What Is the Early Intervention Referral Process in SC?

November 22, 2021

If you suspect your child has a developmental delay or disability, don’t wait to seek early intervention support. It’s most effective when started early in your child’s life, when their brain is the most adaptable. 

But even if you’re ready to get started, you might still be wondering how to actually refer your child for early intervention services. The good news is that it's much simpler than it seems. Below, we’ll run through the process of referring your child for early intervention in South Carolina. 

Who Can Make an Early Intervention Referral in SC?

Before we dive into the early intervention referral process, it’s important to note that, sometimes, parents aren’t the first to spot delays. Therefore, they’re not the only ones who can submit referrals. Your child could be referred by anyone, including caregivers, doctors, teachers, daycare providers, or friends. 

How Do You Make an Early Intervention Referral in SC?

The South Carolina early intervention referral process varies, depending on your child’s age. Infants and toddlers up to three years old are referred through BabyNet, and toddlers between three and six years old are referred through the South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs (DDSN). We’ll explain more about these organizations and their unique referral processes below. 

Referrals for Children Ages 0-3 Years

If your child is between ages 0-3 years, their referral should be made through BabyNet. BabyNet is South Carolina’s interagency early intervention system for children under 3 years old who may have developmental delays or disabilities. 

To apply for BabyNet early intervention services, you can either submit a referral through BabyNet’s Referral Form, or you can submit a referral via phone call to the BabyNet Central Referral Team at 1-866-512-8881. Each of these processes are quick and easy, only asking for your contact information, reason for referral, and consent to obtain records and information regarding your child. 

Referrals for Children Ages 3-6 Years

If your child is between ages 3-6 years, their referral should be made through DDSN. DDSN is the South Carolina agency that plans, develops, coordinates, and funds services for people with various developmental delays and disabilities. 

To apply for DDSN early intervention services, you can call their toll-free number at 1-800-289-7012 between 8:30 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. This call acts as a pre-screening to determine your child’s eligibility for services. 

Before your call, you should have the following information about your child on hand:

  • Full name
  • Date of birth
  • Social security number
  • Medicaid number (if eligible)
  • Home address
  • Phone number
  • Email address

This screening call usually takes about 15 minutes to complete. You’ll be asked questions about your residency in South Carolina and general information about your child’s delay or disability.

If, by chance, your call to DDSN is missed, leave your name and phone number. Calls are returned during business hours within the next two days. 

What Happens After You Make an Early Intervention Referral in SC?

Once you make an early intervention referral through BabyNet or DDSN, your child’s eligibility will be determined. If your child is eligible for early intervention services, you’ll be offered a choice of early intervention provider in your area. 

If you select About Play as an early intervention provider, our team will be in touch with you within just one week to schedule your initial home visit. And from there, your child’s learning and growth journey with us can begin!

We're happy to say that early intervention services in South Carolina are financially covered entirely by the state. If you're worried your child may be facing a developmental delay or disability, About Play can help. We’re happy to walk you through any steps of the referral process, so you can start helping your child learn, grow, and overcome challenges as soon as possible. Give us a call at 803-497-3915 or contact us online for more information.

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