One of the most important parts of our jobs as speech-language pathologists is to be there for our parents and our families. We serve children, and this is the core of our job. Nonetheless, a child’s communication needs impact all aspects of a family’s day: asking for a snack, recounting the school day, explaining the reason for the tears. To fulfill of our roles and responsibilities is to be a continual resource for our clients, our students and our families.
As a speech-language pathologist who is also a parent of a special needs child, I am so appreciative of the efforts that people in the field have put into supporting parents. I founded Bilinguistics four years before I had a special needs child. Having worked in the field, I knew how to access many resources, such as speech therapy and occupational therapy, for my son. I also knew how to advocate for him in the educational setting. What I was completely unprepared for was the emotional impact of having a special needs child. Looking into the future is both scary and necessary. It is so helpful to connect with other parents who have the same fears and concerns. Thank you to all who worked so hard on the Parent Companion for helping parents share their stories. You are making a difference in so many lives. –Ellen Kester
Today we would like to share two awesome speech therapy resources for parents.
The Parent Companion
The Parent Companion is a guide for Texas parents and caregivers of children with diagnosed or suspected disabilities from birth through 5 years of age. (Secret: Even parents outside of Texas can benefit from it–it’s just that the resources are in Texas.) Not only can parents find resources to help their children, but there are videos of family stories. Through these stories, parents will realize that they are not alone. The best part? The information is provided in English and Spanish.
The following link is an example of families sharing their stories. This two minute video will be worth your time:
The Connections App
The Connections App is a mobile app that is a complete resource guide for families of children with special needs. And it is FREE! They are adding resources city-by-city once they have enough professions from a given area aligned to the system. “For the first time, caregivers are able to locate all of the resources they need in one place, making local providers visible to those directly in need of their services and easing the process of caring for a child with special needs.”
Lamarque Polvado is the father of a child with Autism. Reeling from the initial diagnosis, he and his family were additionally dismayed by the absolute lack of information on services for the many professionals that they would need to access throughout their child’s life. Thankfully for us, his desires were channeled into a project to allow service providers and parents alike access to professionals and services.
Hear his story and hear about the project in his TEDx presentation:
” The CareStarter platform allows healthcare professionals to make relevant referrals, incorporate community-based resources into their plan of care, and provide ongoing, diagnosis-specific content to patients while receiving data from interactions outside of their system.”
Links to the Apps for Android and the iPhone can be found on their website: CareStarter
Remember, parents, we are here for you. You are not alone, and, together, we can reach our goals.
Lastly, we have included documents on our website to provide information on 27 common disorders that affect communication. Find resources for parents, definitions, and evaluation and therapy considerations. Communication Disorder Resources for Parents can be viewed online or downloaded as a pdf. Each page includes:
- Implication for treatment
- Links to support groups and resources