SoonerStart Early Intervention Program
Special Education Services Division
Oklahoma State Department of Education
SoonerStart is Oklahoma’s early intervention program for families of infants and toddlers, birth to 36 months who have developmental delays, disabilities or both. SoonerStart was established under Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). SoonerStart offers services families may need to promote healthy development in their child. SoonerStart can provide developmental screenings, evaluation, assessment, and early intervention. The SoonerStart program provides case management, evaluation, AT devices and services.
Mark Sharp, Exe. Director
SoonerStart Early Intervention
Oklahoma State Dept. of Ed.
2500 N Lincoln, Rm 510
Oklahoma City, OK 73105
FAX: (405) 522-1590
Service Provision Agency:
John Corpolongo, Chief
SoonerStart Early Intervention
Oklahoma State Dept. of Health
1000 NE 10th, Rm 803
Oklahoma City, OK 73117
(405) 271-9444 ext. 56806
FAX: (405) 271-4419
Sharon House, Exe. Director
Oklahoma Parents Center, Inc.
P.O. Box 512
Holdenville, OK 74848
(877) 553-4332 (V/TDD)
FAX: (405) 379-0022
Jo Anne Pool Blades, Program Manager
Special Education Resolution
9726 E 42nd Street, Ste 203
Tulsa, OK 74146
(888) 267-0028 (toll free)
Fax: (918) 270-2062
Allyson Robinson, SLP, AT Specialist
Oklahoma ABLE Tech
1514 W Hall of Fame
Stillwater, OK 74078-2026
FAX: (405) 744-2487
See Appendix B for SoonerStart Early Intervention Offices.
- Infants and toddlers birth through 36 months of age who:
- exhibit a delay in their developmental age compared to their chronological age of 50% in one, or 25% in two or more of the following areas: cognitive, physical, communication social/emotional, or adaptive development; or
- have a diagnosed physical or mental condition that has a high probability of resulting in delay. This includes, but is not limited to: chromosomal disorders, neurological abnormalities, inborn errors of metabolism, genetic disorders, congenital malformations of the brain, congenital infections, sensory abnormalities, impairments, or identified syndromes.
AT SERVICES PROVIDED/COVERED
- Assessments & Evaluations
- Locating Alternate Funding
- Case Management
- Training for Consumer & Family
- Information & Referral
- Fabrication of Devices
- Maintenance & Repairs
AT DEVICES PROVIDED/COVERED
- Aids for Daily Living
- Speech Communication
- Aids for Hearing Impaired
- Mobility/Seating & Positioning
- Aids for Vision Impaired
- Recreation & Leisure Devices
- Families should contact the Oklahoma State Department of Education, Special Education Services at (405) 521-3351 and ask for the phone number to your local SoonerStart office or see Appendix B for the local SoonerStart office.
- Within two days of receiving a referral, the Early Intervention Unit assigns a resource coordinator to provide case management services to the family. The resource coordinator provides families with information about their rights, available services & other resources. The resource coordinator also notifies the appropriate SoonerStart service provider to arrange for clinical intake & developmental/health screenings as needed.
- After the completion of appropriate multidisciplinary evaluations, a meeting is held to determine eligibility and needs for service provision.
- If the child is determined eligible, an Individualized Family Service Plan (IFSP) is developed.
- Informal Process: Families should go back to the Early Intervention Coordinator with concerns about services and ask for a meeting to work out the request through local procedures to expedite resolution of the problem. However, families have the right to go through the formal process, in addition to, or in lieu of, the informal process.
- Formal Process: Complaints must be written and include:
- how SoonerStart has violated a requirement under Part C of IDEA;
- the basic facts which lead to the belief that the law has been violated;
- complaints pertaining to a specific child with a disability that include the child’s name, date of birth, and current IFSP; and
- the signature of person(s) filing the complaint.
- Upon receipt of a complaint or request for a due process hearing, the Early Intervention Unit will offer mediation within five working days of receiving the complaint or hearing request. A request for a due process hearing must be in writing, signed, and addressed to the Oklahoma State Department of Education (Attention: SoonerStart Early Intervention Program), 2500 N Lincoln Boulevard, Ste 510, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma 73105-4599.
- The Oklahoma Parents Center is available to provide information on federal and state laws regarding the provision of early intervention services, and parent rights and responsibilities to all eligible infants and toddlers and their families.
PIECES OF THE PUZZLE
- There is no direct cost to families for early intervention services, regardless of the family’s income.
- SoonerStart is a joint effort of the Oklahoma Departments of: Education, Health, Human Services, Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services, Health Care Authority and the Commission on Children and Youth. Its lead agency is the Oklahoma State Department of Education.
- The IFSP is a coordinated plan of service based on the identified needs of the individual child and family. The IFSP is jointly developed by the family and appropriate early intervention personnel.
- The early intervention services identified in the IFSP may include assistive technology devices that are used to increase, maintain or improve the functional capabilities of children with disabilities.
- AT devices provided by SoonerStart remains the property of the program.
- AT devices are available for demonstration to help families and caregivers decide if one or more AT devices will meet the child’s needs. Many devices are provided for demonstration and short-term loan purposes by ABLE Tech.
- For children that may be eligible for IDEA Part B services, at least 90 days before the child’s third birthday, a meeting to ensure a smooth transition from SoonerStart to the preschool program under Part B of IDEA will be held. If the child is eligible for special education services, any needs for AT will be addressed by the Individual Education Plan (IEP). (See Page 64, Special Education Services Division).