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STEUBENVILLE – Parents of children with special needs are now additionally supported in Steubenville with a 14-week course.
ENGAGE, an organization founded by the Family and Children First Council in Jefferson County, sponsors the program and has contracted with Kendall Behavioral Solutions of Martins Ferry to provide classes at All 4 Kids, formerly the Children’s Academy, located at 4238 Sunset B; vd. , Steubenville. The courses run until August 31st and take place every Tuesday from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
FCFC coordinator Linda Trushel said about half a dozen families were involved in the program and it is badly needed in the region.
“Raising a child with special needs is not the same as raising a child who typically develops.” She said.
Classes include behavioral principles, prevention strategies, daily schedules, functional communication training, sleep problems, teaching skills and crisis management. She added that the sessions are recorded and parents who miss a lesson may be given a copy to catch up on.
Katie Kendall, a board certified behavioral analyst who runs Kendall Behavioral Services, co-chairs the sessions with Katie Winter-Hazen, who is also BCBA and COBA and director of home support for Kendall Behavioral Services. Kendall stated that parents and caregivers have been actively involved in helping them better serve their children.
“We are currently helping families by allowing trained people to babysit their children so they can attend the class. We can also use part of the course to observe the interaction between children and parents, which helps us to tailor the course to the needs of families. “ She said.
“During class time, we allow them to share their strategies or resources that they have found useful so that families can learn from each other.” She continued. “We have already noticed that mutual support is invaluable and that they bond. They realize that they are not alone. “
She added that the course is broken down into weekly sessions that teach new skills and strategies for use in their natural environment. They also focus on solving problems with them related to small behaviors and how to functionally communicate with the children. In addition, they work on how the behavior of the parents or the caregiver can also reinforce the behavior of the child.
There are currently six parents and grandparents participating, and the program is based on a rubric created by Kendall officials.
Kendall said Trushel, with whom she had worked in the past, approached her about parenting training opportunities. Although the company generally works with customers in a home setting, Kendall agreed to run a program in a larger location.
“I told her we could adapt it and turn it into group parenting training while we also give parents and grandparents the option to serve as a support group. Linda really made everything possible for this group. “
Kendall added that it is important for parents to continue to stand up for their child so that they have the best life possible.
“I really believe that when the right parents push and support them, their options are endless. You can achieve and do the unexpected as long as you don’t give up on it. I would also advise parents to welcome feedback and advice from professionals. We often see so many parents getting in each other’s way, which is holding the child back. Developing self-confidence is a crucial tool for your child’s success. “ Kendall noticed.
“We are very excited to be part of this wonderful opportunity for these families. We are excited to see how we can expand this parent education program and are grateful that Jefferson County ENGAGE is investing in something that is really needed. They set a standard for other counties and offer a wonderful resource. “ Kendall added.
ENGAGE now operates under the umbrella of the Jefferson County FCFC, with the Jefferson County Educational Service Center acting as the fiscal representative.
For information on parenting training courses, please contact Trushel at (740) 491-0548 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. Parenting Courses help children with special needs
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