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illinois Developmental 
Therapy Association

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Advancing the Excellence, Education and Ethical Standards of the Developmental Therapist

Become a Developmental Therapist

Given the complex nature of child development and the variety of factors that impact developmental differences and the child/caregiver relationship, we at the IDTA encourage all seeking to become Developmental Therapists and all existing Developmental Therapists to seek the highest level of education possible in efforts to achieve excellence and further mastery of this field. We encourage Developmental Therapists to be well versed and leaders in the field of child development. Upon completion of an educational program the Developmental Therapist should be able to design learning environments and activities that promote the child's acquisition of skills in a variety of developmental areas, and be able to provide information and support related to enhancing the skill development of a child that enables the child to attain maximum functional levels of development.

Qualifying Degrees for a Developmental Therapist

Currently in the state of Illinois in order to hold a credential in Developmental Therapy a Developmental Therapist must hold a bachelor’s degree or higher  from an Early Intervention approved college/university program in the areas of :

  • Early Childhood 
  • Early Childhood Special Education 
  • Special Education
  • Special Education: Deaf/Hard of Hearing or Blind/Partially Sighted 
  • Child Development
  • Early Intervention  
  • Elementary Education
An applicant must also document the completion of educational experiences as approved by the Department that include at least 2 semester college hours of, or the equivalent (30 clock hours or CEU credit hours) in, each of the following EI core knowledge content areas:

  • The Development of Young Children (1 semester hour Typical Development and 1 semester hour Atypical Development)
  • Working with Families of Young Children with Disabilities
  • Intervention Strategies for Young Children with Special Needs  
  • Assessment of Young Children with Special Needs
Finally the applicant must submit proof of training on the use of a formal assessment tool that would allow the provider to perform global evaluations and assessments.


If you currently possess the minimal requirements to become a developmental therapist and would like to enroll to provide services as a Developmental Therapist in the state of Illinois Early Intervention Program you can apply for a credential and enroll as a provider by visiting our states credentialing agency, Provider Connections and clicking on the Credential Applications on the toolbar on the left of the page. There you can find the application packet along with additional overview information about requirements and answers to common credentialing questions.

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