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EXCLUSIVE: Program helps parents, teachers communicate with children who have special needs through local agency

  • / Updated:
  • Rebecca Swift 

A program to help parents and teachers communicate with children with special needs is expanding.

Child Care Council, Inc., a resource and referral agency for parents looking for child care, is expanding. The organization recently hired new staff members. Their job is to help come up with strategies to keep children in school and out of suspension.

“Our Special Need Consultation program, we received the funding a few months ago,” said Special Needs Services Supervisor Bethany Williams. “It’s an extension of what I was doing. Going in and helping teachers learn different skills and strategies to work with he kids who have special needs. There was an increase in requests from the teachers who needed help in their classrooms.”

It’s a free service funded by a $175,000 grant from the Mother Cabrini Health Foundation. 

DiSanto Propane (Billboard)

Williams said children with special needs make up the majority of school suspensions in the counties where her services are offered. That includes Monroe, Wayne and Livingston Counties.

“We get a lot of calls for children who have limited communication abilities,” she added. “We’ll look at the classroom environment and any potential triggers for that behavior. And we’ll have reflective conversations with the teachers and they’ll let us know what a goal is. A strategy that we might suggest is to implement a visual schedule. And outline what is expected during the day. The kids can use that visual to follow directions and have an established routine. We would go in and model that, and the importance of doing it.”

Child care providers interested in learning more about this service can contact Williams at [email protected].