Early Intervention Parental Rights

Content provided by: UCP of New York City



If you have any questions or concerns about the early intervention services your child receives, it is important to know your rights.

As the parent you have the right to:

  • be involved in all stages of the early intervention process;
  • withhold or withdraw consent at any stage of the process;
  • examine and receive a copy of all records regarding your child and family;
  • request that changes be made to your child’s records if you feel uncomfortable;
  • receive explanations of screenings, evaluations, and services in your own language;
  • use due process procedures to settle differences;
  • consult an advocate or attorney at any stage of the process.

Resolving Disputes

You have a voice in determining your child’s course of treatment. There are steps that you can take if you think that your child isn’t receiving the services he or she needs.

Step 1: Ask for a mediation

A mediation is an informal process done by a trained person in helping people mediate disputes. Everyone involved meets in a room and explains their point of view. The mediator provides his or her suggestions as well. If the mediator can’t help you come to an agreement with your treatment team you can request an impartial hearing.

Step 2: Impartial Hearing

An impartial meeting is a more formal meeting where an impartial hearing officer will hear the issue and make a final decision as to the next steps. Procedures are different in each state but most states give you the option to have a meeting over the phone or in person.

Step 3: Systems Complaint

If you would like your state’s governing agency to look into the issue, you can ask them to conduct an investigation. The complaint won’t resolve any individual disputes, but it can assist if you think a process is flawed. Before making any complaints make sure you have your documents, someone may ask for them. Remember that your child’s records are confidential and can only be shared if you provide written permission.

Find Support

Connect with other parents about Early Intervention

Visit the My Child Without Limits support community and talk to parents, caregivers, and professionals about their experiences with early intervention.


Are you trying to find an early intervention program for your child?

My Child Without Limits Resource Locator
Start Here

National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center

National Child Care Information and Technical Assistance Center

Office of Head Start