When You Have Concerns About Your Child’s Development

ECLA_RedFlagBroch_2013.inddIf you have concerns about your child’s development, it’s best to seek help right away. That’s because children benefit most when concerns are addressed early in life. Your child may need further assessment from an early intervention provider or a health specialist, so get help today.

Follow these steps:

Step 1: Talk with Your Pediatrician

Schedule an appointment with your pediatrician or health care provider. If you’ve had developmental screening for your child, take the screening results with you. Depending on the concerns you have about your child, and the type of health insurance you have, your doctor can inform you about next steps.

Step 2: Get Your Child Assessed  Continue reading

Rosa’s Boys

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Rosa’s family, featured in our annual report in 2006

Rosa Valledor could barely mention the word “autism” when her oldest son Sid, then age three, was diagnosed in 2003.  But with help from the Care Parent Network, a nonprofit that supports parents raising children with special needs, she learned how to access services for her son and found endless support for herself as she faced the challenges of raising a son with autism.

It wasn’t long before she joined a Spanish-speaking support group, began organizing workshops for other parents who had children with autism, and was advocating at local school districts to ensure children received appropriate special education services.

When Rosa’s second son Peyton was also diagnosed with autism, she was especially grateful to be in the Care community. Although receiving a diagnosis that your child has special needs is devastating, Rosa says, it is important to “dust yourself off” and find support for you and your family immediately, “Care helped me get connected to a community I didn’t know existed.” Continue reading

15 Years for Kids: Care’s Parent Mentors

Next month, First 5 is celebrating the 15-year anniversary of Proposition 10, the ballot initiative that created First 5 commissions in every California county to fund health and education programs for children birth to age five.

In recognition of this milestone, we’re revisiting some of the success stories we’ve documented over the years and sharing them on our blog.  Up first is a moving story from 2008, one of my all-time favorites.

Ruvi, Tamika & Morgan

care1In the fall of 2008, Ruvi DeGuzman decided she wanted to help other parents who have children with special needs.

Ruvi’s son, then a teenager, was born with a rare disorder that required the partial amputation of one of his legs during infancy. Now that he was nearing 18, Ruvi was ready to give back and support other families who shared this experience.

Ruvi reached out to the Care Parent Network, a nonprofit that supports parents raising children with special needs, and discovered that Care’s parent mentor program was exactly what she was looking for.

Continue reading

Raising a Child with Special Needs: Perspectives from Dads

For nearly a decade, First 5 Contra Costa has funded Contra Costa ARC’s Care Parent Network, a program that provides training, educational support, peer mentoring, and one on one and group support for parents who have children with special needs. Care provides a monthly support group for dads, and last year, connected half a dozen fathers with peer mentors. Read about two Care dads, Bob and Tim, who share their perspectives about the program as well as their experience raising a child with special needs.

1) How did you become involved with the Care Parent Network?

Bob: I became involved with Care in 1998 shortly after my daughter, Tess, had an intraventricular hemorrhage (bleeding on the brain) in utero and was diagnosed at birth with hydrocephalus. My wife & I met Care’s Family Support Coordinator Louise Schneiders. Louise told me about Just for Fathers and I’ve been part of it ever since. It’s a bunch of dads getting together every month to catch up on our lives while sharing a pizza. It’s a great place!

Tim: I was referred by the Regional Center and my wife heard about both the mother’s and father’s group that meets once a month through Care. I decided to check out the dad’s group – pizza and beer didn’t sound so bad. Continue reading