How to make a self-referral for intervention services I got to you :) You are ready to make the call to seek out intervention services for your child! I'm proud of you!

If your child is under the age of 3, you are seeking early intervention services. Early intervention services serve children birth up to the child's third birthday. These services are very family focused and often are conducted in your own home.

Here's the kicker, every state calls their early intervention program something different. You can probably find yours by searching for
"[your state]+early intervention services"

Here are links to Kentucky and Ohio early intervention services.

You do NOT need a physician to refer you. YOU can call today! Just call with your calendar ready. Tell them about your child and which developmental milestones you have concerns about.

You got this!

If your child is 3 or older, you will have a different phone number to find now that you are ready to seek out intervention services.
Once your child is 3-years-old, they can qualify for services through the school district. Children ages 3-5 years are eligible for preschool special education services and children kindergarten and older are eligible for school-age special education services. Your local school district is in charge of providing both of these services.
Here is the really confusing part...some school districts partner or contract with other agencies to provide the preschool services. Calling your local school district and asking to talk with the director of special education will get you in contact with the correct people.
If you need my help, let me know!

If you are still nervous read this post!

5 reasons why NOW is the time to seek out intervention services

You have heard me say before that intervening early is so important! The majority of brain development occurs within the first 5 years, making this the perfect time to support young children with services.
I’m sharing 5 reasons why you should seek intervention services (early intervention or preschool disability) NOW versus later. If you need help finding out who to contact, let me know!

REASON #1 to seek out intervention services NOW for your child...
Intervention helps your child build a strong foundation of skills BEFORE life becomes more demanding in elementary school.

REASON #2 to seek out intervention services NOW for your child...
Services will help your child develop skills that are needed in social situations.
So much of early learning occurs within peer groups and social settings. When children have a delay in communication, motor, self-help, social, or emotional skills, research shows that they have a more difficult time interacting or playing with children their age.
Intervention services will teach children the skills they need to interact and play with friends

REASON #3 to seek out intervention services NOW for your child...
Increased self-esteem through competence!
You know how great you feel when you can finally do something you have been working towards?! Children feel this, too! 👏
Imagine being a child who has found a way to communicate her wants, needs, and ideas to others.
Imagine being a child who has gained control over the small muscles in his hands so that he can now hold a paintbrush and make a beautiful painting.
Imagine being a child who has learned how to ask to play, running through a playground playing tag with her new friends.
Skills build confidence.

REASON #4 to seek out intervention services NOW for your child...
It will improve family relationships.
Let’s be honest, nothing happens in a vacuum. A child’s development affects EVERYONE within your home. With more skills, your child will be able to interact with everyone in a more positive way and will be able to engage in more family activities (mealtimes, game nights, trips, etc) in more meaningful ways.
Intervention helps families support the child at home. It gives families realistic expectations and teaches them how to practice the skills at home.

REASON #5 to seek out intervention services NOW for your child...
It is a process, but the sooner you start...the sooner your child will get help!
Depending on your child’s age, it could take up to 45-60 days for evaluations to be completed and an intervention plan to be created.
If you are wanting evaluations outside of the education field, waitlists can sometimes reach 18 months long 😳
All that to say...don’t wait any longer. Once you make the decision to will have some waiting to do.


Sleep Anxiety and Children


It is not unusual for one of my children to end up on my floor during the night. Sometimes I actually leave extra pillows out for them. It seems like it might be our youngest, maybe our oldest, or one of our middles.

Anxiety at night is normal. Your amygdala (the part of the brain that is in charge of fight or flight) reacts to being tired. So, it is usually in overdrive by the time night arrives. 

Wonder why it is so scary to hear a bump in the night versus a noise during the day? Your amygdala is to blame.

 Instinctually, it is just trying to save you from predators. And instinctually, our brains tells us we are safer when we are with our caregivers. Our ancestors used to sleep in packs. Sometimes my kids still do 😆

Do your children have nighttime sleep anxiety?

Try these tips:
  • Validate their feeling even if the worry isn't rationale.
    • "I know you are scared.  I don't like to feel scared either.  You are safe.  We are safe."
    • Have the child draw or talk about their worry. 
  • Teach the child mindfulness techniques.
    • Tell me 5 things you can see in the room.
    • Tell me 5 things you can hear in the room.
    • Tell me something you can smell.

Mindfulness employs different parts of your brain, which means your amygdala (remember the fight or flight part) is not in control.
  • Offer attention before your child seeks it. Bonus points if you give a choice.
    • "It will be bedtime in 5 minutes. Would you like to sit on my lap and read a book or lay in your bed and listen to two songs?"
  • Shift the child's focus to the future.
    • "Pick out a game we can play in the morning when you wake up."
    • "Do you want to find a book we will read in the morning?"
  • Make bedtime a SAFE time.
    • This means letting the child associate their bed with positive feelings and letting them feel some control over it.
    • "When your clock says five minutes have passed (you may need to write this on a sticky note), you can leave your bed and come lay on my floor."

You can continue to extend this time gradually.  The goal is that over time, the child may fall asleep on their own while waiting.  If the child is not able to make it the set time (say 15 minutes, try saying "Okay, we didn't quite make it to 15, let's see if you feel brave enough to make it to 12 minutes."

For my children, the rule is they can come to my floor as long as they do it quietly.  I just want them to start in their own bed.  We are at the point that they usually fall asleep and then come down in the night occasionally.  They know where to get pillows and blankets :)

What You Should Know about Sleep and Babies

 I am not sure that there is a more polarizing topic for parents of young children than that of SLEEP.  Let’s talk about sleeping through the night. There is so much guilt, worry, and comparison that parents face when their children do not do it.

We have all heard about the mommas who can get their 4-month-old baby to sleep through the night.  We hear that and can feel inadequate when our children are not yet sleeping through the night.

Guess what...even by 12 months of age, not all children sleep through the night. 43% of children do not sleep a consecutive 8 hours. And of these, 28% do not sleep a consecutive 6 hours.

If your baby falls into this percentage, he/she is completely normal!

My four children were not great sleepers.  None of them slept through the night until they were 2-years-old.  I am here to tell you, you will survive!  You may get a few more wrinkles, but you will survive.

With my first baby, I felt enormous pressure.  I tried everything.  I read the books.  Followed the Babywise schedule.  Let her cry it out.  None of it worked for her.  If anything, it made it worse.  

Once I learned that it is normal, and actually healthy for babies to wake during the night I was able to relax.  I took the pressure off of myself to "conquer the sleep issue" and instead I just followed my children's rhythms.  Yes, I was tired.  Yes, I was a working mom.  But we made it.  

Just know that every child is different and has different needs.  The next time you are with another group of moms, pick a different topic to chat about :)  It will make you all feel better!

Do you have older children who are not sleeping through the night, it might be nighttime anxiety.  Find out more here.