Would you know where to turn if your two-year old was failing to meet developmental benchmarks? Or if he struggled through tasks in ways that his older brother or sister never did?
We want you to know there is a place right in your own backyard equipped to help!
Housed in Allendale’s Oakwood Intermediate School, the Regional Infant Program serves children with special needs from birth to age 3, and is run through the Ottawa Area Intermediate School District (OAISD) with funding from the state and federal governments.
Students are admitted to the program after a referral is submitted and needs are revealed. Parents can visit the “Early On” website to begin the process and request assistance. Web prompts ask a series of questions which are designed to help professionals ascertain the presence and extent of a child’s needs.
If this process reveals a 20% developmental delay or greater, or if there is a diagnosis in place (such as autism), students are invited into the Regional Infant Program and an educational plan is designed with their parents. These plans are generally language enriched with a special focus on literacy.
Sondra Stegenga, director of the program, says that as with any difficulty or health issue, early intervention is key. “These are optional projects and services, but they’re free and we come right to your home!”
The OAISD, in collaboration with Michigan’s “Early On” program, offers a litany of support services to eligible children, including:
- home visits
- family training
- speech & language therapists
- autism support
- comprehensive testing
- physical & occupational therapy
- transition groups to prepare kids for pre-school
- …and others which can be found HERE.
Parents, if you have been worried wondering about your child, start the New Year with a step toward answers and encouragement. START HERE for help.