Family Resources

Header says Families. It has 3 pictures of different families and children enrolled in TEIS.

Tennessee Early Intervention System (TEIS) is a voluntary program that offers therapy and other services to infants and young children with developmental delays or disabilities. Referrals are accepted for children up to the age of three, but eligible children enrolled in TEIS may choose to stay in services through the start of the school year after they turn five.   

Early intervention helps children with disabilities or developmental delays become more social, gain independence and reach their optimal development. Each state has an early intervention program as outlined in the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA).  

Children reach milestones in how they play, learn, speak, behave, and move.  Developmental milestones give an idea of what to expect as a child gets older. 

Parents know their child best. If the child is not meeting the milestones for their age, or if the parents think there could be a problem with the child’s development, they should discuss their concerns with their child’s doctor.    

Learn more about Developmental Milestones and Monitoring here:

Early intervention services are available to infants and young children who show a developmental delay OR have a disability. 

In Tennessee, a child might be eligible for TEIS if: 

  • The child has received a diagnosis from the list on the TEIS Eligibility Information webpage. 
  • The child meets the prematurity guidelines outlined on the TEIS Eligibility Information webpage. 
  • The child’s evaluation shows a 25% delay in two developmental areas or a 40% delay in one area. 

Anyone can make a referral even if they are not sure if the child has a delay or disability. Children are evaluated by an Eligibility Evaluation Agency. They will also review medical records. 

TEIS is available whether a child has Medicaid and/or private insurance. 

If a child is determined eligible for TEIS, families will receive services at no cost. Eligibility evaluations and coordination of services are also provided at no cost.  

The program is supported through state and federal funds, Medicaid, and private insurance. If services are recommended, the service coordinator may discuss consent with the family to access their child’s insurance. 

Click here to view our System of Payments Policy. Also available in Arabic, and Spanish.

  1. The TEIS statewide referral team will receive and process the referral. 
  2. An Eligibility Evaluation Agency will contact the family to set up the child's eligibility evaluation. 
  3. If not already provided, TEIS will contact the child's doctor to request medical records.  

If a child is eligible for TEIS and a family decides to continue with services, they will be assigned a TEIS Service Coordinator.  

A TEIS Service Coordinator will schedule a meeting with the family to develop a plan to include services and supports specific to the child and family. This plan is called an Individualized Family Support Plan (IFSP).

Services focus on showing caregivers ways they can support their child's development within their daily routines.  

Before a child turns 3, the TEIS Service Coordinator will support the family in planning for transition.  

The local school district will evaluate the child for eligibility for special education services in the local school district. 

 If a child is not eligible for school district special education services, the child will exit early intervention services. The Service Coordinator will provide the family with resources within their community and additional options. 

If  the child is found eligible for school district special education services, the family will have the following options:​ 

  • TEIS Extended Option​
  • Special education services in the local school district​ 
  • Choose to end all services 

Click here to learn more about the TEIS Extended Option.

Every child must first be determined eligible for TEIS before any service decisions are made. If your child is not eligible, TEIS and your doctor can help find alternative options that may utilize your child’s health plan.  

The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) is a law that makes available free, appropriate public education to eligible children with disabilities throughout the nation and ensures special education and related services to those children.

The IDEA governs how states and public agencies provide early intervention, special education, and related services to eligible infants, toddlers, children, and youth with disabilities.

Tennessee Early Intervention System (TEIS) is governed by Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). 

Click here to visit the IDEA website.

Overview of Rights

Families involved in TEIS have rights under the federal law to protect them. Families must be informed of these rights throughout their time receiving TEIS services so they can have an active role in the services provided to their family.

Click here to view the TEIS Rights Brochure in English, Spanish, or Arabic.

The course below provides Tennessee Early Intervention System (TEIS) staff, Early Intervention Service Providers, and families with information on the TEIS Rights brochure. It also includes a description of how to explain the brochure to parents and guardians (10 minutes).

Overview of the TEIS Rights Brochure

DIDD Privacy Practices

When families apply for services, they provide certain information about themselves and their child such as their name and where they live.

We may also have facts like:

  • Your health services and supports
  • Eligibility information supporting your request for services
  • The Individualized Family Support Plan (IFSP) which describes your services and supports
  • Medical notes or records from your doctor, drugstore, hospital, or therapist

Typically, we share health facts with providers so each family can receive the supports and services they need. When families agree to receive services, they may not give permission to share health facts with everyone at that time. This means that sometimes the department will need a parent/guardian’s written permission to share the information.

Families can learn more by reviewing the DIDD Privacy Practices brochure.

Complaint Resolution

A family participating in TEIS has specific rights to resolve disagreements related to their experience in early intervention.

Click here to learn more about complaint resolution.


Tell Me About TEIS

Learn about TEIS services and how to make a referral in the training linked below.

Lunch & Learns

The TEIS Lunch and Learn series provides educational opportunities to families, providers, and anyone interested in learning more about TEIS and other topics centered around children’s development.

Click here to watch Lunch & Learns for families.


TRIAD Trainings

Through a collaboration between TRIAD and Tennessee Early Intervention System (TEIS), TRIAD’s Evaluation Support Team provides training and consultation to qualifying families of children and professional development opportunities, including webinars, topic-focused series, and coaching are also available for early intervention providers.

Click here to register for an account. Once registered, log in and click on the link for Early Intervention Services.

Click here to watch the recordings of webinars and register for upcoming webinars.

Mock Transition Planning Conference (TPC)

The audience will view a mock Transition Planning Conference (TPC) presented by members of the Staff and Provider Engagement Team. This training was developed to help Service Coordinators prepare for and conduct a TPC.  

TEIS Extended Option

Tennessee Early Intervention System (TEIS) now serves eligible infants and toddlers with disabilities or developmental delays from birth until the start of the school year following the child’s 4th birthday. 

The TEIS Extended Option was implemented on October 15, 2022. Previously, Tennessee Early Intervention System (TEIS) served eligible infants and toddlers with disabilities or developmental delays from birth to age 3. Governor Bill Lee proposed extending TEIS to serve children past their 3rd birthday. Both the Tennessee General Assembly and the U.S. Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) approved this proposal.  This means families of children who are eligible for IDEA Part B services will have the choice to continue with TEIS services until the start of the school year following the child’s 4th birthday. This extension offers families an additional option to consider as they help their children develop and prepare for school.

Click here for more information on the TEIS Extended Option.

Helpful Highlights:

TEIS Extended Option - What Families Need to Know - in Arabic, in Spanish

TEIS Pathway

Lunch & Learn for Families: TEIS Extended Option


Steps to Success

A practical guide to transition for parents in Tennessee’s Early Intervention System (TEIS).

Click here to view the Steps to Success brochure.


SEA LEA Opt Out Form

Per the federal Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) regulations, notification of children’s transition is shared by the TEIS central office with the state education agency (SEA), which is Tennessee Department of Education (TDOE) and the local education agency (LEA) between nine months and 90 days prior to the child's third birthday.

Notification information includes contact information for the child and family so that the LEA can make preparations for children who may be potentially eligible for part B preschool special education services and to help families and children with the transition between early intervention and preschool services.

If you do not wish for this notification to be shared with the SEA and LEA, you must complete and sign the SEA LEA Opt Out form and return it to your child’s service coordinator at least ten months before your child’s third birthday. Families who have previously opted out of notification to LEA/SEA may opt back in via written request.

Click here to view the SEA LEA Opt Out Form.


TNSTEP is a statewide organization that supports families of children and youth with disabilities from ages 3 to 26 by providing parent training, the latest and most relevant information and resources, and other supports to those navigating special education in Tennessee. TNSTEP believes that parents and caregivers are their children’s best advocates, that youth with disabilities should be self-advocates, and that no family should have to walk the path alone. More information can be found at

Family Engagement in Special Education (Arc of TN)

Family Engagement in Special Education is a collaborative project of The Arc Tennessee and the Tennessee Department of Education.

They help to empower parents and caregivers and increase family engagement in Special Education. This group consists of a team of individuals with background experiences as educators, mental health professionals, parents, caregivers of individuals with disabilities, and disability-related fields. The family engagement team members can provide knowledge and support from an educator and parent perspective. You can think of them as the bridge that connects your family to your school in a variety of ways.

Find success in your Special Education experience. Visit

TEIS uses the Battelle Developmental Inventory, 3rd edition (BDI-3) for eligibility, ongoing assessment, and federal Early Childhood Outcomes (ECO) data reporting.

TEIS Evaluation & Assessment - What Families Need to Know

A directory of services offered across the state of Tennessee including, advocacy, basic needs, communication, direct care, housing/homelessness to name a few of the topics.

Join a community of like-minded individuals passionate about early intervention. Access exclusive content and insider knowledge. Stay steps ahead in the field by tapping into the wealth of information shared by guests.

Join Alison and Stacy as they feature the insight of professionals, expert educators and those with lived experiences from around the country speaking on topics relevant to families and children within the community of the blind and visually disabled. Please stay tuned for scheduled events below and register to attend or follow BEST Together podcast to listen to past and future episodes.

Visit the link below to learn about developmental milestone information for children birth through age 5, and how these can apply to academic-based learning.

Visit the links below to learn about developmental milestones and other developmental information from birth to age 5, in multiple languages including English, Spanish, and Arabic.

This program assists parents in finding childcare placement for their children, as well as support and information for classroom teachers and early interventionists on working with children with special needs in the classroom.

Learn about the signs of a possible hearing loss or speech/language delay from ASHA, the professional organization for speech language pathologists.

Visit the link below for strategies and information on addressing communication concerns with children under age 5.

Tennessee specific resources for parents and professionals to explore resources for health, education, and resources and support as needed. 


Zero to Three provides parents and providers knowledge to support children from birth to 3 years old, from education and special education, to equity and inclusion, to nurture our youngest children.  

Pathways provides evidence-based resources for parents and providers to support child development with handouts, videos, and more.

Tennessee Down Syndrome Associations: 

Down Syndrome adapted milestones 

Parent resource information 

Down Syndrome Guide for Parents

Down Syndrome Guide for Doctors

Tri-Starts is our newsletter that is distributed on the 1st and 15th every month. It includes updates, stories, and other information about DIDD's Tennessee Early Intervention System (TEIS).

Click the following link to subscribe:

Resources Shared in Tri-Starts:

Refer a child to TEIS

You may make a referral to TEIS by completing our online referral form or by calling (800) 852-7157. The referral form can also be found in the MyTN app, available on your app store.

Contact Our Referral Team


Please be prepared to provide the child’s name, date of birth, county of residence, parent information (if someone other than the parent calls), and reason for referral.

Email: (note the underscore between “TEIS” and “Referrals”)
Phone: (800) 852-7157
Fax: 615-401-7714