Heartspring believes in giving back to the community through activities and services that families are often desperate to find. Many of our outreach services for the community are available free of cost to families from Heartspring therapists and audiologists. These services include hearing screenings, literacy and speech screenings, KidCheck developmental screenings, music and movement groups, and an interactive story time at Barnes and Noble at Bradley Fair. Consultation services are also available to families in search of information, appropriate assessments, home programs and continuity of services.
One of the goals of the outpatient division is to increase awareness of intensive early intervention for children with a variety of needs. One way we are able to do this is to provide free literacy, hearing and speech screenings to local private preschools. Literacy, hearing and speech screenings at an early age can give parents and teacher’s information about a child’s reading, writing and speaking skills. Appropriate interventions can then be implemented to assist in developing those areas.
Another way we promote early intensive intervention is through our KidCheck program. KidCheck screenings are available through five local physician’s offices as well as on-line. The KidCheck process includes an age-appropriate screening form for families to fill out on their child. In the doctor’s office, a teacher or licensed therapist scores the form and completes another series of developmental check lists with the child and family. The staff member is able to refer for further testing or re-assure families the child is developing appropriately for his or her age. The online KidCheck form is interpreted and assessed by our staff with results sent to the family.
Music and Movement groups are geared toward children with autism and related disorders and their families. These groups began with help from dre.dance, a New York City based dance company. dre.dance founders, Andrew Palermo and Taye Diggs brought their troupe to Wichita and to Heartspring in 2008. Along with Wichita State University dancers, dre.dance performed beyond.words, a piece focused on autism. During their time in Wichita dre.dance hosted a workshop for children with autism at Heartspring. Children with autism, families, staff and students enjoyed imitating movements to music, as well as learning to how use socialization and communication skills in a group setting. This inspired WSU dancers, families of children with autism and Heartspring to collaborate and provide more workshops on a monthly basis.
Collaborating with Bradley Fair Barnes and Noble Booksellers has enabled children with difficulties relating to stories and communicating an opportunity to participate in a storytime activity. On the second Saturday of every month at 1:00 p.m., Heartspring staff host an Interactive Storytime where staff choose a book, prepare communication materials and an activity for children to participate. Barnes and Noble also provide snacks for the children.
Comprehensive Consultation Services is a new addition to the outreach services provided through Heartspring. Consultants are available to assist families, school districts and businesses with providing appropriate services to children and adults with special needs. After an intake process a consultant is assigned, depending on the needs of the individual, school, or business. Some services consultants may provide include observation, assessment, intervention and strategy suggestions, training, home programming, and assisting with continuity of services.
Heartspring appreciates the opportunity to collaborate with the Wichita Community. Our partnerships have grown immensely over the years to provide a wealth of services to families, teachers, staff, employers, and children. For more information on how you can partner with Heartspring for future activities please call 634-8700.