The Collaboration works to ensure that all children birth to five receive periodic developmental screenings and that all children who need assessment and services access them.
The Physicians Network
Working with Doctors Rebecca Barbato, Rebecca Turk and Karen Walker, the Collaboration launched the Physicians Network in July 2008 to promote a stronger connection between the early childhood community and health practitioners and to increase their awareness of early childhood developmental issues and services. Dr. Barbato is a pediatrician in practice at Loyola Center for Health at North Riverside and is assistant professor in Pediatrics at Loyola University in Chicago – Stritch School of Medicine. Dr. Turk is a pediatrician at Pedios Ltd. in Oak Park. She previously worked on a grant at Loyola Medical Center to implement developmental screening at Loyola's nine satellite clinics. Dr. Walker practices pediatrics at Pediagroup in Oak Park and is the medical director of The Children's Clinic sponsored by the Oak Park/River Forest Infant Welfare Society. She serves on the Executive Committee of Illinois Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Developmental Referral and Services Directory
The Developmental Services and Referral Directory provides information to health care providers referring children to Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education for evaluations. The Directory describes the referral processes for both systems, and contains listings for Child Family Connection Offices, school districts and developmental services. The Directory was developed through a CATCH grant awarded by the American Academy of Pediatrics to Dr. Rebacca Barbato to develop a cohesive referral and follow-up process for physicians to use when they believe a child may have developmental delays and need additional evaluations and or services. To access the Directory click here.
Early Intervention Referral Forms and Referral Process
• Click here to download the Standardized Illinois Early Intervention Referral Form.
• Click here to view the Illinois Early Intervention Program Referral Fax Back Form. This form is sent by the Early Intervention Program to the referring provider to inform her or him about the status of the referral.
• Click here to download the Early Intervention Communication and Referral Procees.
• Click here to download the Early Childhood Special Education Communication and Referral Process.
The Physicians Network Breakfast Meetings
The Physicians Network sponsors two breakfast seminars each year focusing on key issues in children's healthy development. Topics have included screening for developmental delays during well-child visits and the referral process, identifying red flags for learning disabilities, roots of childhood obesity and what to do about it, perinatal/postpartum depression screening and promoting oral health. When feasible, physicians receive Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits for attending the meeting. Newsletters and handouts from recent presentations are posted under Resources to the right.
Developmental Milestones Booklet: Watch and Help Me Grow
This colorful booklet describes developmental milestones children are likely to meet at different stages of their lives. The 16-page booklet, broken down by age brackets, explains what a child can do, how a parent can help and when a parent should speak with a doctor. Each child develops on his/her own timeline and not all children meet each milestone at the same time. Some children will gain several new motor skills without developing new language skills or vice versa. This is typical as long as the child begins to master new skills in the other areas within a month or two. An online version of this guide is available by clicking here. This publication is made possible through a generous grant from CommunityWorks of the Oak Park River Forest Community Foundation and support from the Rotary Club of Oak Park River Forest.
Hearing and Vision Screening
During winter 2009, the Village of Oak Park discontinued its hearing and vision screening program for preschool-age children due to budget constraints. The State of Illinois mandates that all preschools and licensed child care centers provide annual vision and hearing screenings. Because of the critical importance of these screenings, the Collaboration decided to undertake this program despite inadequate support from the State of Illinois. During the 2012 fiscal year, the Collaboration provided hearing and vision screening to 1,026 preschool-age children in child-care and preschool settings. Twenty-five children were referred for additional screening. The Collaboration also provided monitoring support to assure that parents followed up on referrals. The Collaboration achieved an 84% follow-up completion rate for children referred, well above the norm of 50%-60% statewide.