The Children's Developmental Services Agency (CDSA) is a regional early intervention center for infants and toddlers with developmental disabilities or delays. If offers evaluation, treatment, service coordination, and consultation services to families of children birth to 36 months of age who live in Forsyth, Davidson, Davie, Stokes, Surry and Yadkin Counties.
Providing Early Intervention Support and Services to Families
The CDSA is the lead agency for the Early Intervention Infant-Toddler Program in North Carolina. The Infant-Toddler Program offers early intervention services for children birth through 36 months of age with a developmental delay or disorder. The Infant-Toddler Program delivers services outlined in federal law (individuals with disabilities education act or IDEA, part C).
To promote the importance of families in guiding the services of children with special needs, the North Carolina Infant-Toddler Program believes that:
- A child develops best if viewed first as a child, rather than as a child with special needs.
- Children and families grow and develop, so services should change to meet their needs and choices.
- As children are best supported within the family, the family is best supported within the community.
- Children with special needs are best served in settings that are used by all children.
- Family beliefs and values are important, as is the cultural (religious, ethnic, and racial) background of the family.
- Teamwork among families and service providers guides services.
The Winston-Salem CDSA approach to early intervention services emphasizes collaboration with the family. Each child enrolled in the program has an individualized family service plan (IFSP) that outlines and describes the needs of the child and family, based on the family's priorities.
The CDSA seeks to provide families with educational, emotional, therapeutic and financial support, in order to help each child achieve his or her maximum potential, and to help families with caring for their child.
Since families have the most contact with and are the greatest influence on their young children, we focus on building capacity for the family to learn to help their child. Our professionals serve as coaches and consultants to families, in promoting development.
Some of the services offered by the Winston-Salem CDSA include:
- Service Coordination
- Physical, occupational and speech-language therapies
- Family support
- Special instruction
- Assistive technology
- Other services
Services are provided within the child’s natural environment as a part of the everyday routines and activities in which families participate and in places where families would typically be. Natural environments are settings that are natural or normal for the child’s age peers who have no disabilities. When services take place children can be at home with their families or at places within the community like the park, playground or daycare with other care providers
There are 2 eligibility categories in the CDSA Infant-Toddler Program for children from birth to 36 months:
- Developmental delay
- Established conditions
The Infant-Toddler Program was designed for children who show delayed development or who have a diagnosed mental or physical condition that has a high probability of resulting in developmental delay. To qualify in either eligibility category, there must be an identified condition(s) and the need for developmental, therapeutic, or educational intervention.
For more information about early intervention and eligibility criteria in NC visit North Carolina Infant-Toddler Program.
All Evaluations are at No Cost to Families
This may include testing/assessment in:
- Social work
- Physical, occupational and speech therapies
- Overall developmental testing
Service Coordination is at No Cost to Families
Early intervention service coordination to assist families in identifying needs, finding resources, and setting family goals.
An individualized family service plan developed by the family and service team details support services and activities designed to promote child development and support the family. Costs for therapy services are based on a state sliding fee scale.
CDSA bills insurance, Medicaid and all other available third-party resources. Families of children covered by Medicaid are not billed for services.
Our Vision and Mission
Our vision for families and caregivers of children enrolled in our program is that they will be able to help their children reach their maximum potential.
Our mission is to provide supports and services to families and children to help them be successful in their homes and communities, by using every-day learning opportunities. We will respect the diversity of families and use evidence-based practices to guide our work.
Anyone may refer a child for evaluations and early intervention services. If a family member, doctor or other care provider feels that a child under 3 may qualify for early intervention services, referral can be made to the Winston-Salem CDSA. Referrals may be phoned to 336-713-7412 or faxed to 336-713-7030.
The Winston-Salem CDSA staff consists of clinical, business and support professionals necessary to serve more than 1,200 children in 6 counties each year:
- Developmental-behavioral pediatricians
- Social workers
- Speech-language pathologists
- Occupational therapists
- Physical therapists
- Education specialists
- Early child development specialists
- Service coordinators
- Business office and billing specialists
- Quality assurance, medical records and intake coordinators
- Administrative, information services and other support staff
Frequently Asked Questions
Evaluations, screenings and service coordination are at no cost to all families. Some services, such as occupational therapy, physical therapy and speech-language therapy, may have family costs based on a state sliding fee scale that takes family size and income into consideration. There are no costs to families for any services for children covered by Medicaid. Some costs may be covered by a family's private insurance.
Early intervention is designed to help both children and families. There is extensive literature showing that early intervention is effective in helping children with disabilities and their families. See, for example,
- NEILS Home
- The National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center
- KidSource Online
Early intervention for infants and toddlers takes a family-centered approach. Families are free to pursue or decline any supports or services offered, and to proceed with early intervention at their own pace. All supports and services are based on the family's priorities and needs. CDSA staff work collaboratively with families to help clarify and prioritize outcomes, interventions and strategies. As professional interventionists, we strive to help families with educational, emotional and financial supports, and to help parents and other caregivers best promote their child's development.
By law, early intervention services are delivered, to the maximum extent appropriate, in natural environments including the home and community settings in which children without disabilities participate. Some services, such as hearing and other evaluations, may be provided in a clinic setting.