SSIP Phase III Final Draft available

The final draft of Phase III of  Connecticut’s State Systemic Improvement Plan (SSIP) is online for review.

Here is a draft of what will be submitted and a form used to track progress on the Evaluation Plan.  Comments are welcome until March 24 to  To review the Logic Model and Evaluation Plan submitted in Phase II, click here.

To learn more about the SSIP and how Connecticut’s stakeholders got to this point, please visit the SSIP webpage at also available via the Home page menus on the left under How are we doing? > State Performance Plan > SSIP.

World Down Syndrome Day = 3/ 21

Rock Your Socks on World Down Syndrome Day!

What does 3/21 mean to you?

CT Down Syndrome Congress invites you to consider it in the way families of a child with Down syndrome might: the uniqueness of the genetic triplication that leads to Down syndrome.

They also encourage you to Rock Your Socks =  wear the brightest, eye-catching, possibly mis-matched socks you can find.  When you are asked, “What’s with the socks?” you have an opportunity to explain that you are celebrating all the wonderful things about people with Down syndrome while helping to advocate for  individual rights, inclusion, and respect.

Immigrant and Refugee Families – information and resources

Governor Dannel Malloy and OEC Acting Commissioner Linda Goodman recently sent a letter and list of resources to all state-funded early care and education providers. The letter is in response to the recent presidential executive order on immigration matters and corresponding implementation memos from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.  It provides guidance  to state-funded early care and education providers outlining suggested protocols to develop and implement.

While this letter was sent to state-funded providers, the guidance could be useful to any early care and education provider across the state.  Some of the protocol will be different for services provided in the home.


Public Hearing Regarding DORS-BESB Children’s Services Policy Manual

This is your chance to provide feedback on BESB children’s services and collaboration with the Birth to Three system. You can also provide written testimony and comments via email below.


 The State of Connecticut, Department of Rehabilitation Services, Bureau of Education and Services for the Blind (BESB) will be conducting a public hearing on Wednesday, April 12, 2017 from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. at 184 Windsor Avenue, Windsor, CT and simultaneously by teleconference. The purpose of the hearing is to offer the public, consumers, advocates, agencies and organizations the opportunity to provide comments pertaining to proposed changes to the policies that govern the administration of the Children’s Services Program. These proposed changes incorporate modifications to existing policy resulting from previous changes to Connecticut General Statutes, Section 10-295. The Bureau is also proposing to update and make modifications to existing policy language in certain areas. A Preamble, that is available for review at the link immediately below and also at, in the “Upcoming Events and Announcements” Section and in the “Services for Children” Section provides an overview of the proposed changes to each Section.

Comments may be submitted in person or through teleconference at the public hearing, or may be submitted at any time during this public comment period via email to:;  mailed to Brian Sigman, Bureau of  Education and Services for the Blind, 184 Windsor Avenue, Windsor, CT, 06095, or recorded onto voice mail at (860) 602-4008. To participate in the public hearing through teleconference, please call (860) 602-4008 at least one business day prior to the public hearing to obtain the call-in phone number and access code. All comments received prior to the close of business on Monday, April 17, 2017 will be fully considered.

Children’s Services Policy Manual Draft Revision Preamble 2017

 Children’s Services Policy Manual Draft Revision 2017



SPP/APR submitted and Tables by Program Posted

This is a link to the final (87 page) State Performance Plan / Annual Performance Report (SPP/APR).  It was submitted to the US Department of Education’s Office of Special Education Programs on January 23, 2017.  For more information about the SPP/APR, click here.  Indicator 11, also known as the SSIP has not been updated since it is not due until April 3, 2017.

The public reporting tables that report performance by program or county for each indicator have been updated and are available here. You can find them anytime on under How Are We Doing? then follow the drop down options to SPP > APR > Public Reporting.

Healthy Food on a Budget – SNAP4CT

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!


FFY17 Part C Federal Application Draft Available for Comment

The Draft FFY17 (7/1/17-6/30/18) Part C Federal Application is now available for public comment.

It can be found here.

Written comment on the application must be submitted by 5:00 p.m. on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. Comments should be sent:

  • by e-mail to
  • by Fax to 860-622-2789 or
  • by mail at 450 Columbus Boulevard, Hartford, CT, 06103-1835;

Two public hearings concerning the proposed application will be held.

  1. Monday, March 20th, 2017 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the Office of Early Childhood, 450 Columbus Boulevard, Hartford, CT, 06103-1835, Meeting Room H Plaza Level
  2. Wednesday, March 22nd, 2017 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. at DDS Northwest Region Center,195 Alvord Park Road, Torrington, CT 06790, Conference Room

Household Safety – storing and discarding medications

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 collection sites and events is available here and here.

Easy ASQ online enrollment

Connecting families to the Ages and Stages Questionnaires (ASQ) is quick and easy via the online enrollment options on CDI’s website.

Online questionnaires: Click here for English       Click here for Spanish

Mailed questionnaires, Click here

Every family of a child that is not receiving Birth to Three supports and services can benefit from this free developmental monitoring program. This includes parents:

  • who decline the evaluation
  • whose children are determined not eligible
  • whose children are eligible but choose not to enroll in Birth to Three
  • who exit before or at 36 months
  • who want to know more about age-appropriate developmental skills

ASQ developmental monitoring continues until 60 months of age.

Research: Diminished Attention to Eyes and Autism

“Mechanisms of Diminished Attention to Eyes in Autism” 

Am J Psychiatry. 2017;174:26-35, 1-2.

J.M. Moriuchi, A. Klin, W. Jones

The reduced attention to other people’s eyes in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is due to passive insensitivity to social signals in others’ eyes, rather than gaze aversion, conclude US investigators in findings that could ultimately point to novel therapies for the condition.

In two experiments, researchers showed that children with ASD did not look away faster than typically developing children from direct gaze but reacted less to implicit social cues for eye-looking.

“These results contradict the hypothesis that children with ASD actively avoid looking at the eyes in early life. Instead, the results are consistent with gaze indifference and indicate passive insensitivity to social signals in others’ eyes coupled with intact sensitivity to nonsocial, physical cues,” the investigators, led by Warren Jones, PhD, assistant professor of pediatrics, Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia, write.

 –excerpted from Medscape Medical News