Gerri's Gazette March 2024

Welcome Spring!

Inside this issue:

  • Baby’s 1st Three Months (Developmental Red Flags Every Parent Should Know About)
  • FFY 2024 IDEA, Part C Grant Application for Federal Funds is Open for Public Comment
  • Rental Assistance
  • New Dads Get Depressed, Too
  • ICC Spotlight
  • Parent Training
  • Professional Development
  • Out and About in the Community
  • Resources
  • Events

Baby's 1st Three Months

In the baby’s first three months of life there are behaviors and signs that are often referred to as Red Flags that pediatric health professionals look for to indicate if a little one may need some help. Identifying and treating potential problems early, can reduce the impact it may have on the little one’s development Developmental Red Flags Every Parent Should Know

Video runs approximately 7 minutes.

Developmental Red Flags for 3 months old:

  • Limited head control
  • Constantly turning their head to one side
  • Flattening of the back or side of the head
  • Decreased movement on one side of the body
  • Fist remain closed most of the time
  • Does not cry
  • Does not notice or respond to loud sounds
  • Does not look at caregiver
  • Is not smiling or cooing
  • Does not follow a moving object with their eyes
  • Unable to latch while nursing or bottle feeding
  • Loses a lot of beast milk or formula
  • Appears distressed when feeding

If you do notice your little one has any of these red flags, don’t worry. It does not mean that something is wrong. It is an indication to talk to your pediatrician about what you are seeing. We advise talking to your doctor and making a referral to AzEIP.

FFY 2024 IDEA, Part C Grant Application for Federal Funds Is Open for Public Comment

The Arizona Department of Economic Security/Arizona Early Intervention Program (ADES/AzEIP) has posted the FFY 2024 Part C Annual Grant Application for Federal Funds. Copies of the Part C Grant Application for Federal Funds are available upon request from the AzEIP office.

Pursuant to the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) and Part C of the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), ADES/AzEIP, as the Lead Agency for IDEA, Part C in Arizona, is required to publish its Grant Application for Federal Funds (including any policies, procedures, and other information required in, and that will be submitted as part of, the application) in a manner that will ensure circulation throughout the State for at least 60 days, with an opportunity for public comment on the application for at least 30 days during that 60 day publication period.

The application will be available for review on March 22, 2024 through May 22, 2024. Comments must be received by April 21, 2024. You may submit comments by mail, email or fax. Please note that the application may be updated prior to submission to the Office of Special Education Programs (OSEP) based on OSEP's guidance and receipt of more recent information.

Submit your comments to:

Arizona Early Intervention Program

1789 West Jefferson Street, Mail Drop 2HP1, Phoenix, AZ 85007

(602) 532-9960 (option 3) | Fax: (602) 200-9820

Email: (subject line: Public Comment)

Rental Assistance

DES offers rental assistance to eligible families with children, as well as older adults. We want to make sure everyone is aware of this resource. The Arizona Rental Assistance Program (ARAP) helps clients struggling to make monthly rent payments, and by recommending the program to families you meet with, you may be able to help them stay in their homes! Eligible households can receive a payment for up to three months of their monthly rent. Or assistance can be used for past-due rent, as well as late fees and penalties.

Interested individuals and families can visit or visit a Community Action Agency (CAA) to learn more and apply today.

New Dads Get Depressed, Too

Postpartum depression is real and distressing for new parents, and it can often include fathers. This can be a reaction to a mother with postpartum depression, or it may be its own entity. As with new mothers, postpartum reactions can be misunderstood, ignored, or kept silent. Read more here.


ICC Spotlight

The Interagency Coordinating Council for Infants and Toddlers (ICC) advises and assist the Department of Economic Security, Arizona Early Intervention Program (DES/AzEIP) and its partner agencies to administer, promote, coordinate, and improve early intervention for families and professionals. We are looking for parents who have lived experience receiving early intervention services to share their story and the impact early intervention services has/ had on their family.

Lana Graber

“From the bottom of my heart, I wanted to thank you so much for the Certificate of Appreciation that I received. I am so grateful for the opportunity to have served as Chair of the ICC in collaboration with all of the amazing professionals and family members. It was truly my honor and I thank you for taking the time to send me the certificate. I am greatly looking forward to my continued work on the ICC and working collaboratively with the State of Arizona to improve the lives of children and families.”

Lana Graber, CEO of Dynamite Therapy, has been in the Chair and Vice Chair roles of the ICC for the past 5 years. As Sarah Greene and Sonia Samaniengo take over as Chair and Vice Chair respectively, Lana has said the following of her experience. "It has been my honor to serve the children and families of Arizona in this capacity, as well as the Office of the Governor. It has been an amazing experience and I am truly thankful to all involved in supporting me through this journey. I was the first ICC council member to travel to Washington, DC to be a part of the OSEP Leadership Conference. An experience that was unforgettable and helpful to our ICC development. I am greatly looking forward to continuing on as a Council member of the ICC. I enjoy working with all of the professionals and family members on the council as well as the AzEIP staff members who support our work. Together, we diligently work at the administrative level to help improve early intervention in our beautiful state of Arizona for the adorable infants and toddlers, and their families! In my humble opinion, the most precious, amazing and rewarding group to support."

Sonia Samaniego, Vice Chair ICC

Being a native Arizonan provides Sonia Samaniego a deep understanding of the local community's needs and challenges. With her vast experience as an Early Childhood Bilingual Service Provider and Professional Development Instructor, Sonia possesses a wealth of knowledge in communication disorders, early learning, special education, and adult training. Her expertise extends to statewide technical assistance for educational, clinical, child care, and early learning programs, specifically in the areas of referral, treatment, and follow-up services for families with children with potential hearing and/or vision loss. Sonia has hands-on experience in providing ongoing educational support and coordinating services to connect families with specialized programs. She emphasizes the importance of supporting children's learning and identifies the need for any supplemental services that may be required during the sensory screening process for hearing and vision.

Sonia's commitment to supporting infants and toddlers with special healthcare needs is evident through her active participation in the Interagency Coordinating Council for Infants and Toddlers since 2009. Sonia is actively involved in providing continuous education and awareness to community partners supporting the deaf, hard of hearing, or low vision communities in Arizona. Her guidance extends to navigating systems of care, ensuring that community partners are well equipped to provide support services and resources for children's learning. Sonia's dedication, expertise, and extensive outreach demonstrate her commitment to making a positive impact in the lives of families and children in Arizona.

To learn more about the ICC visit or email We look forward to hearing from you.

Parent Training

Scan the QR code at the bottom of the flyer for free Home Safety Classes:

Professional Development

The AZ CSPD Recruitment and Retention workgroup is pleased to announce that they have created one-page flyers for you to use in recruiting Developmental Special Instructionists and Service Coordinators.

The flyers, You can be a Developmental Special Instructionist, You can be a Service Coordinator, and You can be an Early Childhood Special Educator are available in the DES Document Center and on the AzEIP website under CSPD and provide a brief snapshot of educational requirements, some essential job duties and expectations, salary range and opportunity types, and job boards where interested candidates can apply for these jobs. They are also available in Spanish. Please feel free to download and use these at job fairs, with any recruitment partners, and other interested parties.

If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to We hope these will be helpful for you!

This is a FREE online course presented by Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes (ECHO). This course is designed for early childhood professionals and students who work directly with young children from birth through age 3 in-home or center-based settings.

Researchers have stressed the importance of high-quality teacher-child interactions and rich learning opportunities for child development (Bandel et al., 2014; Burchinal et al., 2015). Enriching environments are essential to supporting infants' and toddlers' holistic development. Join us for seven free online weekly Project ECHO sessions to gain insights and practical tools for designing such environments.

Your ECHO Hub Team will model strategies and show you how to create enriching environments that support the development of young children. You will also discuss successes and challenges with other ECHO participants and help each other find solutions. Topics include: room arrangement, routines, play, materials, and responsive caregiving.

Earn 10.5 clock hours or CEUs of continuing education!


In-person Trainings -


Out and About in the Community

(left to right) Wendy Kasprzyk-Roberts from Division of Child Support Services, Dawn Dishman and Patricia Moodie-Brown from Division of Aging and Adult Services, April Jones, Acting Deputy Assistant Director, Office of Community Engagement, and Lisa Vallee from Arizona Early Intervention Program along with a pea pod, carrot, and blueberry.

The Department of Economic Security (DES) shared DES program resources on Saturday, February 24 at the Sunnyslope Celebration of Wellness Event hosted by the Maricopa County Department of Public Health and HonorHealth Desert Mission. The event was held at the Desert Mission Food Bank parking lot with close to 500 people attending.

On February 17, 2024, Dynamite Therapy, an AzEIP contractor, was at the annual ZooWalk for Autism Research at the Phoenix Zoo! Dynamite Therapy was a sponsor of the event where there were over 1,000 participants in addition to the zoo visitors! Enrique Enriquez and Kayla Chambers greatly enjoyed meeting members of the community while sharing with them all the benefits of early intervention and how AzEIP can help infants and toddlers. AzEIP flyers and Dynamite swag were given out. Enrique and Kayla are sporting the now famous "monkey hats"! The kiddos had a great time.




For more upcoming events visit our Facebook Page:

Arizona Early Childhood Community

Important Disclaimer: The foregoing is publicly available information about upcoming events, resources, and reminders from third-party organizations. In some cases, AzEIP has included links to other websites that are not owned or controlled in any way by AzEIP, but that contain additional information about the events, resources or reminders. By clicking on any of the links above, you agree to be directed to the external website and you acknowledge and agree that AzEIP shall not be held responsible or accountable for any information contained on such site. Please note that AzEIP does not monitor any of the websites linked herein and does not endorse or approve any information posted on any such sites.


Please email your request to: