When I was in 8th grade, I was selected from my peer tutoring class to work with the children who had special needs. I went to their classroom, asked the teacher who needed extra help that day, and took them back to the tutoring portable where we worked on basic math and reading together. It was a nice program, and I instantly grew a strong interest in and passion for working with children with disabilities. I carried this with me to college, where I earned a Bachelor’s degree in elementary education, Master’s degree in special education, and Doctorate in special education. I have worked with individuals with disabilities ages 3 to 21, diagnosed with learning disabilities, cognitive impairments, physical impairments, autism, visual impairments, and hearing impairments. I have worked in the public school system, a private school, and at the college level instructing future special educators.
But what affects me recently is the process of getting my 3-year old daughter a diagnosis and hopefully therapy services. My daughter appears to have articulation and fluency issues. She ‘failed’ her initial speech screening, and next week, we are taking her for a full speech evaluation. I generally understand what she is saying, but often times others do not. And adults tend to finish sentences for her instead of allowing her to get all of her thoughts out. It is a challenge, but my husband and I are her biggest advocates and will do whatever it takes to get her the help she needs. And that’s what I would recommend for all parents of children with special needs – become your child’s biggest and best advocate. Read up on your child’s legal rights (like the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act – IDEA). Learn about the programs and facilities that are available in your area, either through the school system or private setting. It is crucial that you help your child get the supports and services that he/she needs to make developmental gains as early as possible.
Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) is a medical clinic that is a world leader in orthopedics, rheumatology, and rehabilitation. Located in New York City, HSS recently opened the CA Technologies Rehabilitation Center at the Children’s Pavilion providing both inpatient and outpatient comprehensive, individualized rehabilitation from birth to 21 years. Its multidisciplinary staff includes physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists.
The 7,000 square-foot CA Technologies Rehabilitation Center for pediatrics, opened just last year, includes the following:
- A spacious physical therapy gym for children and adolescents
- Dedicated therapy rooms for sensory and fine motor skills
- Private evaluation/treatment room
- Sensory integration equipment that facilitates movement in space
- Pediatric elliptical machines and stationary bicycles specially designed for children’s smaller frames
- Virtual reality software with innovative therapeutic routines for all levels of physical mobility
- An equipment clinic that specializes in mobility needs providing wheelchairs and walkers
Please visit the Hospital for Special Surgery Facebook page. If you would like to learn more, watch the brief video below.
*I wrote this review while participating in a blog tour by Mom Central Consulting on behalf of Hospital for Special Surgery. A small donation to a charity of my choice was made in my name as a thank you for participating. You should consult with your physician or other health care provider before beginning any rehabilitation/therapy, sports training, or exercise program.