Screening & Intervention

     

The Screening and Intervention department receives and interprets screening regularly and has the ability to work one on one with children to increase their skills to prepare them for kindergarten. In addition, parents and providers are given pertinent information concerning developmental milestones, behavior management and other topics of interest.  

Supportive Intervention Services

All children in Pinellas County who are enrolled in the School Readiness Program through the Coalition are screened using an Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ).

The Screening and Intervention Services Department receives and interprets screenings regularly, and provides intervention or referrals within the community as needed. Those who score a result indicating the need for some kind of intervention may be considered for Supportive Intervention Services. These services include Developmental or Behavior Specialist Services, along with referrals to other services in the community; i.e., FDLRS, Early Steps, mental health services, other therapeutic or behavior support services, etc. In addition, parents and providers are given pertinent information concerning child development, behavior, inclusive practices and other topics of interest.

Children with concerns noted on their ASQ who would not be eligible for formal intervention from FDLRS or Early Steps can benefit from short term, informal interventions. Children receiving supportive interventions are not labeled or diagnosed. Instead, they are provided additional supports directly in the early learning environment.

In addition to working with children directly, Specialists provide resources and coaching for teachers and caregivers onsite. After reviewing a child’s ASQ, a specialist will visit the early learning educator to observe the child and gather information to determine which service to provide:
**Services are provided based on need (of the child AND the early learning educator) and can last up to 4 months for Developmental
concerns and up to 2 months intensive + 2 months consultation services with an ILP for Behavioral concerns. At any time during the
service, a child can be referred for other services, or stepped down to an ILP. **
For more information, please contact Kelley Miller, Program Supervisor, at 727-400-4454 or kmiller@elcpinellas.org
An onsite TA Plan to provide the individual teacher with short term technical assistance and coaching on specific areas of concern.
An individual Child Plan to provide 1:1 services to the identified child, to overcome developmental delays and reach milestones or address specific behavior challenges in the classroom.
A Provider Plan to provide the teacher or entire site with more intensive technical assistance and coaching on how to implement new teaching strategies, use materials, and address behavior challenges using the Positive Behavior Support Model, ABA techniques and Conscious Discipline.
An Individualized Learning Plan (ILP) created by the specialist based on the child’s needs, for the classroom teacher to implement for 8 weeks with continued support and guidance from the specialist.
Offer Developmental Activities and/or Refer
the child for other services.

Developmental Screening for School
Readiness Children

Once a child is enrolled in the School Readiness (SR) Program, they will begin receiving periodic developmental screenings through their child care provider. The screening is used help to check a child’s general development. The results help determine if a child’s development is on schedule. Evidence shows that the earlier development is assessed—the greater the chance a child has to reach their potential.

THE ASQ SCREENS THE CHILD’S DEVELOPMENT IN (5) AREAS TYPICAL FOR EACH AGE:

Communication skills

Gross Motor skills

Fine Motor skills

Problem-Solving skills

Personal-Social skills

AGES AND STAGES QUESTIONNAIRE (ASQ-3)

3The ASQ is a screening of the child’s current developmental skills at that moment in time and serves as an indicator for potential delays for further screening and evaluations. It is provided to the child care provider for any School Readiness funded child enrolled in their care who is “due” to have a screening each month.

Each child is screened within the first 45 days of enrolling into care. Subsequently, a child will be screened annually on or around their birthday. Some children are screened more often if indicated by the parent or child care provider.

The provider will log into the Provider Portal and complete the ASQ. The Coalition will retrieve the ASQ for scoring and tracking.

Children whose scores indicate concerns in any area are discussed with the child care provider and the parent by trained developmental specialists. The point of the discussion is to gather additional information from the adults in the child’s life to determine if further evaluation is needed to help the child reach developmental goals.

SOCIAL EMOTIONAL ASQ’S (ASQ:SE-2)

ASQ:SE-2’s are also available to screen children when there are concerns about their behavior, emotions, or social skills. The ASQ:SE-2 can be accessed by a parent or child care provider through the Coalition at no cost. The ASQ:SE-2 is recommended when a child is having difficulty managing or expressing their emotions, exhibiting challenging behaviors, or problems relating to their peers or adults in a way that is typical for their age. Trained developmental staff in the Coalition can interpret results and refer families for additional services as needed. 

REFERRAL AND NAVIGATION

If it is decided that the child could benefit from further evaluation, the Quality Services staff can coordinate referrals for free evaluations and services from the federally mandated agencies that provide them in Pinellas County.

Early Steps: a family-centered early intervention system that serves children birth to 36 months, regardless of family’s income. For more information, please call (727) 767-4403. 

FDLRS/Child Find (Florida Diagnostic Learning Resources System): A part of Pinellas County schools, available at no cost providing screenings for children ages 3-5 (who are not in a K-12 program), information regarding programs and services available for children with special needs and their families, and assistance in obtaining appropriate educational evaluations. For more informtion, call (727) 793-2731. 

The referral and accompanying paperwork can be completed by Screening and Intervention staff for the families to access services. Specialists in the department can also help families understand the nature of the developmental concern noted on their child’s ASQ, interpret ASQ screening results, refer for other services such as mental health counseling, behavioral services, etc. and explain how to navigate the system.

For more information, please contact Kelley Miller, Program Supervisor, at 727-400-4454 or kmiller@elcpinellas.org

Community Screening

AT COMMUNITY SCREENING, CHILDREN ARE SCREENED FOR:

Vision

Hearing

Speech & Language

Cognitive Development

Fine and Gross Motor Development

Social Emotional Development

Parents have the opportunity to consult with therapists and developmental specialists about any concerns they may have. After the screening, families receive an exit interview where the results are discussed. If a concern is identified that requires further evaluation, the referral is processed at that time.

Parents should call at least one month prior to the screening to allow for the amount of time it takes to do the intake, schedule the appointment, and to receive and fill out the paperwork necessary prior to the screening. A screening takes two to three hours to complete.

Screenings occur monthly and take place in St. Petersburg, Clearwater, and Tarpon Springs. These screenings are temporarily suspended due to COVID-19.

TO SCHEDULE AN APPOINTMENT, PLEASE CALL: (727) 545-7536

Inclusion Warm Line

“Inclusion: A value that supports the right of all children, regardless of their diverse abilities, to participate actively in natural settings within their communities. A natural setting is one in which the child would spend time had he or she not had a disability.”
– Inclusion as defined by The Division of Early Childhood of the Council for Exceptional Children

The Inclusion Warm Line, which is run by the Inclusion Specialist, is a free resource, as well as an information and referral service, regarding the inclusion of children with special needs and disabilities in Pinellas County.  The Warm Line is available to child care centers and family child care homes requesting information relating to the disability and special health care needs of the children they are serving.

Inclusion Specialists at each coalition office in our State are dedicated:

  • To increasing the number of providers who offer quality inclusive programs for children with disabilities, challenging behaviors and special health care needs.
  • To enhancing the confidence, ability level, and education of caregivers who care for children with disabilities, challenging behaviors and special health care needs.
  • To assisting providers and the families they serve in understanding and accessing the community resources and services available for children with special needs.
  • To increasing community awareness of the need for, the requirements of, and the benefits associated with inclusive child care for all children.

In addition, our Warm Line Inclusion Specialist can also assist with the following issues:

  • Curriculum Development
  • Strategies for Managing Behavior
  • Child Development Concerns
  • Environmental Adaptations
  • Laws and Regulations (i.e. The Americans with Disabilities Act

INCLUSION WARM LINE CONTACT INFORMATION

Pinellas County ELC Warm Line: (727) 545-7536

The state’s Warm Line number in Tallahassee:  (866) 357-3239

 If you have concerns about your child’s development and would like to complete an online Ages and Stages Questionnaire (ASQ-3) please use the following link:

If you are concerned about your child’s behavior and/or social-emotional development and would like to complete an Ages and Stages Questionnaire: Social Emotional, Second Addition (ASQ-SE2) please use the following link:  

You will be notified of the results by mail in about two weeks.

More Information

Our Team

Kelley Miller
Developmental Services Supervisor II
Kelley came to Florida in 2003. She is originally from upstate New York, and attended Edinboro University of Pennsylvania, where she received her Bachelors of Arts degree in Psychology with a minor in Special Education. Kelley has over 20 years of experience in various roles specializing in behavioral health and child development. Prior to supervising the Screening and Intervention department at ELC, some of her roles have included: teacher, case manager, counselor, Developmental Specialist, Supportive Intervention, and Inclusion Specialist. Kelley is a wife, a mother of four and a youth leader at her church for middle and high school students. She is committed to building and maintaining relationships as well as providing stellar support and guidance to her staff, childcare providers, families and community partners.
Read More
Mary Grace Califano
Behavior Specialist
MaryGrace has been a Behavior Specialist since 2016. She holds a BA in theatre and was a NYS Level 2 Credentialed Professional Development Specialist Trainer. Prior to moving to Pinellas County in 2016, she lived in Upstate New York where she worked in the childcare field since 2002. She works closely with staff and families to promote best practice and quality learning environments to help all children find opportunities to be successful and reach their full potential. MaryGrace has presented at state conferences in Florida and New York covering training areas such as trauma informed care, social emotional development, and strategies to promote mental health. As a Behavior Specialist, MaryGrace has the opportunity to work individually with children who are in need of support and guidance to transform challenging behavior. Her strategies and philosophies are supported through the use of positive behavior support. She is a believer that all individuals only know what they know until they are shown a different way. MaryGrace is a wife and mother who loves spending quality time with her family and going on weekend adventures!
Read More
Arin Taylor
Behavior Specialist
Arin is originally from a small town in Florida called Steinhatchee. She is a wife and mother of 2 daughters. Since relocating to Pinellas County in 2001, she has worked in many different capacities related to the Early Childhood Education field. She completed her BA in Interdisciplinary Social Sciences in 2008 from USF. After graduating, Arin worked for several years as a PreK teacher. During this time, she discovered a passion for supporting children and families in need of early intervention services. She then began working as a Child and Family Consultant providing assistance and resources to preschools and families that have children displaying developmental concerns and/or severe medical diagnosis. Arin recently became a Registered Behavior Technician and is dedicated to helping children in our community to have a successful future.
Read More
Wendy Oliveras
Developmental Specialist (North County)
Wendy obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in Elementary Education from St. John’s University in New York. She is bilingual in English and Spanish and is trained in behavior management and learning strategies for ADHD, Dyslexia, and Autism. Wendy has over 10 years of experience in various capacities of supporting her passion for early education with children, families, and providers. Since relocating to Pinellas County, she has had many roles including Preschool Teacher, Middle School Spanish Teacher, Licensing Specialist and Child and Family Consultant. Wendy is a wife and a mother of two. She is dedicated to the total development of children and helping them to succeed.
Read More
Jennifer Bragdon
Developmental Specialist (Mid-County)
Jennifer holds a BA in Speech-language pathology and a teacher certification through 2nd grade from USF. Her strong desire to improve the lives of children has led her to work in the ECE field since 1989. Jennifer believes she makes a difference for children by mentoring providers, and is committed to supporting professionals and helping children and families find the services they need.
Read More
Rafika Blanco
Developmental Specialist (South County)
Rafika brings almost a decade of experience working with children in various capacities, which include developing plans and strategies to help meet their developmental needs as well as providing daily care, safety, and maintaining overall welfare for youth. Rafika earned her Bachelor’s degree in Educational Studies from SPC and a Master’s degree in Gerontology from Nova Southeastern University. She has a love for children and strives to maximize the full potential of each child. Rafika is a wife and a mother of two. In the community, she gives back while utilizing her degree in her volunteer work with senior groups in her church
Read More
Anjanette Ellwood
Administrative Specialist II
Anjanette is a Florida native. She recently received her Bachelors of Science degree in Educational Studies at St. Petersburg College. She is a mother and part of a family raising a child with Autism. Anjanette stays active in the community by volunteering. At the ELC, Anjanette is responsible for processing the Ages and Stages Questionnaires and ensuring providers success through the use of the Provider Portal.
Read More
Lorrie Auger
Inclusion Specialist
Lorrie was born in upstate NY where she received her AA degree in Human Services and her BS degree in Elementary Education and English. She moved to NH in 1993 where she lived for 16 years and she has lived in Clearwater, FL since 2011. Lorrie has worked with children and families in some capacity for over thirty years. Some of her experiences include child care worker, preschool camp counselor and preschool camp director, substitute teacher, preschool teacher, special education aide, Reading and Math tutor, residential aide for children with neurological and emotional behavioral disorders, family case manager, family worker, and child and family consultant. She is a wife and mother of three, and is fully dedicated to every child’s right to receive equal opportunities, participate in enriching activities, and receive a quality education.
Read More

 

2536 Countryside Blvd Suite 500, Clearwater, FL 33763

Hours of Operation: M-F, 8:00am – 5:00pm

Family Portal

Provider Portal

ELC Provider Portal

Child Care Resource and Referral (CCR&R)

Make An Appointment