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Past Tips of the Week

Back to this week's tip

December 25, 2011 “The Celebrating Connections Programs for 2012 have been mailed and you can also find a copy posted on the WV Early Childhood Training Connections and Resources website - . Early registration is currently open and must be submitted by January 31, 2012. After that date only onsite registration will be available.”
December 18, 2011 At this time of year it’s important to take a few moments to reflect on blessings. The WV Birth to Three system is thankful to have . . .


  • Children and families who trust in having the system to bring them the information, support and referrals needed to thrive
  • Regional Administrative Units to facilitate supports and services for families just entering the WV Birth to Three system
  • Service Coordinators to facilitate the WV Birth to Three process for children and families throughout their enrollment in WV Birth to Three
  • Direct Service Practitioners to educate and support families to become more knowledgeable in supporting the needs of their children and family
  • The WV Early Intervention Interagency Coordinating Council who works so hard to help create and maintain a system that is responsive and meaningful for children and families
  • Governor Tomlin, WV Legislature, and US Congress to support WV Birth to Three and our early childhood partners in a way that has enabled WV children and families to receive high quality services and for the work we will do as we move forward to increase opportunities across the state for children and families
  • Many thanks to all for your hard work and dedication to WV children and families and warmest wishes for the happiest of holiday seasons and a wonderful New Year.
December 11, 2011 Many of us working in BTT have children whose lives require supports that are powered by electricity. Check out some tips for families on “Surviving a Power Outage with Complex Medical Issues”
December 4, 2011 Little Kids, Big Questions—ZERO TO THREE’s New Podcast Series - As more and more parents “plug in” for information on how to raise their young children, ZERO TO THREE is meeting the need with our new parenting podcast series Little Kids, Big Questions, generously funded by MetLife Foundation. Little Kids, Big Questions is a series of 12 podcasts that translates the research of early childhood development into practical parenting strategies that mothers, fathers, and other caregivers can tailor to the needs of their own child and family. Topics include brain development, social-emotional development, sleep issues, feeding issues, and more.

Click here to listen to or download the podcasts
Click here to access the podcasts on iTunes

November  6, 2011 There are times when you may question yourself about your safety on home visits. This isn’t a common occurrence but many of you may have experienced something on a home visit that made you uncomfortable. The next question was probably “how should I handle that if it happens again”. WVBTT has posted a personal safety document on the Professionals Tab – under Information for Newly Enrolled Practitioners – check it out:
October 30, 2011 Have you checked out the Information for Newly Enrolled Practitioners on the WVBTT website? This page has information that is valuable to all practitioners from new folks to veterans alike! Check it out!
October 23, 2011 ZERO TO THREE, with funding from MetLife Foundation, has produced a new series of 12 podcasts with leading experts that translate the research of early childhood development into practices that parents and other caregivers can use to meet the needs of their children. The Little Kids, Big Questions series can be accessed online at
October 16, 2011 The Center on the Developing Child at Harvard University and the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child have released a new, three-part video series illustrating how advances in neuroscience, molecular biology, and genomics provide us with a much better understanding of how early experiences are built into our bodies and brains, for better or for worse. To view videos and read more about the series, go to  videos/three_core_concepts
October 9, 2011 Are you intrigued by the concept of brain development? Are you looking to explore additional research based information to expand your knowledge? Check out this learning opportunity on the Zero to Three website called ‘Baby Brain Map’ that explores brain development prenatally through 36 months.

October 2, 2011 A Knowledge Path for Autism Spectrum Disorders has been compiled by the Maternal and Child Health Library at Georgetown University. It offers a selection of current, high-quality resources about ASD screening and diagnosis, treatment and intervention, communication, education, vocational challenges, and impact on family life. Separate sections identify resources that address early identification, early intervention and education, concerns about vaccines, and environmental health research. It is updated periodically and is available at

This collection also consists of Knowledge Paths for a wide variety of topics. You can check out the index at

September 25, 2011 The Children with Special Health Care Needs (CSHCN) Program, advances the health and well-being of children and youth with certain chronic, debilitating conditions by providing specialized medical care and care coordination services to children under 21 years of age who meet financial and medical eligibility criteria. To explore eligibility criteria as well as the services and supports available to children and families check out
September 18, 2011 Much has been reported in the past week on the status of poverty in the United States. On September 14, 2011, the U.S. Census Bureau released a report showing that poverty continues to rise among children and families living in America. In 2010, 6.3 million, or more than one in four (25.3%) children under age six lived below the poverty line, as compared to 6.0 million in 2009. Overall, the Census report indicates that 22% of children under the age of 18 are currently living in poverty and 9.9% of children live in deep poverty (below 50 percent of the federal poverty line). To learn more, see the full report, Income, Poverty, and Health Insurance Coverage in the United States: 2010, at
September 11, 2011 Tips for Effective Documentation of a Home Visit
August 21, 2011 It is the responsibility of all team members to know and be able to support families in understanding their procedural safeguards. Federal law requires teams review and provide a written copy of procedural safeguards to families: • During their initial contact with the system • When initial or subsequent evaluation or assessment is proposed • At eligibility determination • When the IFSP is developed or changed • When a change is proposed or refused If you are looking for some additional strategies to enhance your knowledge and conversations with families the National Early Childhood Technical Assistance Center (NECTAC) has a publication “Assuring the Family’s Role on the Early Intervention Team. Check it out at
August 14, 2011 With public schools in WV returning in the next few days and weeks, here’s a post for professionals and parents to remember and support our children through!

Special request to all you kids returning to school in the next few days: If you see someone who is struggling to make friends or being bullied because he/she doesn't have many friends or because they are shy or not as pretty or not dressed in the most "in" clothes -- PLEASE step up. Say hi or at least smile at them in the hallway. You never know what that person might be facing outside of school. Your kindness might just make a BIG difference in someone's life!

August 7, 2011 The Summer 2011WV Early Childhood Provider Quarterly is posted! Check out
July 31, 2011 Assistive Technology Resources for Infants, Toddlers, and Young Children The PACER Center’s EZ AT 2, a guide for increasing young children’s participation in daily activities and routines using assistive technology (AT), is now available. Funded by Tots ‘n Tech, it offers a wide range of devices and products that promote best practices for home and classroom learning. This booklet is a follow-up to PACER’s popular EZ AT: Assistive Technology Activities for Children Ages 3 to 8. Download the infant-toddler guide at:

and the 3-8 guide at:

July 24, 2011 If you are interested in exploring research supporting the use of sign language along with oral language intervention, the Center for Early Literacy Learning has just released a new CELL Review “Influences of Sign and Oral Language Intervention on the Speech and Oral Language Production of Young Children with Disabilities”. You can find the research at
July 17, 2011 Want to keep abreast of the TACSEI activities – check out WV’s information on the TACSEI Site
July 5, 2011 Research has shown that children who suffer from poor nutrition, unstable housing and inadequate home heating are at risk for poor health and developmental delays. A new brief from Children’s HealthWatch highlights a number of Federal programs that help protect the development of very young children, including the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP – formerly food stamps), WIC, the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), and subsidized housing. All of these have all been shown to be effective in reducing the risks of poor child health and development. To learn more, go to
June 26, 2011 Learn the Signs – Act Early - The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities (NCBDDD), in collaboration with American Academy of Pediatrics, Autism Speaks, Autism Society of America, First Signs and the Organization for Autism Research, launched a public awareness campaign called “Learn the Signs. Act Early.” The campaign aims to educate parents about childhood development, including early warning signs of autism and other developmental disorders, and encourages developmental screening and intervention.

"Learn the Signs. Act Early." builds on familiar experiences of parents, such as monitoring their children’s physical growth, and expands to social and emotional milestones such as how children speak, learn, act, and play. Just as taking a first step is a developmental milestone, so is smiling, pointing and enjoying social play. While every child is different and develops at his or her own pace, there are still milestones that each child should reach within a certain range of time. The early identification of developmental concerns allows parents to seek intervention during the crucial period of early development.

All of the materials are available at no cost to practitioners and families and can be downloaded or ordered at:

June 19, 2011 Partners in Policymaking is a leadership program for adults with developmental disabilities and parents of young children with developmental disabilities. Partners become familiar with the policymaking and legislative process at the local, state and federal levels. The program teaches skills necessary for individuals to become advocates who can influence the system of services for people with developmental disabilities.

The program will begin in September and run through May. One two-day training session will be held each month and will begin at noon on Friday and end on Saturday afternoon. All sessions are held at a centrally located hotel in Charleston, WV. Meals and lodging are provided and stipends for transportation, personal assistance services and respite care are available upon request.

For more information

Applications for this year’s class are due June 30, 2011

June 12, 2011 Archived copies of the WV Early Childhood Provider Quarterly is now posted on the West Virginia Early Childhood Training Connections and Resources website!
June 5, 2011 Looking for insight into working with families and understanding the perspectives of families with children with special needs. Check out Complex Child E-magazine ( Complex Child is a monthly online magazine written by parents of children with special healthcare needs and disabilities. It is intended to provide medical information, along with personal experiences, in simple language that other parents can understand. Articles are on a wide variety of topics ranging from basic information on medical conditions and treatments to advice on how to beat insurance company denials.
May 29, 2011 When is the last time you checked the Technical Assistance Bulletin section of the WVBTT website? You should check this, at least, weekly and it is suggested to print a copy of each TA Bulletin for your records.
May 8, 2011 Do you have parents or other family members wondering how they can ‘give back’ to the WV Birth to Three system? Are families looking for an opportunity to have their voice heard?
The ICC is currently recruiting parent membership for the Council. Parent representatives must have a child under the age of 12 to participate, so think about parents of children you currently support as well as families who may have moved onto preschool or elementary school! Please visit

For information to share with families

Nomination form - click here

May 1, 2011 Evidenced-Based Practices for Promoting the Literacy Development of Infants, Toddler and Preschoolers Holiday Inn Express Civic Center, Charleston, WV June 9, 2011 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 pm Bridgeport Conference Center Bridgeport, WV June 23, 2011 - 9:30 AM to 3:30 pm
Click here for more information
April 24, 2011 Ever think about Make a Wish for the children and families you are partnering with? Check out their eligibility guidelines and find your WV Chapter
April 17, 2011 Looking for new ideas for low cost assistive technology, modifications or adaptations? Check out Tots-N-Tech  and register for their newsletter
April 10, 2011 For nearly 30 years, the WV Center for Excellence in Disabilities has worked with consumers, state, local, and federal agencies to realize opportunities and tackle and overcome challenges for people with developmental and other disabilities of all ages. CED is West Virginia's only federally designated Center for Excellence in Disabilities providing resources and supports in all fifty-five counties of the state. Check out their amazing links and resources for practitioners and families alike -
April 3, 2011 Want to keep abreast of WV’s work with the TACSEI and CELL grants? Check out:
March 27, 2011 Looking for good resources to share with families on general child development – check out
March 20, 2011 Looking for an online resource for families to explore accurate and supportive information? For general parenting

For disability information

March 13, 2011 When faxing be sure to include a coversheet. Records faxed to the State Office (e.g., Completed COSF forms, Assistive Technology Requests) are received by a fax machine that is used by several DHHR programs. When there is a fax coversheet this ensures the paperwork goes to the appropriate person in a timely fashion.
March 6, 2011 Looking for professional development opportunities? Check out the Other Training Opportunities Banner on the WVBTT home page!
February 27, 2011 Camp Gizmo is funded by the WV Dept of Ed/Office of Special Programs, WVDHHR/Bureau for Public Health/Office of Maternal, Child and Family Health/WV Birth to Three and WVDHHR/Bureau for Children and Families/Division of Early Care and Education and in-kind support is provided by WVATS, WVU Center of Excellence in Disabilities, National Seating and Mobility and Assistive Technology Works, Inc. Support and coordination provided by WV Early Childhood Training Connections and Resources. Camp Gizmo is July 9-13, 2011 in Romney, WV For more information on Camp Gizmo click here
February 20, 2011 When completing a Child Outcome Summary Form at annual IFSP’s or Exit, DO NOT FORGET to answer the progress question. The team should be thinking about any new skills or behaviors that the child has gained in the last year, a no answer to the progress question would be rare.
February 6, 2011 Common mistakes that lead to delay of processing AT requests

1. Incorrect date of birth and spelling of child's first and last name
2. Missing Documentation:
    • Service Authorization Request Form
    • Assistive Technology Request Form
    • IFSP “Family and Child Centered Outcome” pages concerning the items
    • Catalog/Quote pages for requested items
3. Illegible forms (too dark, too light, poor handwriting)
4. Incomplete Service Authorization Request Form
    • Missing shipping address
    • No vendor indicated
5. Incomplete Assistive Technology Request Form:
    • Missing signatures
    • Missing information “What are the specific features of the device(s) or
      adaptation(s) which meets the unique participation needs of the child?”
      not answered
    • Diagnosis not included (or writing none) in upper right hand corner under
      child's name and date of birth
    • No size/color/type indicated for requested AT items
    • Items listed on form but not on Service Authorization Request Form
6. Audiological Evaluation Requests 
    • No appointment made prior or appointment has already occurred when
      Service Authorization Request Form received at State Office
    • Service Authorization Request Form not submitted – State Office receives
      calls from service vendors concerning missing authorization for payment

January 30, 2011 When completing a Child Outcome Summary Form at annual IFSP’s or Exit, DO NOT FORGET to answer the progress question. The team should be thinking about any new skills or behaviors that the child has gained in the last year, a no answer to the progress question would be rare.
January 23, 2011 Service coordinators – if the IFSP team has identified a service that a child needs and you cannot find a practitioner to provide it:
  1. contact your RAU or TA – they might be able to help you
  2. contact practitioners serving surrounding counties to see if one of them might be willing to travel
  3. if you still haven’t found anyone, sending a family to see a practitioner in a clinic setting is an option and the RAU will reimburse the family for their mileage.
January 16, 2011 As a reminder the registration for Celebrating Connections is due, postmarked by January 30, 2011. If you have not received a conference booklet you can access the booklet and forms to complete at:
January 9, 2011 Looking for child development resources for yourself and the families you support? Checkout Zero to Three – The organization is a national nonprofit that informs and supports professionals, policymakers and parents in their efforts to improve the lives of infants and toddlers. You will find research based information on many aspects related to supporting young children and families that will be beneficial to you and to families.
January 2, 2011 During transition planning, the team should be developing Child and Family Centered Outcomes to support skills the child needs to be successful with transitions, as well as skills the family will need to assist their child with transitions and knowledge they need to make informed decisions.