Tennessee Expands Early Intervention Services to School Age

Tennessee Becomes the First State in the Nation to Offer Full Extended Option for Children
Wednesday, October 04, 2023 | 12:33pm

NASHVILLE—The federal government has given its approval for Tennessee to become the first state to offer early intervention services to children until they reach school age.

The Tennessee Early Intervention System (TEIS) will give eligible families the option to receive services until the start of the school year following the child’s fifth birthday. This is the full age range allowed for early intervention services through Part C of the Individual with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).

“We’ve seen children across Tennessee make incredible strides in their development through early intervention services,” said Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD) Commissioner Brad Turner. “We are thrilled we can continue to lead the nation and take this opportunity to give families the support they need to help their children grow and prepare for school.”

TEIS is a voluntary program that offers therapy and other services to infants and young children with developmental delays or disabilities. It is provided to children and families at no cost. TEIS provided services to approximately 17,990 children in fiscal year 2023.

Last year, DIDD gave families the option to extend services through the TEIS Extended Option until the start of the school year following a child’s fourth birthday. This new federal approval extends the length of time for an additional year.

Hundreds of families have chosen the TEIS Extended Option since it started last October.

Learn more about TEIS here: https://www.tn.gov/didd/for-consumers/tennessee-early-intervention-system-teis.html


About the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

The Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD) is the state agency responsible for oversight of services and support to Tennesseans with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Every day, the department strives to support approximately 12,000 people to live rewarding and fulfilling lives through Medicaid waiver Home and Community Based Services (HCBS), state operated ICF/IIDs, and the Family Support Program. DIDD also provides services to children ages birth up to age three with disabilities or developmental delays through the Tennessee Early Intervention System (TEIS), and children under the age of 18 with disabilities or complex medical needs through the Katie Beckett Program. The department supports all Tennesseans with intellectual and developmental disabilities live the lives they envision for themselves by ensuring people are free to exercise rights, engage with their broader communities and experience optimal health. DIDD is the first state service delivery system in the nation to receive Person-Centered Excellence Accreditation from the Council on Quality and Leadership. It has also been recognized as a national leader in its efforts to increase competitive, community-based employment outcomes for people with disabilities and its commitment to enhancing independence through Enabling Technology.