Here at Tyrone Law Firm, we do everything we can to help families who have children with special needs. In fact we have dedicated members of our staff who have had to navigate a path for their own children. If you are a parent with a child with Cerebral Palsy or hypoxic brain injury, we hope these posts will bring you new resources for you, your child, and your family:
There are a lot of organizations in Georgia that assist families of children and young adults with special needs, including brain damage and Cerebral Palsy. Extra Special People, Inc. (ESP), in Watkinsville, offers year-round programs for children and young adults with special needs. They offer “360” programs, family support and a camp. All of their programs focus on the abilities that these children and young adults have rather than their disabilities.
At ESP, children and young adults with brain damage and Cerebral Palsy, have the opportunity to experience things they may not have ever had the chance to otherwise. At ESP Children have the opportunity to sing, dance, explore and learn new things. Each child or young adult has a buddy that they form a bond and life-long friendship with. Most of the buddies at ESP are UGA students that are planning a career in special education. They have ample training and offer parents time to rest, while knowing that their child is in great hands.
Finding a group that supports your entire family is critical. Extra Special People offers “sib shops” to give the siblings of special needs children the opportunity to talk about their needs and feelings. There are also workshops for parents that discusses things like navigating the school system and continuing education. ESP offers weekend camps for families that gives the entire family a chance to bond with each other without the normal stresses of everyday life. Not only do families bond with each other, but they get to meet other families that have the same or similar needs as them.
During the summer, ESP offers day camps and week-long, stay camps. During the day camps, children and young adults get to enjoy activities alongside their peers. They have a week of field trips, where they go out in to the community and work on social skills and continue to work on meeting the goals set out by parents and teachers. There are two weeks out of the summer that ESP goes to Camp Twin Lakes and stays from Sunday to Friday. One week is for the younger campers and the other is for older campers. This is a great time for families to take a break and spend time together. A lot of families use this time to go on vacation and focus on other children in the family. There are nurses and counselors on site during this week and all of the children’s needs are met by volunteers and staff at ESP.
Extra Special People, Inc., has several fundraisers every year that help with the cost of camp. There is a “beauty pageant”, golf tournament and skydiving. No parent is obligated to help with any of this, but they are all great to attend. The “beauty pageant” isn’t about anyone’s exterior beauty, but more of who they are as a person. Each child has the opportunity to shine and show their abilities. There are many opportunities for families to volunteer as well.
This may seem like a lot to take in, but as a parent, taking time for yourselves is critical. Especially if you are the parent of a child with special needs, such as brain damage and or Cerebral Palsy. The everyday stress of life and caregiving can be exhausting. Learning to let others help you and reaching out to organizations for a break and support will relieve some of this stress.
If you would like to know more about Extra Special People Inc., or other resources for your family you can find ESP on the web at www.extraspecialpeople.com., If our firm can ever help you or someone you know, please don’t hesitate to contact us at the Tyrone Law Firm.