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Here at Siskin our mission is to improve the quality of life for children with special needs and their families. Below, Deidra Love, Director of our Home and Community-Based Early Intervention Program, shares a touching story that emphasizes the importance of our collaborative, family-centered approach.

"This is what we consider a BIG WIN in our Home and Community-Based Early Intervention (HCBEI) program:

One of our home visitors Catherine has been working with Ashley* and her grandson Sam* for several months now. Ashley shows great commitment in caring for Sam, who has some special health needs, language delay and challenging behavior at times, too. One of the goals Ashley created for Sam’s learning plan is that Sam will use more words to communicate what he wants throughout his day.

On weekly home visits, Catherine and Ashley talk about Ashley’s top priorities for Sam’s learning, brainstorm ideas to teach Sam to use words to ask for what he wants, and try out ideas to see how they will work in Sam’s regular activities. At a recent home visit, Catherine realized that Ashley really gets the point of early intervention coaching as she told Catherine, 'You know I’m not ACTUALLY a speech therapist, but I am kind of like Sam’s speech therapist, because every time you come, we make a plan of the ways I will work with him all week long and I do it. Now, he’s talking a lot more!'

This is a win for our program because one of our primary goals in early intervention is to build the confidence and capacity of families/caregivers as they teach their child to participate in regular, daily activities. We want them to understand that the REAL intervention happens all week long in between visits from the professional. Now, Ashley sees herself as the best and most capable teacher for her grandson, which is exactly how it should be!"

*Names have been changed to protect the privacy of this family.