhood special education services in Hutchinson Public Schools please contact Lisa Kraft, Director of Special Services at 234-2618.


Hutchinson Public Schools

Hutchinson Public Schools