Raising a Young Vermonter? Check Out These Special Needs Resources
The Green Mountain state is a beautiful place to raise a family. In particular, I’ve always enjoyed the view from Mount Equinox, especially when the fall foliage is at its peak. But depending on where you live, it may be a little more difficult to find speech therapy resources and other special needs resources than it would be if you lived in a huge metropolitan area like New York City. When in doubt, contact your local school district for assistance. Ask them about government-funded programs, private school programs, and other special needs resources like advocacy groups and support groups. And check out our list below to help you get started.
The Stern Center for Language and Learning is a nonprofit organization that is based in Williston. They help nearly 1,000 kids and adults each year with a diverse range of needs. They offer evaluations, programs for parents, and of course, speech therapy services, along with other special needs resources. Their speech therapists are skilled in providing intervention services to address articulation, fluency, and phonology, as well as pragmatic language use. In addition to their strong speech pathology program, the Stern Center helps autistic children and others with social learning skills. Check their website for recent listings for programs, such as vocab development and phonological awareness.
The Vermont Family Network (VFN), also based in Williston, offers a wealth of online special needs resources. This resource helps parents connect to advocacy organizations, training opportunities, and more. In addition to their workshops, they also offer online webinars for those who live farther away. VFN also provides special needs resources on navigating the legal system, from early intervention to special education. They strongly encourage parental collaboration in schools. VFN also offers publications to educate parents, and encourages families to check out training materials from their lending library.
The Family Place is a Parent Child Center (PCC), a community-based service for family support. It’s based in Norwich ad focuses on services for families with children from birth to age six. The Family Place provides parent support and education, information and referrals, and home visits, if needed. They also get involved with early intervention services, advocacy efforts, and they offer a lending library. Examples of some of their offered classes include toddler development, milestones, and kindergarten readiness.
Children with Special Health Needs (CSHN) is a branch of the Vermont Department of Health. It provides services for individuals from birth through age 21. Check their website for current listings of clinics, including the child development clinic, which will screen your child for possible developmental disorders.