As each year passes, more American parents are overwhelmed with helplessness as they must wake up every day and find new and innovative ways to assist their children in navigating a normative world in which they do not fit. American children are increasingly diagnosed with cognitive disabilities each year, leaving parents left wondering where to turn in order to provide their children with a thriving environment which will cultivate his or her highest potential as well as nurture a sense of belonging and safety, ultimately culminating adaptability in all parties involved.
Would it surprise you to learn that 1 child out of every 45 children is diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder? The rise in prevalence of diagnosed Autism Spectrum Disorder could be explained by a number of factors detailing the all-encompassing transition to Autism and Asperger’s being combined to create a new Autism Spectrum Disorder, as well as the rise in awareness and improvement of diagnostic tools. In addition to ASD, the American Psychiatric Association announced that 5% of children are currently diagnosed with ADHD (Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder).
The high prevalence of children with disabilities means that there are even more parents out there searching for answers. A family with differently abled children face a unique set of challenges as they seek to connect with services that will empower, enable, and equip their children to succeed and navigate through their everyday world.
As one of these families, I trust that you will find comfort in learning that the Fredericksburg Area has much to offer families with unique needs, like yours! With each challenge, the services in Fredericksburg offer not only answers, but partnership beside you, as you plant your familial roots in our community.
New-to-town families often struggle with knowing what kid-friendly activities are going on locally. Fredericksburg’s own Macaroni Kid Weekly Newsletter offers all you need to know about events for you and your family to attend. As a caretaker of children during the long dog-days of summer, Macaroni Kid never let me down in gathering new ideas to keep the kids entertained. Another plus: Most activities sponsored are FREE! In addition to an events calendar, Macaroni Kid also offers an extensive business directory including alpaca farms, martial arts summer camps, and in-home tutoring companies. Macaroni Kid is your guide to anything family-friendly in Fredericksburg.
Another valuable resource in the Fredericksburg area to check out is the disAbility Resource Center. The disAbility Resource Center offers resources and referrals for special needs families, while emphasizing the right individuals have towards maximizing abilities and independence. They would be a great first-stop in seeking guidance regarding help with obtaining Medicaid waivers, support groups, referrals, system advocacy, independent living skills training, and lists of other community resources. When relocating to the Fredericksburg area, find your support network at the disAbility Resource Center!
As parents of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder may know, Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) is a scientifically proven approach to the treatment of ASD. ABA strives to teach socialization, communication, self-help skills while reducing aggression, self-harm, tantrums, and elopement. Paragon Autism Services is a professional and regulated local ABA provider in the Fredericksburg area. Paragon Autism Services equips families and individuals with skills necessary to grow functionally while reducing maladaptive behaviors. After utilizing the disAbility Resource Center in help seeking a Medicaid waiver, reach out to Paragon Autism Services as the cornerstone in your child’s treatment.
When relocating, it is important to make the necessary contacts with your public school system. It is imperative to make sure there is a mediator in your journey to obtaining the unique education plan necessary to maximize your child’s success. If you are located in the Spotsylvania County School district, visit their Student Support Services Site. The office of Student Support Services offers a continuum of services as well as an individual at the appropriate education level to assist you. In the Fredericksburg City School System, information regarding special education and homebound education can be found at http://www.cityschools.com/studentservices/.
In making connections with your local public school system, it is also important to have external support in filling the gaps between the student and the classroom. Partnering with your local tutoring center is important in giving your child the resources needed to succeed. Fredericksburg’s Touchstone Learning and Leadership Center offers academic support, enrichment, test preparation, and SOL focused practice. If your family is new to Virginia, SOLs (Standards of Learning) are standardized tests in the public school system which set expectations for achievement in core subjects. Touchstone Learning and Leadership Center excels in equipping your family for educational success through local experienced tutors and educational consultants.
Through reaching out and connecting with these services, you will find not only resources targeted toward enriching your child’s life, but also toward providing you with a social support network in which you can find confidence and encouragement in your unique parenting journey in the Fredericksburg area.
Author: Shelby Edmisten