If you think your child should qualify

If you disagree with the decision, there are things you can do.

Try again:

  • Talk to your Intake Coordinator. Explain why you think your child should qualify.

  • Ask if your child may qualify based on"informed clinical opinion". (Use that term!) This means the evaluator can use their judgment and consider other information that was not in the formal evaluation.

  • Ask for another evaluation. You have this right. Ask your intake coordinator about this process.

  • Get more information. Talk to your child's doctor. Ask for a developmental screening or a more complete evaluation. Remember, you know your child better than anyone. There may be some other tests that will confirm your concerns.

File a complaint:

If you think your child should qualify for more and your EarlySteps program does not seem to be helpful, there is a process you can follow.


  • The IDEA law protects your rights.

  • The LDH must make sure your rights are upheld.

Click on the box below to learn more. (You can also find this information in its own section in the menu.)

Here's what you can do if you have  a complaint:

  1. First, talk to your intake coordinator, FSC or the Director of your EarlySteps program. They will try to resolve your concern or tell you who to contact.

  2. If that doesn't work, file your complaint with LDH.

  3. If your complaint still isn't resolved, think about Mediation.  If that doesn't work, the last resort is to have a Due Process Hearing.

To learn more about this process, see the Complaint section in the menu, or click on the box below for more details.

If you have a problem with the EarlySteps process, you can file a formal complaint with the regional coordinator at LDH.

The main reasons to file a complaint are:

  • You disagree with a decision that your child does not qualify.

  • You have a complaint with your EarlySteps program that they can't fix.

What you can do: 

  • Call your local HSD Quality Assurance Specialist: Verla Farlough 225-925-1936

  • Or: call the LDH EarlySteps Regional Coordinator:

For the Baton Rouge area: Valencia Allen: 225-925-7090, valencia.allen@la.gov

  • Describe your complaint in writing. If you have suggestions to fix it, include them.

  • Be ready to send your written complaint to LDH and a copy to your EarlySteps program.

Who to call if you have questions:

  • Your FSC (if you have one)

  • Families Helping Families: 225-216-7977 (or your local office)

  • Click the link below to download EarlySteps System Points of Entry contact information

Source: LDH

Look for the services on your own

Do you think that your child could use some therapy--like speech, OT, PT, or behavioral support?

  • You can look for providers on your own if you don't qualify for EarlySteps.

  • Your insurance may be able to pay for this.

  • See our Resource Directory to search for providers near you. (You can even see which ones accept Medicaid, which is Healthy Louisiana or LA CHIP.)

Image of a person speaking up in a crowd beside the text 'If they don't mention any of these things, ask about them! Don't be shy to ask about what you can do next!'

Sources: LDH, OCDD