Who Is Eligibile

I. California Early Start Program:

Birth to Age 3 Years:
  • Residence in San Diego or Imperial County.
  • No financial qualifications.
  • Developmental delay in one or more of these five areas: Cognitive; Communication; Social/Emotional; Physical; Adaptive.
  • Younger than 24 months – a 33% delay in one developmental area.
  • For 24 Months and Older – a 50% delay in one developmental area.
  • A 33% delay in 2 or more developmental areas.


  • If there is an established risk for developmental disability. Conditions known to cause delays in development (e.g. Down syndrome, Prader-Willi, Spina Bifida). Need not be demonstrating delays at time of referral.

II. San Diego Regional Center:

  • Residence in San Diego or Imperial County.
  • No financial qualifications.
  • Developmental disability:

1) Intellectual Disability – When a person has certain limitations in mental function and adaptive skills. The limitations will cause a child to learn and develop more slowly than a typical child.

2) Cerebral Palsy – Is a disorder that affects body movement and muscle coordination. It can be caused either when the brain does not develop properly during pregnancy or if there is damage to the brain before, during, or after birth.

3) Epilepsy – is a neurological disorder that is characterized by recurrent seizures. Seizures may involve partial or complete loss of consciousness, uncontrolled body movements, excessive sleepiness, and loss of memory.

4) Autism – is a disorder that affects an individual’s ability to communicate, understand language, play, and relate to others. A diagnosis of autistic disorder is made when an individual displays 6 or more of 12 symptoms across three major areas (a) social interaction, (b) communication, and (c) behavior according to the DSM IV (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders).

5) Other conditions similar to intellectual disability:

  • Originated prior to age 18 years.
  • Likely to continue indefinitely.
  • Constitutes a substantial disability in 3 or more of the following areas:
  • Communication.
  • Economic Self-Sufficiency.
  • Learning.
  • Self Care.
  • Self-Direction.
  • Mobility.
  • Capacity for Independent Living.

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