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Journal Article  January 1, 2000

A Framework for Describing Variations in State Early Intervention Systems

SRI Authors Kathleen M. Hebbeler



Spiker, D., Hebbeler, K., Wagner, M., Cameto, R., & McKenna, P. (2000). A framework for describing variations in state early intervention systems. Topics in Early Childhood Special Education, 20(4), 195-207.


As part of the National Early Intervention Longitudinal Study, information about the early intervention service systems in the 20 participating states was gathered. This article organizes this information into dimensions of a framework for describing early intervention systems at the state and local levels. Information collected indicates that considerable variation exists on all dimensions of the framework. Descriptive information is presented about how local jurisdictions are defined, eligibility criteria, what agencies are involved in early intervention, and models of intake and of service coordination, including vignettes for selected states. Research on the significance of this variation for how families experience early intervention is needed if better systems are to be implemented. Frameworks for describing early intervention systems are a necessary first step to this line of research. Future analyses from this study will look at the relationship between early intervention systems, services provided, and outcomes achieved.

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