As we look back on 2021 we are tired but proud of how we have been able to support caregivers of children with disabilities.
Year 2 of the pandemic has been challenging for all parents.
For parents and caregivers of children with disabilities, the past two years have been a nonstop roller coaster of unprecedented demands, heartache, and exhaustion. Families have struggled to care for their children with disabilities, often being both educators and therapists while also looking after siblings and trying to maintain a job.
As caregivers for children and youth with disabilities ourselves, we know the stress and isolation experienced by families of children with disabilities during “normal times” as well as the heavy Covid responsibilities parents are still burdened with today.
We began the year by listening. We held focus groups and surveyed parents to understand how we could help.
“I just read your article [My child was diagnosed with a disability… now what?] and loved it. My son was diagnosed with a disability last year and I spent a lot of time thinking about what
to do for myself, and found relatively little written on the topic. So thanks!
– Massachusetts parent via LinkedIn
We doubled our efforts to reach Black and Latinx families by partnering with BIPOC leaders and organizations and creating more content in Spanish.
We held live webinars for parents with experts who provided information on virtual therapy, school services, and transition to adult services.
“I really enjoyed the webinars & learned a great deal that is going to be very helpful for my girl! We appreciate what you guys do so much.”
– Parent/social worker, Louisiana
We hired a Community Outreach Specialist for our Louisiana team.
We increased our focus on accessibility by developing multimedia resources such as close-captioned videos and graphics and preparing to launch our podcast series, Perspectives 4 Parents, in the new year. You can subscribe now and listen to our first episode here.
“I just like to take this time to thank you for everything you have done for me and my family during this hard time in my life. I am grateful and my family is really grateful for your help”
– Parent via Facebook
We surpassed over 1 million page views of our website — a third of these were in 2021 alone.
We assisted more than 700 families by phone, email, or chat and helped them with everything from understanding SSI applications to preparing for their child’s first IEP meeting.
Over 5000+ caregivers used our English/Spanish resource directory to find services in Louisiana and Massachusetts, including speech and language therapy, social skills groups, recreational activities, and much more.
Need help? Look for this button at the very bottom of our website.
We were awarded grant funding which will enable us to reach more Black and Latinx caregivers in rural and urban communities.
We cared for our Louisiana team members and our Louisiana families during Hurricane Ida.
We are thankful that we were able to serve so many families AND more parents of children with disabilities continue to reach out to us every day. Some call, some email, or some google
“I Think My Child May be Different”. All want their child to have the best life possible. With your donations, we will continue to be there to encourage, inform, and listen.
Thank you and our Best Wishes for a healthy, safe, and peaceful 2022.
The Team at Exceptional Lives.