Early Intervention Services

Nicollet County Public Health provides assistance to Nicollet County  families having special concerns with their child’s growth and development. A team consisting of a public health nurse, social worker, teachers, and rehabilitation specialists coordinate services.

Guidelines
Growing up isn’t easy and some children may have special needs. The following are guidelines that may help identify a child with needs.

Seeing
If your child:
  • Is often unable to locate and pick up small objects which were dropped
  • Frequently rubs eyes or complains that eyes hurt
  • Has reddened, watering or encrusted eyelids
  • Holds head in a strained or awkward position (tilts head to either side – thrusts head forward or backward) when trying to look at a particular person or object
  • Sometimes or always crosses one or both eyes
Talking
If your child:
  • Cannot say “Mama” and “Da-da” by age 1.
  • Cannot say the names of a few toys and people by age 18 months.
  • Is not talking in 2 or 3-word sentences by age 2.
  • Is not understood by people outside the family by age 4.
Playing
If your child does not:
  • Play games such as peek-a-boo, patty cake, and waving bye-bye by age 1
  • Imitate parents doing routing household chores by age 2 to 3
  • Enjoy playing alone with toys, pots/pans, or sand by age 3
  • Play group games as hide-and-seek, tag-ball, etc. with other children by age 4
  • Share and take turns by age 5
Thinking
If your child:
  • Does not react to his/her own name when called by age 1.
  • Is unable to identify hair, eyes, ears, nose and mouth by pointing to them by age 2.
  • Does not understand simple stories told or read by age 3.
  • Does not give logical answers to questions as “What do you do when you are sleepy?” or “What do you do when you are hungry?” by age 4.
Behaving
If your child:
  • Does not actively assist in learning self-help skills
  • Uses play materials inappropriately (throws, stamps on)
  • Usually doesn’t comply with adult’s requests
  • Displays excessive behaviors such as hitting, crying, temper tantrums, withdrawal, wetting or soiling pants
Hearing
If your child:
  • Does not turn to face the source of strange sounds or voices by 6 months of age
  • Has frequent ear infections
  • Does not respond when you call from another room
  • Turns the same ear toward a sound he/she wishes to hear
Moving
If your child:
  • Is unable to sit up without support by age 8 months
  • Cannot walk without help by age 16 months
  • Does not walk up and down steps by age 2 ½
  • Is unable to balance on 1 foot for a short time by age 4
  • Cannot throw a ball overhand and catch a large ball bounced to him/her by age 4
For More Information
To obtain more information, call Nicollet County Public Health at 507-934-7220. You may also visit the Minnesota Department of Health website for additional resources.