Bailey, D. B., Scarborough, A., & Hebbeler, K. (2003). National Early Intervention Longitudinal Study (NEILS): Families’ first experiences with early intervention. Menlo Park, CA: SRI International. Retrieved February, 1, 2004.
For more than 20 years, federal law has recognized the importance of providing early intervention (EI) services to infants and toddlers with disabilities and their families. State systems to serve this population have been established and refined since the federal grant program and its accompanying requirements governing EI were created in 1986. Every state provides EI services, although the states differ in regard to a number of dimensions, including the lead agency that administers the program, the constellation and organization of local programs that provide services, and how services are funded. This report examines families’ initial experiences with obtaining early intervention services. It is based on data from the National Early Intervention Longitudinal Study (NEILS). Funded by the U.S. Department of Education, NEILS is following a nationally representative sample of 3,338 infants and toddlers and their families from the time they enter early intervention until they complete kindergarten.