The Family Resource Center, Inc., a non profit organization located in Pittsburg, Kansas, is enhancing its services to children with characteristics of autism spectrum disorder and other sensory integration problems. Family Resource Center Special Needs Care and Education is a project that will provide much needed technology, instructional materials and facility enhancements for the children being served in preschool and child care programs. Additionally, preschool and child care staff will receive training in best practice and research based interventions for working with children with ASD and sensory integration disorders.
It is generally accepted that many of the materials, equipment and training that are appropriate for working with kids with an ASD identification are also appropriate for working with children with--what appears on the surface to be--behavior/emotional delays. Therefore, grant funds will be maximized as we look at new and innovative ways to ensure children ages 0-5 can have access to and maintain appropriate growth in a large comprehensive child care and PreK setting.
It is anticipated 30 early childhood professional will receive professional development. During the implementation year of programming it is estimated 50 children will benefit, but due to the fact that the majority of funds will be spent on "things", the numbers will grow exponentially.
Lessons learned through this process will be used to share with other early childhood professionals, as the Family Resource Center is the largest child care organization in the region and is the largest provider of child care training in a 16 county area. Additionally, children being served by this program come from multiple school districts and five agencies and organizations are working together to ensure the project's success.