Category: Families

Healthy Food on a Budget – SNAP4CT

February 24, 2017

Are you supporting a family that struggles to provide healthy, tasty food on a budget? SNAP4CT is a resource for busy people to find healthy, budget-friendly recipes, locate nearby farmers’ markets,  and find tips for healthier living. Families that qualify for SNAP receive at least $16 per month for groceries. Click here to apply for SNAP Click here to learn what $16 can buy Everyone can enjoy the information, subscribe to a weekly newsletter, or send a question to the SNAP4CT panel of Nutritionists. Let’s get cooking!  

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Household Safety – storing and discarding medications

February 17, 2017

Home visitors  are in an ideal position to support families’ household safety efforts.  An important topic for discussion concerns medications – both prescription and over the counter how to store them when used by a household member, and how to get rid of them when they are no longer needed. Safe Storage information:  Know what medicines are in your home, keep them locked up, make them less appealing and more tips are provided here. Poison Control Hotline 1-800-222-1222     Toddlers may mistake a pill for candy. Disposal of unwanted medications:  NO medications should be flushed down the toilet or poured down the sink.  Information on drug … Continue reading

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Sensory-friendly Performance of Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer

November 2, 2016

The beloved TV classic RUDOLPH THE RED‐NOSED REINDEER soars off the screen and returns to The Bushnell stage by popular demand this holiday season.  The Sunday, December 11, 2016, 10am performance is a sensory-friendly performance. Please use the code SENSORY when purchasing online or via The Bushnell Box Office (starting September 17) to access tickets for the Sensory Friendly Performance of Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer: The Musical.  Sensory-friendly performances are designed to create a performing arts experience that is welcoming to all families and friends with children or adults who are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder or other sensitivity issues.

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Third Party Medical Record Requests

October 31, 2016

Efforts to protect the confidentiality of young patients’ medical records have recently produced requests by at least one large medical center that the B23 provider include a copy of the parent’s photo ID with signature (e.g., driver license) with the signed authorization so that signature verification may be obtained.  A per-page fee may also be charged. Here are links to two medical centers’ information and Authorization to Release forms: CT Children’s Medical Center – medical record information Yale New Haven Health – medical record information

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Research Supporting Parent-Led Intervention for Children with Autism

October 28, 2016

As noted in Disability Scoop, for the first time, researchers say they have evidence that parent-led intervention for young kids with autism continues to yield gains several years later. Children who participated in an intervention between the ages of 2 and 4 displayed less severe symptoms six years later, exhibiting fewer repetitive behaviors and better social communication, according to findings published this week in the journal The Lancet.

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“Save Birth to Three” Facebook Clarification

October 25, 2016

Despite what some have heard there have been no cuts to the funding of the Birth to Three System. Last year there was a $6 million deficit and the Connecticut General Assembly covered it. This year Birth to Three was allocated the same amount of state funds (a.k.a. “level” or “flat” funded) so there is another shortfall predicted this year. The State has to change how Birth to Three programs are paid, both for families with children who are eligible for Medicaid and for those who are not. The new billing rates have not been proposed yet and will not … Continue reading

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Secondary Transition and our SiMR

October 20, 2016

First, if you don’t know what our SiMR is, click here then come back. This article about secondary transition is nicely aligned with what want for our families in Birth to Three. “The most powerful force in changing transition outcomes for young people with significant disabilities is not ultimately found in the transition plans we craft, the educational services we offer, the instruction we provide, or the systems we build, but rather in the expectations and aspirations individual parents hold for their sons and daughters.”    

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DCF Commissioner Katz speaking Sept. 12 in Hartford

August 29, 2016

You are cordially invited to the 14th annual Parents with Cognitive Limitations Workgroup meeting on Poverty and Cognitive Limitations:  Research, Policy and Practice Monday, Sept. 12 from 8:30 – 12 noon at The Lyceum, 227 Lawrence Street, Hartford CT. Please RSVP by September 7, 2016 to with your name, organization, email and phone number Featured speakers include: Commissioner Joette Katz, Department of Children and Families Joanne Goldblum, MSW, Founder & Executive Director, National Diaper Bank Network Jessica Bartholow, Esq., Legislative Advocate, Western Center on Law & Poverty Megan V. Smith, PhD, MPH,  Yale Assistant Professor of Psychiatry Sponsors: Connecticut … Continue reading

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Can Facetime video chat with Grandma or Grandpa support development?

August 16, 2016

New research sheds light on the value of Facetime as meaningful interaction versus just more “screen” time.

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Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) resources from U.S.HHS

August 15, 2016

Opioid abuse is increasing nationally with a correlated increase in prenatal opioid exposures and more infants born with the resulting developmental impact. Families of infants diagnosed with Neonatal Abstinence Syndrome (NAS) are automatically eligible for CT early intervention if referred within the first three months of life. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services provides resources that you may find helpful as you work with families affected by Opioid Use Disorder (OUD): One such resource is a video posted by the Texas Dept. of State Health Services that offers several approaches you may want to share with parents … Continue reading

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Update on Re-Referrals

August 15, 2016

Families’  involvement with Birth to Three may start and stop, then restart for a variety of reasons.  When the child is Exited from SPIDER, then the family contacts you or their service coordinator to reconnect,  a set of factors are considered before either the Exit is removed or a new record is created. As of August 1st, CDI administrators Kareena DuPlessis and  Shirley Caro are  processing all of these requests.  They follow the same decision rules that were in effect previously; no changes in protocol.  This streamlined process reduces the number of steps and amount of time needed before a family reconnects with Birth to Three supports. Please … Continue reading

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New System of Payments Policy for Families online

August 5, 2016

The new System of Payments for Families Policy brochure is now available online.  Thanks to the generous support of our Governor and General Assembly, most costs of providing services and supports to families is paid by state funds.  Here is the breakout: 70% State of CT 12% Medicaid reimbursements 9% federal funds 7% private insurance reimbursements 2% parent payments Families that make $45,000 or more  pay a monthly fee based on a sliding scale. These family payments help the state to continue to provide supports and services to all families of eligible children.

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Mind the Baby training at Yale Child Study Center

July 11, 2016

The annual Minding the Baby® (MTB) training institute is right around the corner, to be held July 19-21, 2016 at the Yale Child Study Center, and there is still time to register!  For more information, please see below and visit:  To register, please visit:  MTB is an evidence-based home visiting model run in collaboration with the Yale School of Nursing, Yale Child Study Center, and Fair Haven Community Health Clinic. Developed in a home visitation setting, MTB is an interdisciplinary, primary intervention model that can also be adapted for use in non-home settings.  The annual 3-day MTB training institute is focused on the clinical … Continue reading

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Sign Language Interpretation – update

July 6, 2016

Effective July 15, the Dept. of Rehabilitative Services (CT-DORS) will close the Interpreting Service program. This is designed to save critical state dollars without reducing services – interpreter services will still be available through private companies. If you are in need of interpreting services, please call 2-1-1 or go to and search for “Sign Language Interpretation”. DORS will continue to monitor and post a statewide Interpreter Registry. All sign language interpreters working for compensation in Connecticut must satisfy the mandates of established law CT General Statute Sec. 46a-33a, including annual registration with DORS and submission of documented credentials, including certification … Continue reading

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“Every Parent Has What It Takes To Be A Brain Builder”

June 10, 2016

This is a new and exciting resource,,  for parents developed by a group of dedicated scientists and leaders in brain development.  Parents can sign up (website or app) to receive simple, developmentally appropriate ideas that support their child’s learning.  Vroom turns shared moments into brain building moments. Whether it’s mealtime, bathtime, or anytime in between, there are always ways to nurture our children’s growing minds.

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Zero To Three National Parent Survey

June 10, 2016

ZERO TO THREE, in partnership with the Bezos Family Foundation, conducted a comprehensive research effort, including in-home discussions and a large national parent survey with a diverse range of parents of children from birth to 5. The findings provide new insights about the challenges parents face, what they do and do not understand about early childhood development, and what they want and need to be the best parents possible.

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Free Evening at Mystic Aquarium for children with ASD

June 8, 2016

Mystic Aquarium is opening their doors to families and groups of children with an autism spectrum diagnosis or sensory processing disorders on August 16 from 3:00 – 8:00 PM. Free,  pre-registration required. The evening event will feature quiet areas, outdoor “free play” zone, supportive staff, and access to select aquarium exhibits. The outdoor aquarium exhibits- beluga whales, seals and sea lions and the outdoor free play zone will be open from 3:00-7:45pm. The indoor exhibits including the main exhibit floor and the Exploration: Wild exhibit will be open from 3:00pm-8:00pm. The following exhibits will not be open: Sting Ray Touch … Continue reading

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Disney’s Choo-Choo Soul “With Genevieve!” – Sensory Friendly Performance

April 26, 2016

Imagine parents honestly being able to enjoy the music that their children enjoy. Imagine soulful and current renditions of the ABC’s, 1-2-3’s, and learning how to be polite. Imagine a diverse, and incredibly hip duo, teaching children through music on an animated train…. And Choo-Choo Soul is born! The Saturday, June 25, 2016 performance at the Bushnell is a sensory-friendly performance designed to create a performing arts experience that is welcoming to all families and friends with children or adults who are diagnosed with an autism spectrum disorder or other sensitivity issues.

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Comedy Night to celebrate Mental Health Awareness

April 22, 2016

What: Don’t miss the Poster Sisters of Imperfection! Side-splitting sisters Patty Konjoian & Gina Gallagher, authors of Shut Up About Your Perfect Kid, present “A Humorous Look at Parenting Children with Special Needs” Where: Groton Inn & Suites, 99 Gold Star Highway, Groton, CT 06340 When: Wednesday, May, 11, 2016, 6:30-9:30pm Why: To create awareness and acceptance of children with behavioral health care needs, both in the foster care system and throughout our community. Costs: $10.00 per person, includes dessert buffet, coffee & tea. Take a Break from the Kids, Come to Comedy Night! Ticket Purchase Options: Register online with … Continue reading

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Fun for Families & Little Ones – STEM activities

April 21, 2016

During the early years when children begin to develop language and social skills, they’re also learning about early science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through play and everyday interactions.  STEM learning is a critical part of child development and can happen anytime, anywhere. The real-life skills that children learn when exploring STEM help make them better problem-solvers and thinkers. IDEA Part C includes early numeracy and early literacy as important skills for infants and toddlers. “Let’s Talk, Read and Sing about STEM” tip sheet for Parents offers fun ways to add a daily dose of STEM learning into families’ regular … Continue reading

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