Resources in California for Speech Disorders in Children
One of the most critical components of successfully treating speech disorders in children is family involvement. Families are crucial; they model correct patterns of speech, use at-home speech therapy techniques, and encourage the child to practice his speech therapy lessons at home with the use of activities like the exercises in Speech Buddies University. But sometimes, being a parent is utterly exhausting. In fact, the working parent demographic was labeled as having one of the top five most stressful jobs in America. And that’s before you consider the demands of treating speech disorders in children.
That’s why you can – and should – take advantage of every federal, state, and nongovernmental resource available to your family. If you live in California, you have at your disposal programs such as: Early Start, California Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRCs), Parent Training and Information Centers (PTIs), and much, much more. And if you ever have trouble tracking down a local resource or organization, don’t hesitate to call your local school district or parent support group for assistance.
Early Start is the early intervention (EI) program in California. If your infant or toddler has a disability or a developmental delay, he may be eligible for free services through Early Start. California also offers services to infants and toddlers who have an established risk condition that is likely to lead to delayed development. This program can help treat speech disorders in children by offering audiology services, assistive technology, and speech therapy.
So how do you get started with this EI program? Call (800) 515-BABY. You can also call your local family regional center or local school district for information and a referral to Early Start.
California Community Parent Resource Centers
There are Community Parent Resource Centers (CPRC) located across the U.S. These centers help parents learn about the early intervention and special education processes. They also focus on training parents to help the kids’ teachers understand the needs of those kids. The centers connect families with professionals who can help. They serve the needs of families with disabled children, birth through age 26. The CPRCs in California are: Loving Your Disabled Child, Parents of Watts, Chinese Parents Association for the Disabled, Fiesta Educativa, and Vietnamese Parents of Disabled Children Association, Inc.
Parent Training and Information Centers
Parent Training and Information Centers (PTIs) are nonprofit, parent-run organizations that the Department of Education funds. They are authorized by the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA). PTIs are also focused on parent training and providing information. However, they emphasize the legal rights of families and procedural safeguards. They can help parents learn how to aid their children in overcoming academic obstacles and leading productive lives.
California PTIs offer workshops on topics such as parent and student rights and responsibilities, the Individualized Education Program (IEP), assistance and advocacy, and parent-to-parent support. There are multiple PTIs in California. To find the one nearest to you, check this map of PTIs.
It’s also a good idea to look for local support groups for parents of children with special needs. Parents can pool their resources, share information, and approach school districts about issues as an impactful group. Network with other local parents to sniff out local groups, or form your own support group centered on speech disorders in children. You might also check out Parents Helping Parents (for families with special needs kids) and Disability Rights California.