For parents and families, receiving a diagnosis of a Developmental Disability for a child can be overwhelming and be accompanied with many mixed feelings. Parents are the experts on their children and are often the first to notice something different about their child. Having a name for the condition can be a point of relief and validation that their concerns were accurate and they know that they are not alone.
If a parent has concerns about their baby or young child, or the child has been diagnosed with a developmental disability, what does that mean? Autism and many other disabilities fall under the category of Developmental Disabilities or Intellectual Disabilities, which mean the same. Parents meet many people in their journey to help them as their child grows and develops. Some of the people they will meet in their travels may be:
- Vermont Family Network to help them connect with resources or talk with other parents in our Family Support Program
- University of Vermont Children’s Hospital
- Child Development Clinic (CDC), this program is at Children with Special Health Needs (CSHN) at the Vermont Department of Health
- Children’s Integrated Services (CIS) is statewide.
- Support groups for families with children with a disability or Autism
- Find a parent to talk to who has a child with a similar diagnosis through the VFN Parent Match Program
Developmental Disability Services assist children, adolescents, and adults who have a developmental disability to live, attend school, work, and recreate in their communities. In each county, there is a Designated Agency to help families with children with developmental disabilities. If you need developmental services, contact the Designated Agency (DA) in your local area and ask for an intake assessment. They will schedule a meeting for you in order to complete the intake assessment. Intake coordinators help determine what programs and services might be and what is needed to do to apply for services.