Arc of Stanly advocate discusses importance of early intervention for children with disabilities
Jeanette Wilhelm speaks to Down syndrome support group Feb. 16
It is essential that children with developmental delays become involved early on in the services that focus on early developmental skills, according to Jeanette Wilhelm, advocate for The Arc of Stanly and Monarch.
Wilhelm will serve as guest speaker for members and guests of the Down syndrome support group on Feb. 16 in Locust. The veteran advocate will share information about the importance of early intervention, where parents and guardians of people with disability should start and how the system focuses on helping eligible babies and toddlers learn the basics as well as brand new skills that typically develop during the first three years of life.
Early intervention is a system of services that helps babies and toddlers with developmental delays or disabilities. Early intervention is available in every state and territory of the United States. The Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) requires it, said Wilhelm, who is a parent of a son with disabilities and advocacy specialist well versed on IDEA.
“It is a major priority to have family-directed services that are meant to help family members understand the needs of their child and enhance his/her development,” Wilhelm said. “It is important to call Access of your local Managed Care Organization to get into the system. We live in a time where services change faster than we can get information out about them.”
Monarch provides support statewide to thousands of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, mental illness and substance abuse challenges from more than 50 North Carolina counties. The agency is nationally accredited by The Council on Quality and Leadership and is CABHA certified. Monarch, which operates The Arc of Stanly County, is an affiliate chapter of The Arc of North Carolina and The Arc of the United States. To learn more about how Monarch is “Helping Dreams Take Flight” for people living in our communities, please call (800) 230-7525 or visit www.MonarchNC.org.
Pictured above: Families who attended the Feb. 16 Down Syndrome support group held in Locust.