Questions from the Field: Eligibility Determination

The Department staff have received numerous questions in various topic areas. In addition to the information in the EI Policy Manual please see the following responses.

Q: Is it acceptable to utilize the results of the Battelle Developmental Inventory–2 for an out of state referral?

A: The EIOS require the eligibility evaluation to be completed by a multidisciplinary team in a MA certified EIP. If the EIP can provide the Department with a compelling reason for not re-evaluating the child, i.e. the age of the child; multiple evaluations, etc. then they should re-evaluate. The decision would be at the Department level based on the review and recommendation/suggestion of the local program. Please contact your Regional Specialist to further discuss out of state referrals and the use of the Battelle.

Q: If a child is determined eligible for a year and mid year receives a diagnosis on the DPH Established Conditions List, such as autism, is it necessary to update the information in EIIS? If the child is eligible for three years is the Battelle required to be administered annually?

A: A child determined eligible by delay is eligible for one year. If that child receives a diagnosis mid-year that is on the DPH Established Conditions list the program should re-evaluate for eligibility at the annual eligibility determination, and enter the diagnosis in EIIS. A Battelle would be administered for ongoing program planning purposes and federal outcomes reporting. The program has the option to do on-going assessment using other tools besides the BDI-2. Programs must submit the EIIS ASD form if the child is diagnosed with ASD.

Q: We have a referral for a 2yr. old with a cleft palate that was repaired at 8 mos. He is not eligible based on the Battelle. Is he eligible for one year under a cleft palate diagnosis?

A: An asterisked condition may be used in determining initial eligibility and would require eligibility to be re-determined through an evaluation by a multidisciplinary team on an annual basis with parental consent. So technically the child could come in for a year based on the diagnosis. However, the evaluation team should utilize their informed clinical opinion to determine based on the result of the Battelle and the child’s level of functioning as to whether early intervention is needed. Oftentimes after a cleft is repaired there are still qualitative issues about speech/language, so the program would have a choice using their clinical skills and informed clinical opinion if the child does not present with a delay as to whether to bring the child in under a dx. condition (1 year eligibility) or clinical judgment (6 months).