Clark County Developmental Disabilities receives top rating for early childhood program

Shannon Chatfield, Director of Early Childhood at Developmental Disabilities of Clark County. CONTRIBUTED
Shannon Chatfield, Director of Early Childhood at Developmental Disabilities of Clark County. CONTRIBUTED

The Early Childhood Department of Developmental Disabilities of Clark County has received a 100% compliance rating for the third year in a row.

The rating, from the Ohio Department of Developmental Disabilities (DODD), is for their 2020 annual evaluation on 45-day compliance of feedback referral, according to a release from Developmental Disabilities of Clark County. This makes it the third consecutive year the program has achieved 100% compliance, which means the department met or exceeded the criteria.

“Our team works hard to meet these criteria within 30 days, not 45 as required by the state,” said Early Childhood Director, Shannon Chatfield. “We don’t want families waiting for services.”

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The department provides services for children from birth through age five who have a qualifying diagnosis such as autism, down syndrome, hearing or vision loss, language delays or difficulty with motor skills, the release stated. The team receives referrals from parents, family members, teachers, or anyone concerned for a child’s development, and then an evaluation is performed to determine if the child is eligible for services.

“Everything we do is related to life skills,” Chatfield said. “We address the issues that are important to the family and part of their natural routine. We meet the families where they are in the child’s development and work to improve their current skills.”

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The program is highly effective and has over 50% of children no longer needing services upon entering preschool, the release stated. Services are free and funded by the Developmental Disabilities of Clark County levy and the State Early Intervention fund.

To make a referral, call 937-328-2680 or use the online form at clarkdd.org/ei_referral_form.

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