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Guide to Finding Care for a Child With Sensory-Impairment Needs

Young girl squishing sensory dough between her fingers

Sensory impairment completely changes the way that your child interacts with the world. As a result, kids with sensory-impaired needs require qualified care to help them understand how to best navigate their unique challenges and eventually live independent lives. 

The two most common kinds of sensory impairments include blindness and deafness, so the information below caters primarily to parents searching for qualified care for children with either of these two types of impairments.

Start With Your Family’s Healthcare Provider

No one knows your child’s specific situation better than you and your family’s healthcare provider. This is why it’s always wise to consult with your healthcare provider first before making any other decisions regarding the treatment of your child’s sensory-impaired needs.

Even if your physician can’t provide help, they can very likely recommend a specialist who can help. You can then continue along the path of medical referrals until you end up with a specialist that is most suitable for your child’s specific treatment needs.

Explore Early Intervention Programs

Depending on how old your child is, you may be able to enroll them into an early intervention program. You can think of these programs, which consist of teams specially trained to work with children that are sensory-impaired and their families, as providing a multi-faceted approach to your child’s sensory-impaired needs. 

While options will change from program to program, early intervention programs can provide:

  • Home-based, specialized instruction for families
  • Supportive language development through listening
  • Speaking and signing
  • Individual therapy
  • Parent support groups
  • Entire family support groups
  • Children’s playgroups
  • Blended preschool and pre-K classes

With all of this in mind, early intervention programs can act as the perfect starting point for finding the right kind of care for your child. Plus, the younger your child is when you enroll, the better these groups can help your child adapt to a sensory-impaired lifestyle earlier on in life.

Look Into Family Resource Centers

While your healthcare provider may be able to point you in the direction of resources like early intervention programs, you can also get recommendations from a family resources coordinator (FRC) as well. You can think of FRCs as your guiding light in a sense, as they specialize in getting families the kinds of services and interventions they require.

If you don’t already have an FRC, the best way to connect with one is to call your local Family Health Hotline, which you can find with a simple Google search. Through this hotline, you can quickly be directed to your area’s top FRCs.

Takeaway

Helping your child adjust to a sensory-impaired lifestyle starts by connecting with the right kind of care as early into the diagnosis as possible. While your healthcare provider is a great place to start, you can also improve your chances of connecting with the right kind of treatment through other resources like early intervention programs and family resource centers.

For even more ways to give your child the kind of care they require, reach out to Joshin today! 

Looking to schedule care? Find special needs caregivers near you.