Join in Celebrating the 30th Anniversary of Baby IDEA


This October marks the 30th Anniversary of the passage of Public Law 99-457, which established Part C and mandated Part B, Section 619 of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). As key partners in improving results and upholding the rights of infants, toddlers, and preschool children requiring early intervention and special education services, OSEP invites you to join in celebrating this important occasion!

Throughout the week of October 3-7, 2016, OSEP will run a campaign showcasing many perspectives from the field, including researchers, families, practitioners, and even individuals who participated in early childhood services through Part C and Part B, Section 619 Preschool. The week will culminate in a Google Hangout to discuss how the law has impacted the field, on Friday, October 7th. Stay tuned for more details on this exciting event.

So, what can you do?

  • Share your story, and the stories of your stakeholders! Blog, Facebook post, Instagram, and share. Encourage your stakeholders to share how early childhood provisions in IDEA have affected their lives—and encourage them to use whatever platform they like! Don’t forget to tag the post using the #babyIDEAis30 hashtag.
  • Follow Us! Follow OSERS on Twitter, and check out our Blog and YouTube channel throughout the week for new stories, interesting perspectives, and opportunities to discuss and share! The Department of Education is also on Instagram (@usedgov) and Facebook — don’t forget to tag us!
  • Upload Videos! We want to hear and see you! OSEP will release videos throughout the week of October 3-7th that shine a light on all that’s been accomplished through IDEA services, and what’s yet to come for infants, toddlers, and young children with disabilities. We want your insights—tag us or use the #babyIDEAis30 hashtag to connect your video with all of us.
  • Tweet, retweet and tweet some more! Show your support on Twitter throughout the week. Sample tweets:
    • “30 years of early intervention and preschool special education for kids with disabilities– Let’s continue to #teachthebabies! #babyIDEAis30”
    • “30 years of improving outcomes for ALL children, at ALL ages. #babyIDEAis30 @ED_Sped_Rehab”
    • “Investing in early learning—for children of ANY ABILITY— is investing in our future. #babyIDEAis30 @ED_Sped_Rehab”
    • “Early Intervention leads to improved developmental outcomes. #babyIDEAis30”
    • “________, what Part C means to me #babyIDEAis30”
    • “________, what 619 Preschool means to me #preK #babyIDEAis30 @ED_Sped_Rehab”
  • Hold an event! 30 years is quite a lot to celebrate, and let’s not forget about all the work that led to the passage of PL 99-457! This Anniversary is a great opportunity to bring passionate and dedicated folks together to discuss the past, present, and future of early learning and children with disabilities. Let us know what you’re doing to celebrate, and we’ll be happy to help promote!
  • Finally, join us on Friday, October 7th for our Early Childhood IDEA Google Hangout! Visit our Website for more details once they become available.

Please contact Charlotte Stein at with questions and ideas.


Ruth E. Ryder
Acting Director
Office of Special Education Programs, U.S. Department of Education

It’s Flu Season – CDC update and guidance

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has issued new guidance for the 2016 flu season. This season’s vaccines have been updated to better match more recently circulating influenza viruses.

CDC recommends that everyone aged 6 months or older receive an influenza vaccine every year, by the end of October if possible. However, CDC continues to recommend that influenza vaccination efforts continue as long as influenza viruses are circulating in the community. Significant seasonal influenza virus activity can continue into May, so vaccination later in the season can still provide benefit during most seasons.

One big change for the 2016-2017 season is that only injectable influenza vaccines are recommended for use. Live attenuated influenza vaccine (also known as the nasal spray) is not recommended for use during 2016-2017 because of concerns about effectiveness.

Rave Reviews for the Provider Support Team and Birth to Three Providers!

0-3practicessmall  National experts, Dathan Rush and M’Lisa Shelden, have applauded the strides Connecticut has made in increasing knowledge and implementation of best practice in Early Intervention.

Rush and Shelden have been providing annual training and technical assistance to support Connecticut’s Activity-based teaming practices. The Birth to Three Provider Support Team has been providing training and technical assistance to enhance their work.  Some of Dathan and M’Lisa’s comments on what they are seeing:

  • “It’s clear that you have been doing A LOT of work to move practices forward in CT”
  • “It’s the first time EVER on the first call that all team members hit + on all three characteristics of NLEP (Natural Learning Environment Practices)!”
  • “Wow…they are literally changing families’ lives with their coaching.  They are seeing the “big picture” perspective of what capacity building can do!”

Kudos to all that are working so hard to support best practices for families in Birth to Three in Connecticut!

A Doctor’s View on Supporting Families

Does this sound familiar??  Families do not always agree with research-based recommendations.  We do our best to reach common ground and move forward together.

Physicians Struggle with Ethics of Barring Families who do not follow immunization schedule

“We as pediatricians do so much more than immunize…We teach, we advocate, we role model, and even when parents say no to immunization the first 10 times we bring it up, we bring it up an 11th and 12th time.”

Kenneth Alexander, MD, PhD* and Thomas A. Lacy, MD** say the small risk to vulnerable [immune-compromised] children is outweighed by the benefits families get from access to pediatricians. The Academy of Pediatrics released a statement on August 29 advising practitioners to continue to provide medical services to children whose parents refuse immunizations, and only dismiss them as a “last resort”.   Some pediatricians say they will continue their services regardless of the family’s refusal to vaccinate.

Continuing those relationships even when advice is not followed may, in the end, be the best way to support the family.  “You have to go at it just as you should if you saw a child who is obese.”

Sound familiar?

-adapted from Medscape Medical News

Pediatrics. Published online September 2, 2016. Abstract

* Division of Infectious Diseases in the Department of Pediatrics, at Nemours Children’s Hospital in Orlando, Florida, and the Department of Pediatrics at University of Central Florida College of Medicine in Orlando

** Nemours Children’s Primary Care in Orlando

The Faces of Birth to Three

Whose faces do you picture when you think of “Birth to Three families”?    😛  😯  :mrgreen:  😆

I’m asking for your help with collecting photos of real people who receive early intervention supports.  Please ask a few families of your choice to send me one or more photos that tell their story.  If their photo is selected, I will ask for their consent to use it  for Public Awareness purposes, including the FY16 annual report to the Governor and legislature.

Preferred photos:  child with family member(s), activity based, good lighting and clarity of images, high-resolution digital preferred      NO professional portraits please

Send photo files/prints to: with “Faces of B23” in the subject line, or mail to Eileen McMurrer, CT Birth to Three System, 460 Capitol Avenue, Hartford, CT 06106  by September 22nd

Parents must include their  name, child’s name, email address and phone number.

Thank you!


Birth to Three Professional Development – New!

Assistive Technology: An IDEA Part C Service will be presented by CT. Birth to Three and NEAT Marketplace on October 26, 2016.  The training will include a morning session covering AT  regulations, procedures,  and NEAT supports; and an afternoon session on low tech to high tech communication supports.  Register for either or both sessions through the Birth to Three Calendar.

Going Deeper Into Natural Learning Environment Practices.  If  you did not attend last year, take advantage of the knowledge and support for working with families that you will gain in this one day training: an essential training for all individuals working in the CT. Birth to Three System.  Next trainings on September 14th in Trumbull and November 16th in Hartford. Register SOON for the September training!

DCF Commissioner Katz speaking Sept. 12 in Hartford

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

Connecticut Council on Developmental Disabilities
Department of Children and Families
The Connection, Inc.