Child & Family Advocacy
Parents are often looking for guidance in managing the unique challenges of their child’s special needs. As Child & Family Advocates we work collaboratively with families to find and develop a path that best suits a child and maximizes his or her potential for success.
We teach parents how to:
Navigate the Road from Diagnosis to Treatment
Having a child with a disability can be complicated and confusing. Parents are often left wondering what to do and where to go for help. Assisting families in finding specialists to effectively evaluate, diagnose and treat a child is a central component of the work we do as Child & Family Advocates. Rather than being left to figure everything out on their own, a Child & Family Advocate teaches parents how to most effectively, and efficiently, find help for their child.
Find Services and Specialists
Not all services are the same and not all specialists are equal. We assist parents in finding the right therapeutic services and specialists to support their child. We can also inform you of the therapists and clinicians in your area, and help you to find out where to go to receive the help your child needs.
Set Appropriate Goals to Ensure Continual Growth
Continual growth and development outside of school is equally important to that inside an educational setting. With our advocacy services, we help families successfully transition “school goals” to specialists in private practice. We ensure that goals from school, seamlessly mesh with goals developed by private providers, better ensuring the continual and overall growth of the child.
Decipher the Continuum of Services and Placements Available
The decision about where a student should receive services is called educational placement. The IEP team, which includes parents, decides the educational placement and services for the student. Placement decisions are made at least once a year at the IEP meeting and are based on the student’s individual needs. The IDEA presumes that the first placement option considered for each child with a disability is the general education classroom in the school that the child would attend if he or she did not have a disability.
If the IEP team, decides that a general education class is not the most appropriate setting for the student, then they can consider other options including: resource rooms; structured teaching classes; public day schools; private therapeutic day school; and even home/hospital instruction. We can help you to determine and to obtain the most appropriate placement for your child.
Understand Available Early Intervention Services
Early intervention is crucial for a child with a disability. Studies have found that early intervention services for a child with special needs are directly linked to a child’s progress. Illinois recognizes the importance of early intervention services and provide related services and supports to children with disabilities. These services are available for children from birth to (3) years of age and are significantly less costly than private practice groups. We can provide you with information about early intervention services in Illinois.
Find Early Childhood Special Education Services
School districts are required to provide a free appropriate public education for all children with disabilities who are age 3 through 21 years old. Parents of preschool children who need special education and related services have the same rights as other school-age children.
There is no automatic eligibility for Early Childhood Special Education Services. Parents, school personnel, and others must work together to determine if a child is eligible to receive special education services. The evaluation procedures for special education that would be used for an elementary or high school-aged child also apply to preschool children suspected of having a disability which will adversely affect educational performance.
The child’s preschool special education and related services can be delivered in a variety of different settings. Settings may include community preschool or child care programs, park district preschools or programs, Head Start, state-funded Pre-Kindergarten or Preschool for All programs, or an early childhood special education program provided by the school district.
Many school districts have wonderful special education preschool programming. We can inform you of what programming is available in your area to help your child.