Saturday, November 21, 2009

Prematurity Awareness Month Fact #21:
BabyNet is South Carolina's interagency system of early intervention services for families who have infants and toddlers, birth to three years of age, with developmental delays or conditions associated with developmental delays. Children may be eligible for BabyNet if they are learning or developing slowly. Eligible children are served regardless of family income or nationality.

Our pediatrician referred us to BabyNet when Morgan Kate was six months old (two and half months adjusted). Because of MK's early, early birth and her extremely low-birth weight, she automatically qualified for services. I'll try my best to explain BabyNet in easy terms. You guys probably already understand it, but it makes more sense to me when I explain things. BabyNet is a big agency that provides various early intervention services to families with children under 3. BabyNet is not just for premature babies. It's for any child under three with any type of developmental delay(s). Even if your child was born full term with no complications they could still possibly qualify for services if your pediatrician saw a need.

First, BabyNet sends out a person from their agency to assess the child. If the child qualifies during that assessment then the parents must then decide what smaller agency to work with. BabyNet is like the BIG umbrella and then there are numerous smaller agencies under that. We chose Bright Start as our agency. Once we decided to go with Bright Start then they sent out an early interventionist (EI). The EI works with us each week and she/he also serves as our "case worker". They have never used the term "case worker", it's a word I use. The EI works with MK each week and whenever we have a concern or the EI has a concern then we call in additional help. In April we all saw a real need for physical therapy. Not only did we see a need, but the EI's assessment showed one as well. So the EI found us a physical therapist. The PT came out and did their own assessment. Her assessment also showed a need for services, so we began with PT. The same thing happened when we qualified for OT and for speech.

We have been very pleased with BabyNet, Bright Start and our different therapists. We feel so blessed to receive these services and to receive them so early. We truly believe that early intervention is THE BEST!


Allison said...

I have always thought being an EI would be fun. I would love to work with the really young ones with Autism red flags...I also want to get an SLP degree... How many hats can I wear??

Ashleigh Turner said...

What a great explanation of BabyNet! The whole process can be a little confusing and overwhelming. I love, love working with the birth-3 population to provide speech services. Through working in the school AND working with BabyNet, I feel like I have the best of both worlds.
(Allison - you would be a great EI!)

Melissa and Sam said...

This Christmas will be especially special for you guys I bet! Show pics of O's house!!