Oftentimes, parents or guardians of children with disabilities incur additional expenses, which can put a strain on the wallets of families just trying to do what is best for their child.

Indiana First Steps is the state’s early intervention system, which works to ensure all Indiana families with infants and toddlers experiencing developmental delays or disabilities have access to services like medical care, counseling, speech and physical therapy and more. Through First Steps, young Hoosiers with disabilities are provided the tools and support needed to more easily navigate their world and prepare them to live more independently today and in the future.

Families with children ages 3 and under who are experiencing developmental delays or have a diagnosed condition that has a high probability of resulting in developmental delay may be eligible for First Steps services. Families who qualify for Medicaid, the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program or the Temporary Assistance for Needy Families program will be considered eligible for First Steps services, without having to go through additional application processes.

Under a new law passed this year, the Division of Disability and Rehabilitative Services will review and revise their policy regarding make-up therapy sessions. Families will now be able to make up missed appointments, ensuring their child is not missing out on important care. Lawmakers also worked to streamline the application process for First Steps and the new two-year state budget doubled funding available for the program, helping more Hoosier children get the care they need.

These changes are just a few of the ways House Republicans continue to support young Hoosiers with disabilities and their families.

For more information on the First Steps program, visit the Indiana Family and Social Services Administration at www.in.gov/fssa.