Helping Families Follow-Up with Referrals for Developmental Concerns
A family can experience many challenges to following up on referrals and navigating the systems of services for a child with developmental needs. The resources below may help you offer additional support:
- Family Voices— An advocacy group for parents that can help them identify resources and support in their state. http://familyvoices.org/
- Center for Parent Information and Resources— A website with information about parent centers that provide information, support, and resources for children with disabilities and their families. https://www.parentcenterhub.org/the-parent-center-network
Additionally, parents sometimes report that their child’s doctor was not responsive to their concerns about the child’s development or suggested a “wait-and-see” approach that the family is feeling uneasy about. You can help support parents in getting their concerns addressed with a few reminders:
- Acting early on concerns is the best way to help their child.
- They know their child better than anyone.
- They can get a second opinion with another doctor.
- They do not need a referral from the doctor to call early intervention services (younger than age 3) or their local public school (age 3 and older) to find out if their child might be eligible for services to help.
As you know, you are a wonderful support to families:
- Your encouragement and reminders can go a long way toward getting a child and family the help they need.
- Remember, there are many resources in the community to support families in meeting their specific needs. Don’t feel like you need to have all the answers!