Early Intervention Awareness Month

Early Intervention at The Children’s Center has always been at the core of every service that we offer. We nurture and educate children and families. A big portion of that education includes educating families on what to expect next in their child’s development. If the Parent(s) become concerned after we offer the education, our Early Intervention Team is there, ready to step in to offer support, encouragement and coaching.

Early Intervention laid the foundation for our Centers to be where they are today. I always love telling my version of the story of how Barbara Mease, our very first Executive Director was given an opportunity to write and submit a grant, that would bring services and supports to families in Western Tidewater whose children were developing differently than their typically developing peers. In 1983, the Center branched out from the original agency from which it was created, Edmarc Hospice. Edmarc decided to continue their mission of providing hospice services. The children that were being served by the Children’s Center had little to no opportunities to socialize with their typically developing peers therefore role models were few and far between. Now this is my favorite part of the story… are you ready? Barbara Mease and Rosalind Cutchins were mothers of young children at the time. An A-HA moment! Why not include children with different abilities alongside their typically developing peers? Both would reap the benefit of the socialization opportunities with same age peers no matter their abilities.  A gift would be given to all the children… the opportunity to teach children kindness and compassion no matter how able bodied their peers were. Also giving families of children with different abilities the same opportunity for childcare that every other family had.  There you have it… the story of the original “Wonder Women” who stood for goodness, love and compassion.  Still two of my Sheroes today!

I wanted to take this opportunity to thank all of the members of our Early Intervention Team for continuing to carry the flame that was lit so long ago. Each one brings different talents to our Team.  But the common denominator on this team is all these women have a servant’s heart. Day in and day out they put the needs of the children and families first: to make sure they feel safe, supported and listened to; to make sure they understand how their insurance can help in paying for EI services and if not, advocating for ways to appeal fees; to guide them in finding strategies to help their child be successful as defined by their own definition of success. A group that works quietly and is not looking for recognition. You can have more than two “Sheroes” in your life… I happen to have an entire team of them!  May is Early Intervention Awareness month but this group are my “Sheroes” every day!

I asked each team member: “If you had a captive audience of 1,000 parents/guardians that had a child with a developmental delay or diagnosed disability, just starting their journey in Early Intervention, what would you say to them?” Read their responses below! 

**If you have questions or concerns about your child’s development, please call (757)562-6806 to have your questions answered or to make a referral.

~Marti Clark, Local System Manager

The Children’s Center is an equal opportunity provider and employer.