Attention Dallas-Area Parents! Resources for Your Special Needs Kids
Dallas, Texas is the eighth-most populated city in the U.S., and it also boasts the fourth-largest metropolitan area. Famous for its state fair, the Dallas cowboys, and being the hometown of Meat Loaf (yup, the singer, not the dish), Dallas is an easy town to love. Large cities like Dallas typically offer greater resources for parents of special needs kids on the hunt for the latest speech therapy techniques, but sometimes those resources can be tricky to find. So for all of you Texans out there, here’s a guide to raising special needs kids in Dallas.
Special Needs Kids & Summer Programs
Those of us in the northeast are enjoying (finally!) a new blanket of snow on the ground, but it’s never too early to start thinking about summer programs for the kids. The info for these programs was published for last summer, so check with the appropriate point of contact for current info for next year. Here’s the listing:
Sponsored by the Callier Center, this camp is intended for kids ages 3 – 11 with cochlear implants It lasts for a few days and boasts speech therapy activities for the kids, mixed in with other fun stuff like fishing and crafts.
Also sponsored by the Callier Center for Communication Disorders, this program is a seven-week session for special needs kids ages 6 – 11. Last year, the program offered 3-hour sessions on each day for intensive speech therapy. The program did not list any particular speech disorders that the speech-language pathologists (SLPs) specialize in.
The Callier Center apparently has quite an impressive presence on the Dallas speech therapy scene. This one is intended for special needs kids who are entering grades one through seven. It is a six-week program for children with stuttering disorders. Special needs kids will engage in fun speech therapy activities and one-on-one time with an SLP to learn about fluency techniques.
This swimming program is for kids ages 5 through 18, and it takes place at the Waxahachie YMCA – contact those guys directly for more info. The swim team is intended for any developmentally challenged child.
Special Needs Playground
Special needs kids sometimes struggle on regular playgrounds, and this is why Bill Short has planned a special needs playground to be constructed in the North Texas area (exact location undisclosed). This one is still in the planning stages, so keep your ears tuned into local news for updates.
If you’re still searching for a speech therapist for your child, check out the services offered at the Children’s Medical Center. They offer diagnostic and treatment services for a range of speech disorders, including fluency and voice disorders. Call them for more info at 214-456-2778.
Dallas Independent School District
The Dallas Independent School District (ISD) is the 14th-largest school district in the U.S., with more than 157,000 students. The speech pathology services at Dallas ISD is dedicated to adapting to the individual student’s needs. Services may be provided in the classroom in collaboration with the teacher, or in the special education classroom – or both. Check out this website for more info and a list of who to contact in speech pathology services.
Local Advocacy Groups
Advocacy groups are so important for families of special needs kids. In addition to national support groups, check out a local group that Lyn Pollard created. She describes it as a “support and study group for moms in (Dallas) who have children with special needs and/or learning differences.” Contact Pollard directly by emailing her at firstname.lastname@example.org.