Parenting is a tough job. After all, there are no instruction manuals for how to raise children. But imagine if all the challenges of pregnancy and child rearing were made more difficult because of an unstable financial situation. Or if you learned that your young child had a developmental delay due to a medical diagnosis. Where can parents get help for such delicate circumstances?
Dayton Parent spoke with Marianne Pohlmann of Help Me Grow Brighter Futures in Dayton to learn how their programs and services are working to respond to unique situations such as these.
What kinds of programs and services do you offer?
Our Early Intervention (EI) program supports families with young children who have developmental delays or disabilities. Every eligible family has a local EI team that consists of the family members, a service coordinator and service providers. This team will work to develop an Individualized Family Service Plan to support a child’s development. Services are typically provided in a client’s home or other places the family spends time. The goal is to build on parents’ abilities to enhance their child’s learning and development.
Our Parenting Support Home Visiting Program provides a low-income mom or family with a well-trained nurse, social worker or teacher who offers information and support during pregnancy. We want to empower parents and help them gain the skills, tools and confidence to nurture the healthy growth of their child through the earliest years — a critical time of development.
Why is early intervention so important?
Early Intervention services cover any concern a parent may have about their child, including developmental delays, such as not talking or walking on time. Early diagnosis and treatment for delays increases the chances of improvement. Treating communication and language difficulties early on can prevent potential problems with behavior, learning, reading and social interaction. That is why we’re here. We want to help parents connect to community resources and understand what just 15 minutes a day can do to make sure a child is reaching their developmental milestones.
Can you share a story of a family who has been helped through one of your programs?
One of our nurses went into a home for a first-time visit with a pregnant client. The mom was agitated but our nurse tried to make her feel comfortable just by talking to her. She asked the mom how she felt that day and because she was not feeling well, our nurse took her blood pressure. It was extremely high and after a call to a doctor, it became apparent 911 must be dialed immediately. Our nurse stayed with the young mom in the ER so she would not be alone. Despite several miscarriages in the past, I am happy to say she had a very healthy baby and is doing very well.
To learn more about Help Me Grow Brighter Futures or to donate, visit www.hmgbf.org