A New Vision; a New Mission; a New Name
- Posted on 21st September 2016
- in Early Childhood Intervention, Early Identification, group programs
- by Michelle McFarlin
As some of you already know, my professional passion has always been–and to an extent always will be–autism. In service to this population is where I found my calling, and in the spirit of service, I founded White Rock Autism. Over the past two years under the auspices of White Rock Autism, I have had the honor of serving countless families in helping them to understand the diagnosis of autism and the service options that lie before them. I have sought to see “the whole picture” of a child, and been lucky enough to be the one to help others’ understand him/her a little better; to help the child be more successful in his/her daily life; to become a happier member of their community. I have had the privilege of hugging crying mothers and holding tiny hands as we began the autism journey together. These past two years have been a gift.
As you also probably know, in continued service to one of my families in particular and to the other families I knew were out there in the same position, this past summer, I founded Building Blocks, a summer preschool day camp designed to support young children with challenges in social communication, language, and play skills. While some of my happy campers had a diagnosis of autism, many did not. In serving these children, however, I had a realization: there is a huge population of preschoolers for whom an autism spectrum disorder diagnosis might not be appropriate, but who desperately need support developing vital skills necessary to be successful in a mainstream preschool environment. This population of children and families is underserved, and I felt a pull…a call to rise to meet the needs of these families as well.
A new vision; a new mission; a new name—the Texas Social Communication Connection is born.
Under the new broader umbrella of the Texas Social Communication Connection, I can now serve young children with an even wider spectrum of abilities. In partnership with several local preschools, several local churches, and the University of Texas at Dallas-Callier Center for Communication Disorders graduate program, we will now be able to:
- offer comprehensive speech-language evaluations, with a high degree of specificity with regard to social communication development, joint attention, and play development, and with sensitivity to sensory and behavioral considerations. We want to help you understand your child’s strengths as well as his/her weaknesses, identify the appropriate interventions to help him meet his challenges, and identify strategies that will help him to be more successful across environments. These evaluations can take place at your child’s school, or at our evaluation center in Lakewood.
- offer consulting services to help your child to better succeed in his/her daily environments, whether it be at home, school, or in the community. We will help you find the best options to meet the needs of your family.
- offer small group programs. This is perhaps the most exciting development! We are now able to offer group classes for children 2-5 years old at a variety of developmental levels. To learn more about Building Blocks, click here. To learn more about Bridge Builders, click here. We currently have locations in Highland Park and Lakewood.
We will also continue to serve the autism community through consultations, informal evaluations, and by including these children in all of our group programs.
If you have or know a child for whom social communication development is a concern, please know that we are here to help. We would like nothing more than to have the honor of walking alongside you as you continue on your journey of service to a special child.
Tags: new programs