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Early intervention, or EI, is a relatively new field within the broader early childhood education profession. Established by the United States Congress in 1986, EI focuses on addressing the unique needs of families of infants and toddlers with or at risk for disabilities, birth to age 2 years. EI programs and services are built on principles and practices that are evidence based from across multiple disciplines, including special education, speech and language, and physical therapy. EI practices are defined by family-centered, routines-based, and multidisciplinary approaches that are unique and adaptable to the changing needs of families and young children.

Over the last few decades, the number of families and their children who receive EI services in home- and community-based settings has increased. As society moves further ...

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