PO Box 1437, Slot N505
Little Rock, AR 72203
Mission Statement: The main goal of the Early Childhood Program is to prepare developmentally delayed children to be able to function in a regular kindergarten class.
Overview: The Early Childhood Program, offered by DHS’ Division of Developmental Disabilities Services, serves preschool children until they are eligible for kindergarten. To qualify for this program, children must be intellectually disabled or have a condition similar to intellectual disability that requires similar services, such as traumatic brain injury, cerebral palsy, epilepsy, or autism. Additionally, the services must be medically necessary for the child, prescribed by a doctor, and provided according to a written plan of care.
The program is available through Developmental Day Treatment Clinic Service providers (DDTCSs) across the state. There are currently fifty-two providers licensed to offer these services. The programs employ certified Special Education P-4 teachers and comply with all ADE requirements for educational services. The curriculum is designed to promote the child’s growth in a safe, nurturing, and individualized environment. The following services are included:
- Diagnosis and evaluation
- Habilitation: Instruction in areas of self-help, socialization, communication, and similar functions, which helps the child develop, retain, or improve his or her skills related to ability to live in the community.
- Therapeutic services including physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy are offered as needed.
During the program a team, which consists of the child’s family, creates a written, individualized plan containing a description of treatment goals for the child, including:
- Treatment regimen of the specific medical and remedial services, therapies and activities that will be used to meet treatment goals
- Schedule, including how many of each type of therapy or training session will occur, as well as how often and how long the planned sessions will be
- Who will provide the services
- Projected schedule for reevaluating the child’s condition and updating the plan of care
If at the end of the treatment plan the child is not ready for kindergarten, the child can remain in special education longer.
Age Groups Served: 0-4
Diagnoses Served: Autism, Asperger’s, Autism Spectrum Disorder; Cerebral palsy; Developmental delay; Epilepsy; Intellectual delay or disability; Neurological impairment; Traumatic brain injury
Geographic Areas Served: ALL counties in Arkansas.