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J U N E / J U LY 2 0 1 9

A U G U S TA

2019 SPECIAL NEEDS DIRECTORY

A GENERATION AT RISK augustafamily.com


Warm Water

Water Safety

Small Class Size

Get Ready For Summer


on the cover

Callena Mariyanna Williams (3) and Sharoddric Germaine Williams (2), are the children of Yolanda M. Freeman-Williams and Rickey L. Williams. Photo by Sean Morgan

JUNE /J ULY 2019

w w w.a u g ust afa m i l y. co m

PUBLISHER Ashlee Griggs Duren

ART DIRECTOR Michael Rushbrook

DIRECTOR OF ADVERTISING Lisa Dorn

ADVERTISING SALES Doressa Hawes Mary Porter Vann Leslie Whitney

CIRCULATION/MARKETING Kimberly Stewart

PHOTOGRAPHY John Harpring Chris Thelen Sean Morgan

CONTRIBUTORS Kim Beavers, MS, RD, CDE J. Ron Eaker, M.D. Karen Gordon Dr. Dana Harris Meredith Flory Cammie Jones LeeAnn Rhoden Naimah Shaw Paige Tucker

Augusta Family Magazine is published 9 times per year and distributed throughout the Augusta and Aiken area. Send press releases, story ideas or comments to the editor at renee.williams@augustafamily.com or mail to 643 Broad Street, Augusta, Ga., 30901. For advertising information, telephone (706) 823-3702. For circulation/ distribution, call (706) 828-4391.

Facebook.com/ augustafamilymagazine @AUGFamilyMag We look forward to hearing from you; visit our website www.augustafamily.com and on facebook and twitter.

Is your child ready for their “close up?” If you think you’ve got a “cover kid,” submit their photo and information on our website and they may grace the cover of Augusta Family Magazine. 4 � AUGUSTA FAMILY | JUNE/JULY 2019


SUMMER FUN

25

Family Memberships $375 • Singles $200 • Seniors $225

www.nationalhillspool.com

or 706-432-9947 for more information


contents www.augustafamily.com

Special Needs Directory Our annual guide

A Generation at Risk

–Ashlee Duren

The Mental Health Crisis: A Growing Epidemic –Dr. Dana Harris

26

36

6 � AUGUSTA FAMILY | JUNE/JULY 2019

Mom to Mom

Under the (Music) Radar

Eating Well With Kim

—Karen Gordan

A Salad a Day - Keeps the Doctor Away —Kim Beavers, MS, RD, LD, CDE

11

18


JUNE/JULY 2019

Ask the Doctor

Smart Mom’s Guide

—J. Ron Eaker, M.D.

5 Things You Need to Know About Autism —Cammie Jones

21

22

Women with Special Needs

Raising Readers

Celebrating Father’s Day with Reading —Meridith Flory

24

12

News & Notes

42

Calendar

46

Talkin’ About My Generation —Lisa Dorn

Inspiration Station A Mother’s Rest —Meridith Flory

40

AUGUSTA FAMILY | JUNE/JULY 2019 � 7


COLUMBIA COUNTY 4-H 2019 Summer Activity Schedule

To register, go to www.evenbrite.com and search the activity name. Once you have registered for an activity, you will receive an e-mail 1 to 2 weeks before the date from the coordinator with more details.

JUNE

June 5-6 Wildlife Day Camp | Grades 4-8 Come explore as we learn about Georgia wildlife. Day 2 is a trip to the Atlanta Zoo for a behind the scenes tour and a special delivery to AWARE. June 11 Robotics Rumble | Grades 4-8 Hang out with our Robotics team to learn more about LEGOBots, programming and building a working robot! June 14 D4-H Day of Community Service | Grades 4-8 Join us as we devote “our hands for larger service” within our local community. June 17-19 MG Sprouts Day Camp | Ages 6-8 Little ones, come explore horticulture and nature through literature, hands-on STEM activities and a field trip. June 20 Lunar Landings – NASA Solar System Ambassador Event | All ages Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the moon landing with our local NASA Solar System Ambassador, Kelli Cody. Learn all about the Apollo missions and the moon!

June 21-23 State Council – Rock Eagle 4-H Center | Grades 9-12 High schoolers, come have a fun filled weekend at Rock Eagle with 4-Hers from across the state. Includes outdoor activities, classes and more! June 25-27 Craft Camp – Christmas in July | Grades 4-8 It may be hot but we have Christmas on our minds! This year’s craft camp is Christmas-themed so get your Santa hats on and join us!

JULY

July 8 Halfway to DPA | Grades 6-11 Planning on attending District Project Achievement (DPA) this year? Get a head start on your portfolio and demo while having some fun! July 9 Berry Culinary | Grades 4-8 Become a chef as we explore the food groups and create yummy nutritious snacks. The day starts with a trip to the blueberry patch!

*Important Information - All grades reflect the 2018-2019 school year. Columbia County Extension | 6420 Pollards Pond Rd. | Appling, GA 30802 | 706-541-4011


augustajcc.org

2019 AJCC SUMMER CAMP May 28, 2019 through August 2, 2019

2019 Physicians’ Directory Available Free on AugustaMagazine.com for iPhone® and AndroidTM. Download the Physicians’ Directory app for free and have contact information at your fingertips for Augusta and Aiken area physicians and dentists. Database is searchable by both specialty and by name. Brought to you by Augusta Magazine.

PRESENTED BY

REGISTER ONLINE AT augustajcc.org


mom to mom

Karen Gordon

Under the (Music) Radar

I

performed more in May than I have all year, so I’m taking a break until fall. The #DreamTeam will still host #GardenCityJazz and Pop-Up Augusta events, and we’ll still do the #bookmusicgigs thing. But KG & THE SUNSHINE BAND (aka KG & Friends) is gonna chill for a sec, so that KG can explore some new & different-err… options. What ARE those options exactly? Glad you asked. They are including, but not limited to the following… • • • • •

Spending time with family Homeschooling @SayWhatScooter Launching an exploratory committee (for my campaign for political office) Taking a sabbatical from church Traveling the world and the seven seas

• • • • • • •

• •

Writing a book (WITH LeScoot & Jamil) Taking the fam out in an RV and living off tips from coffeehouse gigs Building a campsite and artists’ retreat in South Augusta Hosting a #CoolKidz day camp Celebrating my 50th birthday and embracing my mid-life crisis Enrolling in culinary school Preparing to celebrate with my adult children – two weddings & two birthdays in October, (asking myself repeatedly who thought that was a good idea) Enrolling in the MPA program at Augusta University Moving to Athens…or Asheville

Who knows? But….whasonEVA we do…We are ready for adventure.

Karen Gordon is a singer, songwriter and the founder of Garden City Jazz. She works with the City of Augusta to present the Candlelight Jazz Concert Series each year and has partnered with RCBOE to develop interactive courses such as Taking Notes: Jazz & The American Story and Jazz4Kids.

AugustA FAmily | June/July 2019 • 11


news&notes

Photo by Sharon McCutcheon from Pexels

J u n e /J u l y 2 0 1 9

12 • AugustA FAmily | June/July 2019


news&notes

App-Tastic!

mommy minute

MOMMY’S NIGHT OUT Looking for a night out with your girlfriends? Check out some of these Augusta area businesses to help you take a break and have some fun! • Augusta Candle Company - grab a few girlfriends and head downtown to curate your own candle, complete with the scent you choose.

C o g n oa Have questions about your child’s development? Let the Cognoa app help! Cognoa, a pediatric healthcare company assessing and supporting children’s development, has designed an app that can be used as a free evaluation tool. Parents are able to fill out a questionnaire from the comforts of home or on the go, or submit a short video of your child’s natural behaviors at home. The data is then sent to experts to analyze and provide feedback and recommendations. It’s that simple!

augustacandlecompany.com • Artsy Me - Pick out your piece, choose your paints and design your create your own masterpiece. • AR Workshop - Schedule a workshop, get a group together and build a sign, knit a blanket, etc. All

Developers caution however, that the app is not intended to replace a physical assessment

materials are provided.

by healthcare professional. Parents should seek assessment from healthcare professionals

www.arworkshop.com/evans

for an official diagnosis.

• Field Botanicals - The first Friday of every month the Field ladies throw a party. For details visit, www. fieldbotanicals.com • Pinot’s Palette - Wine and painting

“What seems to us as bitter trials are often blessings in disguise.” -Oscar Wilde

with your friends! Choose a class, pack some snacks and paint your picture. No outside beverages are allow, but guests are welcome to bring food. pinotspalette.com

AugustA FAmily | June/July 2019 • 13


news&notes

CONGRATULATIONS!!! Lynndale’s Rose Mary Bradley has been

14 � AUGUSTA FAMILY | JUNE/JULY 2019

ities to fully participate in their communities.

awarded the 2019 Georgia’s Direct Support

Rose Mary was selected from hundreds

Professional award by the American Net-

of nominees and this award serves as a tes-

work of Community Options and Resources.

tament to the work done by Rose Mary &

ANCOR is a national, nonprofit trade associ-

Lynndale, Inc to support individuals in the

ation representing more than 1,600 private

community.

community providers of services to people

Nomination criteria included: promoting

with disabilities. Combined, they support

person-centered plans, relationships, leader-

more than one million individuals with dis-

ship, innovation, DSP code of ethics, and addi-

abilities and work to shape policy, share so-

tional accomplishments as well as an affirma-

lutions and strengthen community.

tion letter from a family Rose Mary serves.

The organization’s mission is to advance

“I love Lynndale, the individuals and

the ability of their members in supporting peo-

staff,” says Rose Mary. “I thank God every day

ple with intellectual and developmental disabil-

I am able to be a part of this organization!”


news&notes

SAFE KIDS FAST FACTS No animal is 100% predictable – and neither are children. Two-thirds of dogs that bite children had no history of aggressive behavior. Even breeds that make “excellent pets” may bite. Toddlers may innocently provoke dogs by suddenly running towards them, arms flailing and making happy noises – behavior that animals may interpret as threatening. “Children are more likely than adults to be bitten by a dog, and we frequently see bite injuries in the pediatric emergency department. Over half of dog bites occur at home with dogs that are familiar to us,” said Renée McCabe, RN, Injury Prevention and SafeKids Program Manager at the Children’s Hospital of Georgia. THE 3 MOST IMPORTANT THINGS TO TEACH YOUR KIDS 1.

2.

Dogs Don’t Like Hugs and Kisses – Teach your kids not to hug or kiss a dog on the face. Hugging the family dog or face-to-face contact are common causes of bites to the face. Instead, teach kids to scratch the dog on the chest or the side of the neck. Be a Tree if a Strange Dog Approaches – Teach kids to stand still, like a tree. Trees are boring and

3.

the dog will eventually go away. This works for strange dogs and when your family dog gets too frisky or becomes aggressive. Never Tease a Dog – Never disturb a dog that’s sleeping, eating or protecting something.

THE 3 MOST IMPORTANT THINGS DOG OWNERS CAN DO 1.

THE 2 MOST IMPORTANT THINGS PARENTS CAN DO 1.

2.

Supervise – Don’t assume your dog is good with kids. If a toddler must interact with your dog, you should have your hands on the dog, too. Even if your dog is great with kids and has never bitten – why take a chance? Train the dog – Take your dog to obedience classes where positive-reinforcement is used. Never pin, shake, choke, hold the dog down or roll the dog over to teach it a lesson. Dogs treated this way are likely to turn their aggression on weaker family members. Involve older children in training the family dog while supervising. Don’t allow children to punish the dog. Condition the dog to enjoy the presence and actions of children using positive experiences.

2.

3.

Spay or Neuter Your Dog – Neutered pets can be calmer, healthier and less likely to be aggressive in some situations. Neutering prevents unwanted dogs that may end up in shelters or in less than ideal conditions where they may grow up to be poorly socialized or aggressive. Condition Your Dog for the World – Give your puppy lots of new positive experiences. Train using positive methods e.g., clicker training. Supervise Your Dog – Supervise your dog at all times around children. Do not allow children to hug and kiss any dog. If visiting children are bothering your dog, put the dog away or send the children home.

Safe Kids Greater Augusta, led by the Children’s Hospital of Georgia, works to prevent accidental childhood injury, the leading killer of children ages 1 to 19. Safe Kids Greater Augusta is a member of the Safe Kids Worldwide network. To find out more about local Safe Kids programs, call 706721-7606, or visit augustahealth.org/safekids. Check out the Ultimate Car Seat Guide and “Parent Pep Talk” at SafeKids.org. Dog bite prevention tips from doggonesafe.com

START HERE. GO ANYWHERE. 

Offering Dual Enrollment to GA high school students 

No SAT or ACT scores required to enroll

No military obligation to attend

GED graduates welcomed

Financial aid and scholarships available

Small class sizes and free tutoring encourage success

115 Davis Rd, Martinez, GA

(706) 993-1123 Admissions Questions? musry@gmc.edu or visit www.gmc.edu

AUGUSTA FAMILY | JUNE/JULY 2019 � 15


N

NEWBORN

2

MONTHS

4

MONTHS

9

MONTHS

6

MONTHS


KNOW THE SIGNS. TAKE ACTION The first three years of life is marked by incredible growth in all areas of a child’s development.

N

NEWBORN Eats well Turns to your voice Sucks, swallows + breathes well

4

MONTHS Brings hands to mouth Babbles Responds to affection

2

MONTHS Smiles Responds to sounds Holds head up

6

MONTHS Sits up without support Plays with others

12

9

MONTHS Picks up cereal O’s Understands “no”

15

MONTHS Mimics your actions Speaks 2-3 words

12

MONTHS Drinks from a Cup Waves “bye-bye”

18

MONTHS Points to 1 body part Eats with a spoon

24

MONTHS Kicks a ball Speaks in short sentences

15 18 MONTHS

MONTHS

24 MONTHS

MONTHS

EAST CENTRAL HEALTH DISTRICT - 6 CHILD HEALTH

1916 North Leg Rd. Augusta, GA 30909 | 706-667-4757

Visit ecphd.com for more information


eating well with kim K i m Be avers

18 • AugustA FAmily | June/July 2019


eating well with kim

A Salad a Day – Keeps the Doctor Away!

A

favorite recommendation of mine is to encourage a salad a day. This is a great starter recommendation but it actually does need further clarification. You see salads can often be low in nutrients and fiber or high in calories and fat. Let’s start with the salad base and work our way up. The greens: Iceberg lettuce is the least nutrient dense green. It does have value – iceberg can be a starter green for kids, or it can be mixed with more vibrant greens to help with acceptance. Do not totally discount iceberg, but do aim to use a more nutrient rich salad base when possible. These greens are listed in order by flavor strength starting with mild and working up: Leaf lettuce, Boston lettuce, Romaine, Baby spinach, Mixed greens, Baby kale, Arugula. Next comes what I like to call “add-ins”. These are foods that increase the texture, flavor, color, and nutrients of salads. This is where all kinds of food conversations can occur. Kiddos can taste the add-ins and discuss texture, color etc. Tasting nutrition always works better than talking nutrition. Use this list of add-ins to get you started: berries (blueberries, strawberries, etc.), carrots, cabbage, cucumbers, cauliflower, celery, grapes, hearts of palm, oranges, onions, peas, peppers, rainbow slaw, tomatoes and squash. Lastly – the garnishes. Much like the add-ins, they add contrast and texture as well as nutrients. This is a perfect place for nuts and seeds (almonds, pecans, peanuts, pistachios, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds and walnuts). Cheese is also an excellent garnish for salads as it adds a touch of protein and, when as a garnish, not too much fat. Lastly herbs make beautiful garnishes (or they can be mixed into the salad base). The Refreshing Herb Salad is just one example of many that you can create using the above guidelines.

Kim Beavers is a Registered Dietitian and Diabetes Educator for University Health Care System. She lives in North Augusta with her husband and two children and she is the cohost of the culinary nutrition segment Eating Well with Kim, which airs at noon Monday, Wednesday and Friday on WRDW. To be notified of new recipes join Kim’s facebook fan page at www.facebook.com/ eatingwellwithkim. To search for specific recipes go to www. universityhealth.org/ewwk. You can also watch the segments at www.wrdw.com/ewwk.

Refreshing Herb Salad with Blueberries and Almonds

Summer herbs and berries, I can’t think of a better reason to eat healthy! Salad Base 1 scant cup mixed herbs; coarsely chopped (parsley, oregano, rosemary, mint, basil) 5 cups mixed greens 1 small cucumber, cut into bite size pieces Vinaigrette 1 clove garlic, peeled 2 sprigs rosemary, stems removed ¼ teaspoon kosher or coarse salt of choice 3 tablespoons lemon juice (about 1 lemon) 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil 2 teaspoon honey Fresh cracked pepper to taste Toppings 1 cup blueberries ½ cup toasted almonds Gently toss herbs and mixed greens together in a bowl. Add the cucumbers. To make the vinaigrette, add garlic, rosemary and sea salt to the bowl of the mortar. Use the pestle to mash ingredients into a paste (this will take about 10-20 seconds of mashing and muddling). Add the lemon juice, stirring and mashing during the addition. Add the honey and oil, and continue to mash/mix as you add. Finally add the pepper to taste and toss with the mixed greens. Divide equally into 4 portions and top with berries and almonds. Yield: 4 Servings Nutrition Breakdown: Calories 190, Fat 14g (1.5g saturated, 9.5g monounsaturated), Cholesterol 0mg, Sodium 150mg, Carbohydrate 16g, Fiber 6g, Protein 5g. Diabetes Exchange Values: ½ fruit, 1 vegetable, ½ high fat meat, 2 fats Cook’s note: You can also make the dressing in a food processor if desired or simply mince the garlic and rosemary and combine ingredients. Until next time; eat well, live well ~Kim

AugustA FAmily | June/July 2019 • 19


Please visit ecphd.com/program-services

1916 North Leg Rd. Augusta, GA 30909 | 706-667-4400


ask the doctor J. Ron Eaker, M .D.

Women with Special Needs

I

have resisted writing on this topic for a while largely due to my ignorance regarding a number of the conditions I will address, and because I wasn’t sure of the need. I was wrong. The special needs a gynecology patient shares many of the same problems and issues as the general population yet they deserve a necessary sensitivity to their unique challenges. The first hurdle exists in the mind of the provider. Just because a woman has autism spectrum disorder or is wheelchair bound doesn’t mean she doesn’t have the same sexual issues, risks, or challenges as everyone else. I admit I have, in the past, incorrectly and embarrassingly assumed that a special needs patient was not concerned with certain aspects of their care because of their disability. Luckily over the years I have had a number of patients that have shown me that women have the same desire to maximize their physical and psychological well being regardless of their current challenges. We, as medical practitioners, have to abolish our preconceived notions and prejudices and simply treat folks as unique individuals, albeit with some additional needs. A 1989 study found that the majority of women with special needs wanted information on sexuality and contraception, but most didn’t bring it up during their gyn visit. Worse, only about 20% of Ob-Gyns raised the issue themselves. In addition to breaching the topic of sexuality, doctors need to also be trained on the physiological effect of certain birth control methods on women with various disabilities. For example, a woman who is on a myriad of psychotropic medications may have a weight issue due to side effects from medications. Adding a contraception that enhances this weight gain can have a devastating effect on health and well-being. A woman who is wheelchair bound may be at greater risk of blood clot formation and shouldn’t use a birth control method that would heighten that risk. Some issues may require a deviation from a normal schedule. For example, women with certain autism spectrum disorders may benefit from a “trial run appointment” where they visit the office in a nonthreatening scenario (i.e. no exam) and simply get comfortable with the physical environment. It may help to preview what generally happens in an exam with illustrations and models and allow the patient to ask any questions they may have. Many medical experts state that people with autism handle experiences, even unpleasant experiences, a lot easier when they know in advance what the experience will be like. Adolescents and women with disabilities with the following underlying diagnoses often require special counseling and attention to their gynecological well being: Cerebral Palsy Autism Spectrum Disorders Trisomy 21 Genetic Disorders - Rett Syndrome, Cri-Du-Chat Syndrome, Prader-Willi Syndrome, and many more Cognitive Impairment

Traumatic Brain Injury Seizure Disorders Each of these problems often requires a team approach with many health care providers contributing to the patient’s overall well-being. It is critical to have a “medical champion,” often a primary care doctor or nurse practitioner, who can coordinate care and make sure the various specialties are talking to each other. Common issues that have to be addressed in this population are: Difficulty with menstrual hygiene Perimenstrual behavioral problems Heavy or painful menses Precocious or delayed puberty Sexual education and teaching appropriate boundaries Contraception Ovarian cysts Vaginitis Vulvar skin disorders Breast masses The first thing that should be apparent is that these same maladies are experienced in the general population. When there are overlying disabilities, these issues need special attention. For example, issues of menstrual hygiene can be challenging for both the patient and the caregiver. There are a number of reversible and non reversible options for controlling periods, and these are the types of discussions that need to be had. Providing appropriate sexual counseling may involve other health care providers specially trained in working with special needs women, and unfortunately these resources may be limited, especially in rural or underserved areas. Another example where a person’s disability may effect gyn function is in young girls who suffer traumatic brain injury. Often they may experience delayed menarche or even precocious puberty. In fact, women with previously normal menstruation may experience transient menstrual disorders after becoming disabled. All these factors must be understood and assessed to provide the best care. According to the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, approximately 21% of women in the United States have some type of disabling condition. Obviously there are huge variations as to the nature and degree of the underlying conditions; however, it is incumbent on the part of the patient, the care giver, and the physician to be aware of and address specific needs. Dr. Eaker is an Augusta Ob/GYN and author. He and his wife, Susan, have two daughters in college.

AugustA FAmily | June/July 2019 • 21


smart mom’s guide C a m m i e Jo n es

5 Things You Need to Know about Autism

A

utism is diagnosed in 1 of 68 children and more often in boys. As a parent at this point in my life with two teens and a preteen, I know of many families who have a child with autism. When I think about the kids I know, I don’t automatically refer to him or her as the autistic one. I first think about how amazing the child is and how, even though they may have special needs, that label really doesn’t play into my description of each of them. With that said, here is a simplified guide about what you need to know about autism.

22 • AugustA FAmily | June/July 2019


smart mom’s guide 1. What is autism? According to the Mayo Clinic, autism spectrum disorder is a condition related to brain development that impacts how a person perceives and socializes with others, causing problems in social interaction and communication. The disorder also includes limited and repetitive patterns of behavior. The term “spectrum” in autism spectrum disorder refers to the wide range of symptoms and severity. 2. What are the early signs? This list includes many signs that are attributed to autism. Signs and symptoms start usually between 12 and 18 months. Sometimes autism will not appear until the child is two or older. Here are some early warning signs from the National Autism Center’s website: • no social smiling by 6 months • no one-word communications by 16 months • no two-word phrases by 24 months • no babbling, pointing, or meaningful gestures by 12 months • poor eye contact • not showing items or sharing interests • unusual attachment to one particular toy or object • not responding to sounds, voices, or name • loss of skills at any time There are different patterns of autism development in children. Some may show a few warning signs immediately and not reach some of the age-related milestones. Others may seem to be developing at a normal rate but then gradually begin to show signs. Another group may start not being able to do certain actions or things they could do easily at an earlier age. They may regress both with their behaviors and their words. 3. Is autism caused by childhood vaccinations? Many years ago the media buzz was that vaccinating your child could cause autism. Well, fast forward two decades and although there are many who may still believe this, the facts don’t hold true. Autism is not caused by vaccinations according to extensive research on this in the past 20 years. Always talk with your doctor before discontinuing vaccines to get the most expert and up-to-date advice and information. Don’t go down the rabbit hole of information on the Internet. Talk to an expert first! 4. Is there a cure for autism and if not, how can

treatment help? There is no cure for autism but early detection and immediate treatment, once diagnosed, is the most effective way to help an autistic child. The American Academy of Pediatrics recommends testing children twice before age 2. At present, the evidence-based treatments for autism are educational/therapy related and not medical, according to Leslie Shulman, MD, author of US News & World Report’s “10 Things Everyone Should Know About Autism.” They’re intensive in nature and based upon behavioral principles. According to Rebecca Landa, Ph.D, CCC-SLP, author of “10 Things You Need to Know about Autism,” (parents. com) the most effective early intervention is comprehensive and aims to improve social, communication, cognitive, motor and behavior regulation skills within predictable semi-structured routines. Most children want to have friends but need help in developing those social skills that come so easily to children without autism. 5. Steps to take if you think your child has autism? Call your pediatrician first. Make an appointment and bring in examples and instances where you witnessed unusual behavior. Your doctor should then do a screening test such as the M-Chat (modified checklist for autism in toddlers), which can help determine if your child is showing any symptoms of autism. These tests are not meant to diagnose but to lead you to the next step - getting a diagnosis. Specialists such as child psychologists, psychiatrists, neurologists or developmental behavior pediatricians can evaluate your child and make a positive diagnosis. In addition to the medical side of a diagnosis, there are many agencies in the community that can help, such as EIS (early intervention service), that your physician can direct you to. Autism awareness and treatment options have increased for the better over the years. With understanding and more research, there are many options for families who have autistic children. Remember, an autistic child is still a child who likely will have more challenges than the average kid. There is not just one treatment that will necessarily help your child so do your research and know what makes your child tick as you journey through the world of autism. Cammie Jones is an Augusta freelance writer and mother of three.

AugustA FAmily | June/July 2019 • 23


raising readers Me re di t h Fl ory

Celebrating Father’s Day with Reading

A

s we approach Father’s Day, I wanted to share some stories that make good gifts for a parent, or provide good summer reading for families. A beautifully illustrated picture book can be a sweet gift for an adult, particularly one that reminds you of that person in some way, and that they can read to their children, grandchildren, or students. However, this Father’s Day book list has a slight twist. It’s important to remember that while Mother’s and Father’s Days are wonderful holidays for families to thank parents for the work they do, for some families they may not feel included in traditional celebrations, or it may even be a day of sadness. For families that have lost a parent or their parent is away for some reason, they may be reminded of this loss as those around them celebrate. For single parents, LGBT parents, or parents and caregivers in unique circumstances such as fostering, they may be charting their own path to celebrating or feel forgotten in the flurry of traditional gifts, cards, and sentiments. So this book list approaches Father’s Day by looking at stories that celebrate families and the love between a parent and child in a variety of ways. Representation in stories can be powerful for children and parent alike, encouraging a sense of belonging, and a way to process complicated emotions through the joy of storytelling.

24 • AugustA FAmily | June/July 2019


raising readers Books Celebrating All Types of Families The Great Big Book of Families by May Hoffman and illustrated by Ros Asquith, celebrates through engaging text and cartoon drawings the beauty of how any two or more people can be a family. Some elements are directly pointed to in the text, such as single parents, different types of housing, and whether or not a family has pets, while other aspects of diversity are subtlety woven through the art with people of different ethnicities, disabilities, and same sex parents. The text encourages readers to find things that remind them of their own family throughout the book, making it a book meant to be discussed in addition to being read. In Stella Brings the Family, author Miriam B. Schiffer tells the story of Stella, who does not know what to do when her class has a Mother’s Day event because she has two fathers. The story adorably incorporates the support of her classmates as they help her find a solution, and we see their own beautifully diverse families on the day of the event. Rose Lewis shares her story of adoption as a single woman in the sweet picture book I Love You Like Crazy Cakes, demonstrating how parental love and the journey to become a parent may come in different forms for different families. The short, sweet picture book Dad and Pop, by Kelly Bennet and illustrated by Paul Meisel shares a child’s love for both her father and step-father, showing how she spends time with both. Even though they are very different people, she knows they both love her very much. This would be a sweet book to read to a child to encourage them to make their own card, drawing, or poem for each parent in their life. For Families Experiencing Trauma Jacqueline Woodson’s books always encourage me to think of experiences outside of my own, and her picture book Visiting Day, with illustrations by James E. Ransome, poignantly captures the experience of a child going to visit her father in prison. Where her father is does not take center stage, but rather the love each family member has for each other is present in the emotional text and gorgeous illustrations. Both author and artist write notes explaining how personal experiences impacted the telling of this story, and it would be a beautiful gift for a family experiencing, or that has experienced this kind of separation. Knock Knock: My Dad’s Dream for Me by Daniel Beaty movingly portrays the loss of a young black boy’s father and that boy’s journey to reclaim some of the joy that he experienced during a morning ritual the two had. The author chooses not to tell us why the father is no longer there, and in an author’s note Beaty acknowledges watching his students experience loss through incarceration, divorce, and death. This is a beautifully illustrated story that might be appreci-

ated by someone you know who is missing their father deeply this Father’s Day. In A Chair for My Mother (1982) by Vera B. Williams, brightly colored pictures tells the story of a daughter, mother, and grandmother, saving money to buy a new comfy chair after a house fire. The single mother’s workplace, home, and diverse urban neighborhood celebrate community and kindness, and would be a perfect book to pair with a child’s homemade gift, or token they purchased themselves as a gift for a working parent. Unique Celebrations of Fatherhood Jane Yolen’s All Those Secrets of the World gently tells the story of a family whose father has gone off to war, and while told from the child’s perspective, as a military spouse I appreciated the way the story allows the mother to be in her grief as a natural part of deployments. The illustrations are nostalgic, but would make a beautiful addition for the modern military family’s bookshelf as well. The Night Worker by Kate Banks tells the story of a father who works the night shift at a major construction site as an engineer through the eyes of his son. For men who work non-traditional or long hours, this would be a wonderful read with their child, and shows a child’s appreciation and wonder at the ways parents provide for their families and contribute to communities. For Dads that spent their early years in rebellious and energetic adventure, and now balance being a family man with tattoo sleeves and memories of punk rock clothing and haircuts, My Dad Use to Be so Cool by Keith Negley is a funny and stylish look at the father-son bond and modern masculinity. Likewise, Tell Me A Tattoo Story by Alison McGhee shares the story of a little boy asking his father about the tattoos covering his body, and the father’s responses share meaningful life experiences, such as meeting his wife and his military service, that inspired his body art. Finally, the Pew Research Center reports that the narratives and experiences surrounding fatherhood continue to shift in American culture, with father’s in 2018 reporting more time spent with their children, seeing fatherhood as an important part of their identity, and higher desire and importance placed on both parents bonding with newborns than in past generations. A few books that demonstrate father and child bonding with a dad spending a day with their child are Peek! A Thai Hide and Seek by Minfong Ho, Ask Me by Bernard Waber, and My Father’s Shop by Satomi Ichikawa. Meredith Flory is an Augusta-area freelance writer, military spouse and mother of two. She has a masters degree in children’s literature from Kansas State University and has taught high school and college English.

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kids photo by Sean Morgan

OUR ANNUAL GUIDE TO SPECIAL NEEDS RESOURCES THROUGHOUT THE CSRA

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AGENCIES FOCUSING ON SPECIAL NEEDS POPULATIONS Able Kids Services 3726 Executive Center Dr., Augusta 706-842-5330 www.ablekidsservices.com Founded in January 2016, Able Tree is the children’s division of Soto ALG. Services include Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy, professional development, educational support/advocacy, social skills groups, and certified music therapy. Apparo Academy (known as Augusta Therapy Academy until March 2019) 3104 Skinner Mill Rd., Augusta 706-522-4222 www.apparoacademy.org Provides families of children with special needs with the necessary skills their potential and achieve success through educational and therapeutic services. Bobby Dodd Institute 2120 Marietta Blvd. NW, Atlanta (main campus) 678-365-0071 www.bobbydodd.org Offers family support services, advocacy and education. Center for Disability Resources University of South Carolina School of Medicine 8301 Farrow Rd., Columbia, S.C. 803-935-5231 www.uscm.med.sc.edu/cdrhome Programs support families and their children with developmental delays, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, autism and other diagnoses through assistive technology programs, education, supported community living programs, supported employment and more. Easter Seals East Georgia 1500 Wrightsboro Rd., Augusta 706-667-9695 www.easterseals.com/eastgeorgia Work programs help disabled teenagers transition from school into the workplace. There are also workrelated programs for disabled adults. The Champions for Children program provides financial assistance to families of special needs and medically fragile children who do not meet the eligibility requirements for the TEFRA/Katie Beckett Medicaid program. Family Connection of South Carolina 1800 St. Julian Place, Suite 104, Columbia, S.C. 803-252-0914 www.familyconnectionsc.org A statewide nonprofit organization that connects families of children with special healthcare needs or disabilities with helpful resources, support and education.

Georgia Chapter of the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation 57 Executive Park S., Suite 380, Atlanta 404-325-6973 www.cff.org Raises money to fund research for a cure. Provides information and resources for parents of children with cystic fibrosis. The Georgia Chapter of the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation 3525 Piedmont Rd., N.E., Building 6, Suite 300, Atlanta 404-420-5990 www.jdrf.org/georgia/ This organization has the Family Network, which provides support, encouragement and programming for families of children with diabetes. Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities 2 Peachtree St., N.W., 24th floor, Atlanta 404-657-2252 www.dbhdd.georgia.gov To access mental health, substance abuse and crisis and emergency services 24 hours a day, seven days a week, call 1-800-715-4225. To locate treatment or support services for individuals with mental illness, substance abuse disorders or developmental disabilities, visit www. mygcal.com. Georgia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Disabilities - Region 2 3405 Mike Padgett Highway, Building 3, Augusta 706-792-7733; 866-380-4835 Behavioral Health Regional Services Administrator: Dawn Peel, 706-792-7671, dawn.peel@dbhdd. ga.gov. Developmental Disabilities Regional Services Administrator: Karla Brown, 706-792-7695, karla. brown@dbhdd.ga.gov. www.dbhdd.georgia.gov/region-2-field-office. Operates a community-based system of care, which allows clients to receive care in the least restrictive setting possible while helping them to obtain a life of independence and recovery. Provides planning for and coordination of provider network; offers technical assistance; and serves as the point of contact for consumers who have questions about accessing services. Georgia Department of Community Health 2 Peachtree St., N.W., Atlanta 404-656-4507 www.dch.georgia.gov/waivers The New Options Waiver (NOW) and the Comprehensive Supports Waiver Program (COMP) offer home- and community-based services for people with intellectual disabilities (ID) or developmental disabilities (DD) through the Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) Division of Medical Assistance Plans. To read information on Medicaid waivers: www.dch.georgia. gov/sites/dch.georgia.gov/files/imported/vgn/

images/portal/cit_1210/49/43/92560099NOW_ COMP_FY12.pdf. Georgia Department of Human Services, Division of Child Support Services and Division of Family and Children Services 2 Peachtree St., Suite 29-250, Atlanta 404-651-6316 CustomerService@dhr.state.ga.us. www.dhs.georgia.gov. The agency provides a variety of services, including administrating the Wednesday’s Child Program which finds adoptive families for special needs children. HealthSouth Walton Rehabilitation Hospital 1355 Independence Dr., Augusta. 706-724-7746. www.healthsouthwalton.com. An excellent resource for information and assistance with neurological and orthopedic disorders. Learning Disabilities Association of Georgia 1366 North Druid Hills Road, Brookhaven 404-303-7774 ldaofgeorgia@gmail.com www.ldag.org One of 50 volunteer state organizations that comprise the Learning Disabilities Association of America (LDA). For more than 30 years, its mission has been to enhance the quality of life for individuals of all ages with learning disabilities and/or Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorders (ADHD). Lynndale, Inc. 1490 Eisenhower Dr., Augusta 706-738-3395 www.lynndaleinc.org Lynndale is a community support service that helps adults with disabilities access employment and community resources, develop life skills, and participate in group and individual activities. National Down Syndrome Society 800-221-4602 info@ndss.org www.ndss.org Provides information and resources for parents and expectant parents of infants and children diagnosed with Down Syndrome. Serenity Behavioral Health System 3421 Mike Padgett Hwy., Augusta. 706-432-4800 www.serenitybhs.com Provides a range of services for people with mental retardation, developmental disabilities and mental health issues. SC Association for the Deaf 437 Center St., West Columbia, S.C.

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803-794-3175 803-794-7059 (TTY) 803-403-9255 (video phone) www.scadservices.org Promotes equal treatment toward deaf and hardof-hearing individuals in education, employment, legislation, healthcare and other fields pertaining to the deaf and hard-of-hearing residents of South Carolina. Compiles and updates contact information to help you connect with agencies and groups offering assistance and services for the deaf and hard of hearing.

equipment and assistive technology. Patients and their caregivers are trained in the proper use of the assistive technology. Other services include support groups, educational programs and respite care.

Soto ALG 3736 Executive Center Dr., Augusta 706-426-4200 www.sotoalg.com Soto ALG provides residential and day services for individuals with developmental disabilities. Services include community residential alternative services, community access (group and individual), supported employment services, prevocational services and ABA therapy. Additional services include community living support and specialized medical supplies. They accept NOW/COMP Medicaid waivers and private pay.

Augusta Orthotics and Prosthetics 2068 Wrightsboro Rd., Augusta. 706-733-8878 www.augustaprosthetics.com Customizes orthotic and prosthetic solutions to meet each individual’s needs, from braces to artificial limbs.

Spina Bifida Association of Georgia 233 Peachtree Street, Atlanta 770-939-1044 or sbag@spinabifidaga.org. www.spinabifidaga.org Provides information and education for parents, plus raises awareness of this birth defect and promotes prevention.

Midlands Prosthetics and Orthotics 1018 Druid Park Ave., Augusta. 706-737-7371. 147 Pendleton St NW, Aiken. 803-641-6007. www.midlandsprosthetics.com. Produces upper and lower extremity prosthetics and orthotics using state-of-the-art components and orthotics.

Tri-Development of Aiken County 1016 Vaucluse Rd., Aiken, S.C. 803-642-8800 director@aikentdc.org www.aikentdc.org A United Way-funded agency providing services for children and adults with autism, brain injuries, spinal cord injuries, mental retardation and related disorders.

Walton Options STAR Durable Medical Equipment Reuse Program 948 Walton Way, Augusta. 706-724-6262 www.waltonoptions.org/services Collects, cleans and repairs used assistive technology and matches it to recipients with special needs. Additional assistive technology services are available.

Reaching Milestones 624 Ponder Place Dr., Evans 706-863-9699 www.reachingmilestones.com Clinic services include Applied Behavior Analysis, language assessments, center and home based behavioral therapy, social skills, treatment of problem behavior, and more

Augusta Ear, Nose and Throat 720 Saint Sebastian Way, Suite 201, Augusta. 340 North Belair Rd., Evans. 706-868-5676 www.augustaent.com Highly trained audiologists evaluate hearing and fit patients with appropriate hearing aids.

Hanger Prosthetics and Orthotics 630 13th St., Suite 200, Augusta. 706-724-2481 www.hanger.com Creates prosthetic and orthotic devices to suit the needs of each client.

BABIES AND TODDLERS

ASSISTIVE TECHNOLOGY & MEDICAL EQUIPMENT/SUPPLIES

Aiken County First Steps 1 Willis Circle, Graniteville, S.C. 803-663-0069 scfirststeps.com/aiken First Steps is a results-oriented, statewide, early childhood education initiative designed to ensure that South Carolina children arrive at first grade healthy and ready to succeed.

Georgia Regents ALS Clinic Department of Neurology, EMG Lab 1120 15th St., Augusta. 706-721-4581 or 706-721-2681. info@alsaga.org www.alsa.org Offers one-on-one patient consultations, medical

A+ Kids 181 Town Creek Rd, Aiken. 803-226-0412 or info@apluspta.com www.apluspta.com/main/apluskids Early intervention services for infants and toddlers evidencing delays in growth, development and learning.

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Babies Can’t Wait (Statewide interagency service delivery systems) Georgia Department of Public Health 2 Peachtree St., NW, Atlanta. 404-657-2850 www.dph.georgia.gov/Babies-Cant-Wait For infants and toddlers with developmental delays or disabilities, from birth to age 3. Georgia Chapter of March of Dimes 1776 Peachtree St., Suite 2005, Atlanta. 404-350-9800 www.marchofdimes.com/georgia The March of Dimes works to prevent premature births, prevent birth defects, improve the health of babies and support families if something does go wrong. The Genetics Department at Children’s Hospital of Georgia Medical Office Building, 1447 Harper St., 3rd floor, Augusta. 706-721-5437 https://www.augustahealth.org/childrens-hospitalof-georgia/our-care/genetics/pediatric-geneticsabout-our-practice The pediatric genetics specialists evaluate and test for genetic disease in children or birth defects, such as chromosomal disorders (for example, Down Syndrome), neurofibromatosis, cystic fibrosis, or other disorders.

EDUCATION Augusta Christian Schools Learning Support Program 313 Baston Rd., Martinez. 706-863-2905, extension 231 https://www.augustachristian.org/LearningSupportThe school is designed for students with a specific learning disability and/or those with attention deficit disorder. Classes are available in grades 1-12, depending on availability, offering low teacher-student ratios and individualized instruction. The curriculum is designed for students with special learning needs while incorporating a standard curriculum. American Sign Language Augusta Health 706-721-6929 www.augustahealth.org/classes-and-events. American Sign Language courses are available for kids and adults, beginners and more advanced signers. College Board Services for Students With Disabilities 212-713-8333 www.collegeboard.com/ssd/student/index.html. The College Board works to provide appropriate accommodations for students with disabilities when taking the SAT, AP tests and PSAT/NMSQT.


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CSRA EOA, Inc. Head Start 1261 Greene St., Augusta 706-722-0493 www.csraeoaheadstart.org Provides professional, comprehensive, quality services to preschool children, families and staff. Individuals with disabilities receive the full range of developmental services in an inclusive environment. This includes children with physical disabilities, health conditions, vision, hearing, speech or learning impairments. Special services such as screenings, evaluations, speech or physical therapy and transportation also may be provided. Georgia Academy for the Blind 2895 Vineville Ave., Macon, Ga. 478-751-6083 www.gabmacon.org Campus and outreach programs are designed to meet the educational needs of students who are blind, visually impaired and have adjacent multiple sensory disabilities. Georgia PINES (Parent Infant Network for Educational Services) 800-522-8652; 404-298-4882 www.gapines.info Information/assistance to families of vision/ hearing impaired, multi-handicapped, sensory impaired children, under age 4. Parent advisors make home visits to teach families how to help their child. Georgia Virtual School www.gavirtualschool.org Georgia Virtual School is a program of the Georgia Department of Education Office of Technology Services. It is SACS accredited and offers middle school and high school level courses across the state. Parents and teachers partner in the online education of the individual child. Immaculate Conception Catholic School 811 Telfair St., Augusta 706-722-9964 www.icaugusta.org/special-education. Special education for children ages 4-14. Fullinclusion program, learning lab and self-contained programs. All special-education programs offer small class sizes with low student/teacher ratio. Diagnostic testing in reading and math modules using specialized consultation and classroom intervention. Speech therapy, OT and PT offered. Disabilities include but not limited to autism, Down syndrome, mental retardation, learning disabilities, dyslexia, attention deficits, speech and language impairments, cognitive processing deficits and physical disabilities. Kumon Math and Reading Center 500 Furys Ferry Rd., Unit 502-5, Martinez. 706-993-2232.

www.kumon.com. The center strives to help each student perform at his/her full potential by using techniques that improve speed and accuracy to master the basics in reading and math. Students meet with a highly trained Kumon instructor during the week and continue with home assignments daily to close any learning gaps that might be hindering them. Preschool through high school. Mathnasium 1384 Whiskey Rd., Aiken. 803-226-9090. 205 Robert C. Daniel Jr. Pkwy., Augusta. 706-737-1992 www.mathnasium.com Helping elementary, middle and high school students excel in math, whether your child started out far behind or is already ahead. Mathnasium’s unique assessment process determines (with great accuracy) exactly what each child knows and what they need to learn. M.A.E.S. Education Center 4116 Evans to Locks Rd., Evans 706-860-8585 info@maeseducationcenter.com www.maeseducationcenter.com Offers tutoring, high school success classes, homeschool classes, college counseling and skills-building in reading comprehension. Monday-Thursday, 2 p.m.-7 p.m. Saturday hours, as well. Oxford Learning Center 4272 Washington Rd., Suite 2A, Evans 706-650-2225 www.oxfordlearning.com Students preschool through adult receive help with study skills, homework, reading, writing, math, spelling, grammar and more. Partners in Achievement 454 Furys Ferry Rd., Suite B. 706-650-1877 augusta@partnersinachievement.com http://www.partnersinachievement.com/ PIA offers programs for children ages 6 and up with attention problems and/or learning disabilities to help them overcome the underlying barriers to academic success. South Carolina School for the Deaf and the Blind 355 Cedar Springs Rd., Spartanburg, S.C. 864-585-7711. www.scsdb.org An academic institution providing high-quality education programs, both day and residential, for students ages 2½ to 21 who are deaf, blind or multisensory disabled. VirtualSC www.virtualsc.org The South Carolina virtual school program

delivers flexible online options for the diverse educational needs of South Carolina students and their families.

FAMILY COUNSELING AND PSYCHIATRIC RESOURCES Center for Care & Counseling 4434 Columbia Rd., Suite 203, Martinez 706-305-3137 centerforcare@c4sra.comcastbiz.net www.csraccc.org A faith-sensitive counseling service that helps individuals and families draw on their own strengths and values to begin their healing process. Offers a wide range of counseling services to families, couples, individuals, adolescents and children. Eastern Georgia Transitional Family Services 3643 Walton Way Ext., Building 4, Augusta. 706-364-1404 www.tfsga.org Offers a range of family preservation services. Approved by the state to offer Comprehensive Child and Family Assessments (CCFA), Core services (C&A and adult) and Intensive Family Intervention Services (IFI) through Medicaid. Therapy and counseling services, and parent aid services through Homestead Family Preservation. Family Counseling Center of the CSRA 3351 Wrightsboro Rd #301, Augusta. 706-868-5011. www.fcccsra.org. Strengthens individuals and families to achieve their own goals and to network with other agencies and institutions to improve family life. Families Forward 3506 Professional Circle, Suite B, Martinez. 706-210-8855 www.familiesforward.co Specializing in children ages 3 to early adulthood. Dara Delancy, Ph.D., and Amy Holsten, Ph.D. Georgia Family Crisis Solutions 4145 Columbia Rd., Martinez. 706-869-7373 www.gfcs.info Provides the most current, correct information concerning therapy in a manner that is nurturing, nonthreatening and nonjudgmental. Mind-Body Health Services 211 Pleasant Home Rd # G1, Augusta. 706-364-5228 www.conniestapletonphd.com The providers at Mind-Body Health Services take into account the whole person in helping him or her find the solution to deal with what is causing discomfort. Connie Stapleton, Ph.D.

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INFORMATION AND REFERRAL Beginnings SC www.scbegin.org info@scbegin.org 803-216-1171(office) 803-929-7785 (video phone) Beginnings is an expanded nonprofit providing professional expertise, education and guidance to anyone in South Carolina with the ability to impact deaf or hard of hearing families. They help parents or caregivers of a child who is deaf or hard of hearing (ages birth-21), parents who are deaf or hard of hearing and professionals who serve these families. Cystic Fibrosis Foundation www.cff.org An online source for information about diagnosis, research, treatment, clinical trials and more. disABILITY Resource Center www.disabilityresourcecenter.org Provides an array of services assisting individuals with disabilities to live independently, pursue meaningful goals, and have the same opportunities and choices as all persons in the community. A parent-driven, non-profit organization that supports families of children who are deaf or hard of hearing. They currently have a free guide by your side program that assists newly diagnosed families of deaf of hard of hearing children. The website provides resources and information. Parent to Parent of Georgia 3070 Presidential Pkwy., Suite 130, Atlanta. 800-229-2038 www.p2pga.org The organization has a comprehensive website that provides a map to securing services for special needs children. SC AccessGetCareSC 800-868-9095 www.getcaresc.com A guide to resources and services for people with disabilities and their caregivers. South Carolina Autism Society 806 12th St., West Columbia. 803-750-6988 scas@autism.org www.scautism.org A statewide agency that educates and promotes awareness. South Carolina Department of Disabilities and Special Needs 3440 Hardin Street Ext., Columbia, S.C. 803-898-9600 www.ddsn.sc.gov

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Plans, develops, funds and oversees programs for people with severe, lifelong disabilities in regard to intellect, autism, traumatic brain injury and spinal cord injury. South Carolina Developmental Disabilities Council 1205 Pendleton St., Suite 461, Columbia, S.C. 803-734-0465 803-734-1147 (TTY) www.scddc.sc.gov Advocates for people with developmental disabilities and provides leadership in planning, funding and implementing initiatives. United Way of the CSRA 1765 Broad St., Augusta 706-724-5544 www.uwcsra.org The 211 system provides a link to information and referral on a variety of services in the community. Other resources for families are available on the website as well.

MEDICAL, THERAPY AND TREATMENT PROGRAMS Great Oak Aiken Therapeutic Riding Center (formerly STAR) 1123 Edgefield Highway, Aiken 803-226-0352 Administration 803-226-0056 Office www.greatoakatrc.org info@greatoakatrc.org Great Oak is designed to promote certified therapeutic riding for children and adults with physical, cognitive and emotional challenges. Augusta Developmental Specialists 1303 D’Antignac St., Suite 2100, Augusta 706-396-0600 www.augustadevelopmentalspecialists.com. Specializes in helping people with healthcare and developmental needs. The group provides developmental assessment, care coordination between therapists and school staff, a wheelchair clinic and more. Led by Karen Carter, M.Ed., M.D., the group includes a licensed massage therapist and recreational therapist. Offers speech, occupational and physical therapy. Blue Ribbon Riders 987 Reynolds Farm Rd., Grovetown. 706-854-0644 www.facebook.com/BlueRibbonRidersGrovetown Equine-assisted activity and hippotherapy program for ages 3 and up. A Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH International) premier accredited center. Hippotherapy uses the movement of the horse as a treatment strategy to address impairments, functional limitations and disabilities in patients with neuromusculoskeletal dysfunction. Contact Claudia Morin.

Children’s Hospital of GeorgiaPediatric Audiology 1447 Harper St., 4th floor 706-721-5437 www.augustahealth.org/childrens-hospital-ofgeorgia/our-care/peds-otolaryngology/pediatricaudiology Patients receive comprehensive audiology, speech therapy, physical therapy and occupational therapy services from a team of skilled professionals in a facility designed and equipped for children. Children’s Hospital of Georgia Pediatric Diabetes and Endocrinology 1447 Harper St. 706-721-5437 www.augustahealth.org/childrens-hospital-ofgeorgia/our-care/peds-diabetes/pediatric-diabetes-and-endocrinology-home Delivers care for children with growth problems, over and under-active thyroid, advanced or delayed puberty and juvenile diabetes. The pediatric diabetes team helps children manage diabetes and live active lives. Children’s Hospital of Georgia Pediatric Psychiatry 706-721-9331 www.augustahealth.org/childrens-hospital-ofgeorgia/our-care/psychiatry/pediatric-psychiatry. Offers outpatient and inpatient treatment for children ages 6-16 years with emotional and behavioral problems. Children’s Medical Services Georgia Department of Public Health 2 Peachtree St., N.W., 11th floor, Atlanta. 404-657-2850 www.dph.georgia.gov/CMS A community-based comprehensive system of health care services available for Georgia’s children with chronic medical conditions from birth to 21 years who live in low-income households. Children’s Medical Services (CMS) provides care coordination and other needed medical/health services for eligible children and their families. CSRA Therapy Services, Inc. 2485 Hwy 88, Hephzibah 706-592-5565 www.facebook.com/CSRA-Therapy-ServicesInc-111479962238630/ Providing occupational and speech-language therapy services for children with special needs in the CSRA. Ducktails Pediatric Therapy & Wellness 568 Blue Ridge Dr., Evans. 706-364-5262 www.ducktailspediatric.com. Ducktails provides physical therapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and athletic development for children from infancy through 21 years of age. Services address, but are not limited to, neuromuscular development and abnormal


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tone, developmental delay, balance and posture, sensory integration, ADHD, handwriting and fine motor skills, and speech language and auditory processing. Augusta University Developmental Pediatrics Medical Office Building, 3rd floor, Augusta. 706-721-3791. www.augusta.edu/mcg/pediatrics/adolescentmed/developmentalpediatrics.php. Specializes in developmental-behavioral pediatrics, general pediatrics and adolescent medicine. Accepts new patients by physician referral. Hitchcock Physical, Occupational, and Speech Therapy Center 690 Medical Park Dr., Aiken. 803-293-4371 (children’s therapy). www.aikenregional.com/services/rehabilitation/ hitchcock-physical-occupational-and-speechtherapy-center A provider for adults and children, offering a full range of quality services including, physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy. Lighthouse Care Center of Augusta 3100 Perimeter Pkwy., Augusta. 706-651-0005 www.lighthousecarecenters.com. Offers a serene residential setting for adolescent patients to recover from psychological issues and/ or substance abuse. In addition to clinical care, a number of recreational opportunities and an accredited on-campus school are available. These services aid patients in recovery by keeping their minds and bodies active and providing an opportunity for social interaction. They also offer an acute care unit and partial hospitalization. Neuro-Developmental Treatment Programs, Inc. 817 Crawford Ave., Augusta. 706-736-1255 ndtprograms@gmail.com. www.ndtprograms.com NDT Programs is a small outpatient PT and OT clinic that specializes in serving those with developmental disabilities of all ages (birth through adult). Services are individualized to meet the family desires and are offered in a variety of settings including home based infant intervention, clinic based, aquatic or pool based and therapy at a community gymnastic center. The Pediatric Cystic Fibrosis Center at Children’s Hospital of Georgia 706-721-5437. www.augustahealth.org/childrens-hospital-ofgeorgia/pediatric-specialties/pulmonary-cysticfibrosis/pediatric-cystic-fibrosis-center. Offers in and out-patient care and education by pediatric pulmonologists. It is one of only two facilities in Georgia accredited by the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.

Sensational Kids! Pediatric Rehabilitation 3580 River Watch Pkwy, Martinez. 706-364-3470 Sensational.kids@comcast.net www.sensationalkids.net A full-service therapy practice offering a unique blend of services for children and families with special needs that specializes in evaluation and intervention for infants and children (birth to 13 years) who have various developmental challenges. Therapeutic Interventions of Georgia 2315-C Central Ave., Augusta. 706-364-6172. info@tiofga.com www.tiofga.com Offers occupational therapy, feeding therapy, physical therapy and speech-language therapy to pediatric patients. Facilities feature private speech therapy rooms, an outdoor playground, and OT and PT gyms. Therapy Solutions, LLC 2250 Woodside Executive Ct., Aiken. 803-226-0146. uscslp@bellsouth.net. www.therapysolutionsllc.net. A private company offering pediatric speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy and early intervention services. An early intervention team provides support and services in the home, daycare or clinic setting. Therapy Trails, LLC 5176 Wrightsboro Rd., Grovetown 706-842-3330 info@therapytrailsga.com therapytrailsga.com A private practice offering speech therapy, feeding therapy & occupational therapy.

MILITARY FAMILIES Fort Gordon Exceptional Family Member Program Command Support Center, Bldg. 35200, 271 Heritage Park Ln., Fort Gordon. 706-791-1918 www.fortgordon.com/programs. This program, designed to aid active-duty service, provides information and coordination of services in addition to respite care for any family member who has a chronic medical problem or special education need, regardless of age, that limits ability to function on a daily basis and/or requires ongoing counseling, training, education, therapy or treatment. Assistance with issues receiving Social Security disability benefits.

RECREATION AND LEISURE The Family Y, Wilson Branch 3570 Wheeler Road, Augusta, GA. 706-922-9623 www.thefamilyy.org For more information, please contact Claudia

Collins, Adaptive Aquatics Coordinator at 706-9229664 or at ccollins@thefamilyy.org. Financial assistance is available for all Family Y programs. Adapted Aquatics Special Populations Individual Classes www.thefamilyy.org/adapted/adapted-aquatics/ Adapted Aquatics offers one-on-one half-hour classes for all physically and developmentally challenged individuals of all ages. Specially trained staff uses swimming and aquatic fitness skills to improve participants’ independence and quality of life. Sessions are by appointment only. Family Y BlazeSports Team www.thefamilyy.org/adapted/adapted-aquatics/ For more information, please contact Claudia Collins, Adaptive Aquatics Coordinator, at 706-9229664 or at ccollins@thefamilyy.org BlazeSports is a swim team for all ages of physically challenged swimmers that provides them an opportunity to train for competitions. (This program is part of the BlazeSports Clubs of America training for future Paralympians). Miracle League Baseball www.thefamilyy.org/adapted/miracle-league/ For more information, please contact Rina White, Sports Director, at 706-922-9597 or rwhite@thefamilyy.org Provides a barrier-free baseball field for children and adults with disabilities to play on. Miracle League Teams play on a rubberized surface with flat bases that for allows safe play for those in wheelchairs or other assistive devices, such as crutches or walkers. Registration is open for ages 4 and up. Fall season runs September-October and spring season runs March-May. Teams practice and play are held at the sports complex located at the Uptown Charlie Norwood VA Medical Center. Kathryn M. York Adapted Aquatics Center (Katie’s Pool) www.thefamilyy.org/adapted/adapted-aquatics/ For more information, please contact Claudia Collins, Adaptive Aquatics Coordinator, at 706-9229664 or at ccollins@thefamilyy.org www.thefamilyy.org. This pool is dedicated to improving the quality of life of individuals with physical and cognitive disabilities. It is a shallow and deepwater therapy pool with a wheelchair ramp at the shallow end. It also includes adapted changing rooms with a lift system to accommodate disabled individuals and a state-of-the-art sanitation system. Total Access Gym www.thefamilyy.org/total-access-gym For more information, please contact Claudia Collins, Adaptive Aquatics Coordinator, at 706-922-9664 or at ccollins@thefamilyy.org. www.thefamilyy.org This facility, located off the fitness floor at the Wilson Family YMCA Branch, provides adaptive equipment for both a non-disabled exerciser and for people with mobility limitations, including those in

AugustA FAmily | June/July 2019 • 31


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wheelchairs. Each exercise piece is easily adjustable to each exerciser’s height and strength level.

Scouting programs are available for special-needs children.

Camp Lakeside For more information, please contact Faye Hargrove at fhargrove@thefamilyy.org. www.thefamilyy.org/branch/camp-lakeside/ Serves children with disabilities or serious and chronic health conditions in a medically safe environment. Expanded programs for kids of all backgrounds and abilities so that every child can have access to learn, grow and thrive through the life-changing, thrilling experiences of camp.

Georgia and South Carolina State Parks www.gastateparks.org www.southcarolinaparks.com Find state parks, historic sites, campgrounds and trails across the states that are accessible to people with disabilities.

Camp Ivey For more information, please contact Sterling Ivey at snivey70@knology.net. https://thefamilyy.org/ivey/ Camp Ivey is an overnight camp held at Camp Lakeside in Lincolnton, GA. The purpose of this adaptive camp is to empower high-functioning children with developmental disabilities by promoting independence in life- skills, relationships, physical activity and leisure, communication and self-confidence through recreation and the arts. Georgia-Carolina Council Boy Scouts of America 706-733-5277 www.gacacouncil.org

The RECing Crew 516 Georgia Ave., North Augusta. Pamela Stickler, 803-426-1284 info@therecingcrew.org www.therecingcrew.org Based in North Augusta, The RECing Crew is a nonprofit organization providing leisure and recreation opportunities for all ages and disabilities. Fees vary but are nominal. Steps of Grace: Ballet for Special Needs 476 Flowing Wells Rd., G-2, Martinez. 912-531-2719 stepsofgrace@aol.com www.stepsofgraceballet.com Ballet and tap classes are offered for children with special needs, ages 3 and up, at Pulse Dance Center and are taught by Mallory Lanier, a pediat-

ric occupational therapist with more than 10 years of experience teaching ballet. Adult volunteers experienced in working with children with special needs are an integral part of the class. Students receive one-on-one assistance should they need it. The Foundation for Therapeutic Options 706-364-6172 www.therapyoptions.org A local nonprofit organization that provides therapy services to children in the CSRA. It is an opportunity for children to be recognized for their abilities instead of their disabilities. Walton Foundation for Independence Adaptive sports, 706-434-0150 www.waltonfoundation.net Wheelchair Tennis: For all ages at Newman Tennis Center. Adaptive Golf Clinics: For ages 15 and older, MarchOctober in Augusta and Aiken. Walton Foundation Camp To Be Independent 706-826-5809. haley@waltonfoundation.net www.waltonfoundation.net/camptbi Camp TBI is a free, safe overnight summer camp environment for children and young adults, ages

THE CLEAR PATH FOR PEDIATRICS

Providing Speech and Occupational Therapy in Grovetown

Providing Speech and 5176 Wrightsboro Road Occupational Therapy Grovetown Grovetown, Gain30813 706-842-3330

5176 Wrightsboro Rd | Grovetown | 706-842-3330  therapytrailsga.com  TherapyTrailsGa  TherapyTrailsGa

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516 Georgia Avenue North Augusta, SC 29841 | 803-426-1284 www.therecingcrew.com | info@therecingcrew.org Leisure and Recreational Programs for individuals 6years of age & older with Visual, Hearing, Intellectual and/or Physical Disabilities


kids

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8-21, with traumatic brain injury. Camp TBI staff provides one-on-one care, which increases the campers’ level of independence in the areas of personal hygiene, following a schedule, making friends appropriately and just having fun. Campers enjoy horseback riding, a ropes course, group games, sporting activities, swimming, fishing and arts and crafts along with social activities such as dances, karaoke and talent nights. Walton Winter Weekend 706-826-5809 www.waltonfoundation.net Open to children ages 6-18 with physical disabilities and their families. Walton Winter Weekend takes place in February at a fully accessible campsite where each family gets its own private cabin. Activities include fishing, ropes course, rock climbing wall, hayride, movie night and much more. This two-night camp is free for each family except for a $25 application fee.

SPEECH PATHOLOGY AND AUDIOLOGY Augusta Ear Nose Throat 340 N. Belair Rd., Evans. 706-868-5676 720 Saint Sebastian Way, Augusta. 706-868-5676 170 University Pky., Aiken. 803-649-0003

www.augustaent.com A trained audiologist evaluates and treats hearing problems and related disorders. Augusta Hearing and Balance 1215 George C. Wilson Dr., Suite 3A, Augusta. 706-993-2376 www.augustahearing.com Dr. Rebecca B. Hopkins and Dr. E. Robin Bohannan perform hearing diagnostics for children.

Children’s Hospital of Georgia’s speech pathologists provide individualized evaluation and treatments to help children with language problems or delays, hearing loss, stuttering, resonance issues, swallowing problems and other speech issues. Communication Station, LLC 601 N. Belair Square, Suite 19, Evans. 706-364-1486 speechyleigh@yahoo.com www.communicationstation.biz Speech therapy for patients from infancy to 21 years. Specializing in autism spectrum disorders.

Bright Start 720 Gracern Rd., Suite 450, Columbia, S.C. 803-929-1112 (24 hours a day). brightstart@sc.rr.com www.brightstartsc.com With a location in Aiken, Bright Start is a private provider of speech therapy and autism services to children, teenagers and adults with special needs and developmental delays. Families of special needs children from infancy to age 6 benefit from the early intervention services offered.

Snyder Speech Therapy Services 229 Hillbrook Dr., Martinez. 706-860-9385 marysnyderspeech@hotmail.com. Provides speech therapy services for clients of all ages, infants through adults via telepractice over the Internet.

Children’s Hospital of Georgia Speech Pathology 1447 Harper St., 2nd floor, Augusta 706-721-5437 www.augustahealth.org/childrens-hospital-of-georgia/our-care/rehabilitative-services/speech-pathology

Southern Medical Hearing Center 2816 Washington Rd., Suite 106, Augusta. 706-412-5373 www.southernmedicalhearing.com Provides hearing aids, free hearing screenings,

A U G U S TA

Our mission is to provide equine assisted activities that promote the physical, emotional and psychological health of individuals with special needs. • Serving the entire CSRA and conveniently located off of I-20 • Scholarships are available for those who need • Our Instructors are PATH Certified and provide a variety of equine assisted activities tailored to meet your needs

(803)226-0056 | www.greatoakatrc.org AUGUSTA FAMILY | JUNE/JULY 2019 � 33


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financing options and the gift of hearing to needy and qualified patients. Southern Otologic Clinic 818 St. Sebastian Way, Suite 204, Augusta 706-724-0668 www.moretzmd.com Provides evaluation and treatment of hearing issues. Hearing aid guidance and fitting for children and adults. University Hospital Speech and Hearing Center 1430 Harper St., Suite C3, Augusta. 706-774-8666 or 706-854-2630 4321 University Pkwy., Suite 102, Evans www.universityhealth.org/specialty-units-centers/ speech-and-hearing University Hospital’s Speech and Hearing Center provides evaluation and treatment services for children with speech, language, feeding, swallowing and hearing disorders. The speech pathologists and audiologists strive to improve their patients’ ability to communicate and function as independently as possible.

SUPPORT GROUPS Augusta Autism and Disability AugustaAutismandDisability@gmail.com. Facebook page: Augusta Autism and Disability Support Group. Wesley United Methodist Church 825 North Belair Road, Evans. Our group offers support to parents and caregivers of special needs children and meets twice each month, generally on Tuesday evenings from 6:00-8:00 at Wesley United Methodist Church on N. Belair Rd. in Evans. Details can be found on our Facebook page, “Augusta Autism and Disability Support Group”, and any questions can be directed to augustaautismanddisability@gmail.com. Blood Cancer/BMT Support Group 1411 Laney Walker Blvd. 1st floor, Community Room. 706-721-1634 www.augustahealth.org/classes-and-events This group provides educational and emotional support to patients, families, friends and caregivers. Meets third Wednesdays, 11:30 a.m.-1 p.m. Common Bond Parent Support Group Geneice McCoy 706-729-0012 mccoyg@comcast.net For Augusta-area parents of children of all ages and diagnoses with challenging disabilities but remarkable perseverance and resilience. Dates and locations of meetings vary. Call for information. JDRF Type One Nation www.typeonenation.org

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Provides an online support group and information for parents of children with juvenile diabetes.

TRANSITION SERVICES Accent on Independence 2606 Commons Blvd., Augusta. 706-550-0527 Accent Inc. on Facebook Promotes and enhances independence of adults with mental retardation and developmental disabilities. Augusta Training Shop 1704 Jenkins St., Augusta. 706-738-1358 www.augustatrainingshop.com A nonprofit work center that employs mentally and physically challenged adults. They learn to repair, strip and refinish furniture, re-cane chairs and polish metals with the goal of performing purposeful work independently.

www.scvrd.net Provides an array of services to help people with disabilities find employment. Statewide Independent Living Council of Georgia 770-270-6860 www.silcga.org An advocacy organization that provides resources and answers to questions regarding independent living. Walton Options 948 Walton Way, Augusta 706-724-6262 www.waltonoptions.org Empowers people of all ages and all types of disabilities to reach their highest level of independence. The caring, trained staff work with clients to develop individualized plans and goals. Services include, but are not limited to, peer support groups, assistance with money management, assistance with nutrition and assistance with home modification and accessibility issues.

TRANSPORTATION

Center for Financial Independence and Innovation 794 Marietta St., Suite 93862, Atlanta. 404-541-9005 www.cfiiga.org The agency’s goal is to make independence affordable by improving the financial self-sufficiency of Georgians with disabilities.

ADA Paratransit Van Service 1535 Fenwick St., Augusta. 706-821-1819 www.augustaga.gov Curb-to-curb van service available to qualifying individuals with permanent or temporary disabilities.

Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency 1220-D West Wheeler Pkwy., Augusta. 706-650-5600 www.gvra.georgia.gov Promotes independence of people with disabilities by aiding with employment, accessibility and living accommodations.

Adaptive Driving Solutions 3027 Riverwatch Pkwy., Augusta. 706-765-2036 www.accessiblevans.com www.augustamobility.com Specializes in wheelchair van rentals and sales. They also modify vehicles to make them accessible and install vehicle lifts.

Serenity Behavioral Health System 3421 Mike Padgett Hwy, Augusta, GA 30906 706-432-4800 www.serenitybhs.com. Provides supported vocational opportunities for people with disabilities. South Carolina Statewide Independent Living Council 720 Gracern Rd Ste 106,, Columbia, S.C. 803-217-3209 scsilc@scsilc.com www.scsilc.com Promotes independent living for adults with severe disabilities and their inclusion in mainstream society. South Carolina Vocational Rehabilitation Department 855 York St. NE, Aiken. 803-641-7630

Georgia Department of Driver Services 2206 East View Pkwy., Conyers, Ga. 404-968-3800 855-406-5221 www.dds.ga.gov/drivers (Scroll down and click on Disability Parking Permits) Application for a disabled parking permit is on the website. South Carolina Department of Motor Vehicles Disabled Parking Permit www.scdmvonline.com Click on the forms and manuals link on the left side of the screen, then scroll down to the link for the disabled placard application.

Additional listings/resources can be found on augustafamily.com. Information is provided by the organizations listed or from their website and is subject to change.


LET’S WORK TOGETHER TO PUT

CHI LDRE N FIR S T

WHAT IS CHILDREN 1ST? Children 1st collaborates with local hospitals, physicians and other healthcare providers, schools, community-based organizations, and other agencies to identify children who are at-risk for poor health and development outcomes. Children 1st identifies and screens children to determine their eligibility for or link children to programs such as: • Babies Can’t Wait • Children’s Medical Services • Early Hearing Detention and Intervention (EHDI) • 1st Care • Food supplements through the Women, Infants, & Children program (WIC)

WHY IS CHILDREN 1ST IMPORTANT? Children develop rapidly during the early years of life. Early nurturing, good health, and stimulating experiences promote healthy development and performance in school. Children 1st provides in-home or clinic visits at no cost to the family. During these visits Children 1st performs professional assessments and links the family to resources. The overall goal of Children 1st is to have Georgia’s children healthy and prepared to enter school at age 5.

EAST CENTRAL HEALTH DISTRICT - 6 CHILD HEALTH

1916 North Leg Rd. Augusta, GA 30909 | 706-667-4757

Visit ecphd.com for more information

WHAT IS 1ST CARE? • 1st Care is under the Children 1st program umbrella. 1st Care provides high-risk infants, birth to age one, in-home developmental and physical assessments by a registered nurse • The 1st Care objective is to strengthen the coordination of services between hospitals, primary care providers and public health centers by offering health maintenance to high-risk infants in their home environment • 1st Care services are offered in all 13 counties in ECDH-6


A GENERATION

AT RISK The Mental Health Crisis: A Growing Epidemic BY DAN A H ARRI S

K

eeping children safe from harm and providing them with a loving, stable and healthy environment is at the heart of everything parents strive to achieve. If we have been lucky enough to grow up with skillful parents, then we have probably acquired a good sense about what great parents do. Raising children is perhaps one of the most important endeavors we undertake as humans. Children remind us of what’s most important: joy, laughter, happiness, and honest human connections. There is no training required of us to help us do to it to the best of our ability and like almost everything else we do in life, parenting is a skill with a wide body of research out there that can help us do it more skillfully—with greater confidence, less stress, and better results. Along with the benefits of parenting, however, come challenges. Let’s face it, our kids and teens are constantly changing. They are growing up quickly and before you know it, your giggly, energetic toddler is now a teenager who sleeps until noon, keeps his/her cell phone with them 24/7 and expects you to knock on their bedroom door before you enter. But with all these changes going on, how can we tell which changes are normal? At what point should we start worrying that our child’s tantrums or teenager’s mood swings are more than just ‘growing pains’? It can be hard to tell. The truth is, for many kids, these sudden changes aren’t just a part of growing up, they are symptoms of something more serious. Even in the most ideal situations, the task of raising a child is monumental. But what happens when your child has mental health issues?

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There is a ‘mental health care crisis’ in the United States. We are dealing with an epidemic where at one end of the scale we’ve got four-year old’s being tested while at the other end of the scale we’ve got teenagers leaving school and facing the prospect of leaving their university with record amounts of debt. The stakes for children with mental health issues are high, and the responsibility for acting falls on the parents, making what was already a tough job that much tougher. Worst yet, the crisis in children’s mental health has become more alarming than most people might suspect. For some, this statement is an accurate one, but for others, it may be difficult to accept or maybe you just don’t want to believe it to be true. Nevertheless, whether you agree that there is a health crisis or not, you cannot ignore the fact that it is having an enormous impact on the world today at an alarming pace. The statistics are staggering. 1 in 5 young people suffer from a mental, emotional or behavioral disorder, but only 4 percent of the total health care budget is spent on mental health. Worldwide, it is estimated that 10-20% of children and young people (aged 5-16) have clinically diagnosable mental health problems, yet 70% of those individuals have yet to have appropriate intervention at a sufficiently early age. They remain underdiagnosed and untreated. Signs of poor mental health can be overlooked for several reasons, such as a lack of knowledge or awareness about mental health among health workers, or stigma preventing them from seeking help. Having good mental health is key to the healthy development and well-being of every child. Kids need good mental health - not only to be able to deal with challenges and adapt to change, but so they can feel good about themselves, build healthy relationships with others and enjoy life. Childhood behavioral disorders are the sixth leading cause of disease burden among adolescents. Adolescence can be a time where rules, limits and boundaries are tested. It can furthermore be influenced by a myriad of other things, life family circumstances, school life and life altering events. About half of all serious mental health issues begin before a child reaches 14 years of age. Therefore, it is critically important to be able to recognize if there is cause for concern. Everyone feels sad, angry or upset sometimes, including children. But if a kid feels like this most of the time, it’s a sign they may need help. Globally, depression is the ninth leading cause of illness and disability among all adolescents; anxiety is the eight-leading cause. It is estimated that 62,000 adolescents died in 2017 as a result of self-harm. Suicide is the third leading cause of death in older adolescents (15-19). Suicide attempts can be impulsive or associated with feelings of hopelessness or loneliness. Even if these thoughts are not acted upon, these are clearly indicative

that a child is unhappy and in need of support. These suicidal feelings are often triggered by other things such as being bullied, having low self-worth or living with mental illness. Risk factors for suicide are multifaceted, including harmful use of alcohol, abuse in childhood, stigma against help-seeking, barriers to accessing care, and access to means. Communication through digital media about suicidal behavior is also an emerging concern for this age group. Children are struggling with their identity and the numbers are self-harming. Pressure to fit in are making children unhappy – from how they look, to their sexuality, to how boys and girls must behave. Having a mental illness is not a choice or moral failing. Quite to the contrary, mental illnesses can occur at similar rates around the world, in every culture and in all socioeconomic groups. The statistics are staggering. Child anxiety rates are the highest they have ever been in American history. Child suicide rates are the highest they have been in American history and they have been rising sharply over the past 10 years. There have been more school shootings in the last 18 years than there were in all the 20th century. In any given year 20% of American children will be diagnosed with a mental illness. If these facts do not leave you deeply concerned, they should, especially if you are a parent or educator. To date, most research on mental illness have centered on adults. However, the mental health community have now begun to focus on mental health illness in children. Researchers are currently looking at childhood development in terms of what is normal and abnormal, trying to understand how factors affecting development can have an impact on mental health. The over-arching goal is to try to predict, and ultimately prevent, developmental problems that could lead to mental illness. A key part of this research is the identification of risk factors that increase a child’s chances of developing a mental illness. New research suggests that mental health problems amongst children have hit a ‘crisis point.’ Early diagnosis and appropriate services for children and their families can make a significant difference in the lives of children with mental disorders. Access to providers who can offer services, including screenings, referrals, and treatment opportunities is the first step to address this issue. CDC is working to learn more about access to behavioral health services and supports for children and their families. Untreated mental health problems can disrupt children’s functioning at home, school and in the community. Without treatment, children with mental health issues are at a greater increased risk of school failure, contact with the criminal justice system, dependence on social services and even suicide. The impact is more than in statistics and factoids, it’s in feelings and emotions.

AUGUSTA FAMILY | JUNE/JULY 2019 � 37


It’s in our families, with our friends and in our communities. No child should have to reach a crisis point to get help with their mental health issues. Our public schools are struggling daily and face huge challenges in dealing with mental health issues in their students, and teachers are on the front line. With more than 50 million public school students in the US, as many as 1 in 5 show signs of a mental health disorder. In schools, mental health should be everybody’s job. Too often, it ends up being no ones. As a retired educator with more than three decades of professional service in the field, I have witnessed firsthand and far too many times the devasting impact of pressures such as test anxiety, bullying, and family problems. The consequences of these problems are serious, often life-threatening, and teachers are desperate to help. Yet at a times when the need for preventative, early intervention and specialist services are soaring, schools are finding it increasingly difficult to provide the help their pupils need. There’s an urgent need for better support mechanisms in schools, as well as decent funding for the range of mental health services children and young people need. The National Education Union (NEU) surveyed more than 8,000 school leaders and support staff in various states and found the number of young people with mental ill health have ‘increased significantly’ since 2017. When asked if they had noticed a change in the number of pupil mental health problems in the past two years, 83% said there has been an increase – and just 7% said they hadn’t noticed any change. One teacher said, “We are at a crisis point with mental health,” and another in the survey commented, “SAT pressure and general expectations are taking their toll on more vulnerable pupils. We have 9-year-olds talking about suicide.” Another teacher said there had been three suicides in three years in her school alone. The NEU asked teachers whether they felt they had the right provisions for supporting pupils with mental health issues. While most teachers (59%) reported they had learning support assistance, less than 50% reported a school counselor. Only 30% had external specialist support and less than 30% had a school nurse. Because of this, the burden of support falls on the shoulders of teachers. I can vividly recall one of my former teachers confessing to me that she spent over 40% of her lunchtime nurturing children experiencing a range of mental health issues. When parents suspect that their child may be facing mental health issues, the most important first step is to get a proper evaluation. The quality and accuracy of the evaluation will determine the course of treatment, which will in turn have a direct effect on the outcome. On the other hand, parents and caregivers may have mixed feelings about getting their child help for the mental illness. They may worry about being blamed for their child’s change in behavior, or they worry what treatments may be tried. Mental illnesses can be

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frightening, and many people worry what others will think if they talk about their experiences. The good news is that mental illnesses can be treated successfully, and early treatment can help reduce the impact of a mental illness on your child’s life. It is highly recommended that if you suspect something terribly wrong, talk to your doctor to learn more about the different options. Consider seeking family counseling or the help of support groups. It’s important for you and your loved ones to understand your child’s illness and his or her feelings, as well as what all of you can do to help your child. When deciding on treatment, it’s important to think through exactly how the plan is going to play out in real-time, and how it’s going to work in the day-to-day life of the family. Treatment should be family-centered, based on the strengths of the child, have clear goals and objectives and most importantly, include steps to modify the plan based on the evaluation criteria. Don’t avoid getting help for your child out of shame or fear. Your child’s teachers, doctors, school personnel, social services and all involved family members should be part of the process. There is undeniably a growing health care crisis in our schools and society. The policies on education and the lack of school funding are contributing significantly to a terrible and destructive workforce. Schools can’t solve this alone and government underfunding of public services is damaging the next generation from an early age. We all want what is best for kids – that is unquestionable. With greater awareness of the factors affecting kids’ mental health, we are all better prepared to help our kids develop healthy senses of self that can ultimately lead them living much more fulfilled and happier lives. Children’s mental health problems are real, common and treatable. Although one in five children has a diagnosable mental health problem, nearly two-thirds of them get little or no help. The cost of ignoring these numbers are far too high. We are living in a society full of broken systems – the health system, the justice system, the child welfare system, the legal system, the political system . . . I can go on. There is however one broken system that we cannot continue to ignore: the children’s mental health system. Failure to access services in a timely manner can often be fatal. We must work together to improve the lives of children and youth with mental health disorders and begin to create a system with far fewer cracks. After all, our kids deserve nothing less. Dr. Dana Harris is a former Richmond County Public School Educator, Elementary School Teacher, Professional Staff Development Consultant & Principal. She is currently a public speaker & free-lance writer. She has dedicated over 37 professional years in the educational arena and is currently retired, a wife of 41 years, and a mother and grandmother of two beautiful grandkids, London & Bryce.


Child Health Services East Central Health District

CARE

EAST CENTRAL HEALTH DISTRICT - 6 CHILD HEALTH

1916 North Leg Rd. Augusta, GA 30909 | 706-667-4757 | 1-888-307-6365

Visit ecphd.com for more information

AugustA FAmily | June/July 2019 • 39


inspiration station Me re di t h Fl ory

40 • AugustA FAmily | June/July 2019


inspiration station

A Mother’s Rest

A

Mother’s Rest is a certified 501c3 that operates out of Maryland, planning retreats for “extra needs” families across the United States, and these events have ties to our area. Founder Andrea Faris Roberts explains that A Mother’s Rest is a “health initiative” for the caretakers of children that require extra care; this might be special needs children, children with long term illnesses, or children that have experienced trauma or behavioral issues, like many in foster situations. As a mother of teenage son with Down Syndrome, ADHD, and SPD, she recognized that her and other parents acting as caregivers were facing burnout, and that while there were many conferences and events for these families to learn and develop community, there was nothing that was providing a simple chance to catch up on sleep and respite for caregivers, inspiring her to start A Mother’s Rest (AMR) using her previous professional experience in marketing and charitable organizations.. Sleep deprivation can cause emotional and physical health issues, and many caregivers are awake frequently to care for the health needs of others in their families, and do not have many opportunities for relaxation. AMR organizes retreats at Bed and Breakfasts and Inns across the country where caregivers - parents, teachers, and other family members - can “remove from their caregiving situation” with others that understand, and seek rest in an “intimate setting.” There are no mandatory schedules, so that caregivers can rest and relax in the way that feeds their soul the most, even if that means simply sleeping in each day of the retreat. Many of these families are living on one income, and budgeting for healthcare expenses as well, so A Mother’s Rest seeks to make each retreat affordable through corporate sponsorships. “Porch Partners” are the network of Inns and B&Bs willing to work with AMR to schedule retreats at discounted rates. However, AMR also needs corporate sponsors as well, willing to help cover the cost of each retreat to keep expenses low for families. AMR hopes to expand into grants for private caregivers as parents leave their child or spouse in need of care at home, and to expand into more events serving a variety of caregiving populations, such as a fledgling partnership with the military to care for spouses of disabled veterans.

The Jekyll Island Club Hotel is one of AMR’s “porch partners” and the organization has a Couples Retreat planned at this location for October 2019. Couples interested in attending, as well as businesses interested in sponsoring, can find more information at www.amothersrest.org. People may also purchase gift cards to events for a family member or friend that they believe would benefit; an excellent Mother’s or Father’s Day present if you haven’t been sure how to help a loved one in this situation. The organization’s Twitter handle and Facebook page is @amothersrest and they often use #sleep to lead conversations on the need for rest and self-care. In addition to parent retreats, they also host Mommy & Me retreats where a mother can bring non-disabled siblings to allow rest and time for the focus to be on their other child, as it can sometimes be difficult to discuss that child’s needs and find one-on-one quality time. Mother’s can also bring a friend or family member to these retreats that they need to spend time with. AMR hopes to “eliminate the sense of shame, guilt, and anxiety” that many caregivers face when expressing a need for respite, and also to expand the definition of caregiver to those with family members that may have an extra need spouse or child, but do not think of themselves as caregivers. Roberts shared that many of these caregivers are not even aware that a total break is possible, and these retreats can energize and nourish them in a way that they can go back to their families refreshed and hopeful. She shared the story of one participant who was encouraged to attend a retreat through AMR as she was caring for her husband in the end stages of Alzheimer’s. Dealing with his aggression and anger after many years of a happy and caring marriage, she had not realized how much caregiving impacted her own health. Roberts remembers that as she walked in she became emotional and so grateful for this chance at rest, changing her countenance. To other caregivers Roberts shares that she understands how much it takes to “give yourself this gift” of rest. Meredith Flory is an Augusta-area freelance writer, military spouse and mother of two. She has a masters degree in children’s literature from Kansas State University and has taught high school and college English.

AugustA FAmily | June/July 2019 • 41


calendar Ju n e /Ju l y 2 0 1 9

FOURTH OF JULY IN THE SKY

Visit, www.eventbrite.com.

42 � AUGUSTA FAMILY | JUNE/JULY 2019

Photo by Mike Adams

Fourth of July in the Sky at The Partridge Inn Augusta. 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. The most exclusive view in the city, overlooking downtown Augusta and the CSRA.Each guest will be able to observe fireworks at dark, as well as complimentary Hors D’oeuvres from 7pm-9pm, and a signature cocktail.


calendar June 2. Pentatonix: The World Tour with special guest Rachel Platten at James Brown Arena. Visit, www.augustaentertainmentcomplex.com.

June 20. Jen Hatmaker and Heather Land Hot Summer nights Tour. Bell Auditorium. Visit, www.augustaentertainmentcomplex.com.

June 4. ReO Speedwagon at Bell Auditorium. Visit, www.augustaentertainmentcomplex.com.

June 20. Music in the Park. Multiple musical genres will take center stage during North Augusta’s 2019 Music in the Park series. The free hour-long outdoor concerts will be held in North Augusta’s Maude Edenfield Park select Thursdays May through July at 7pm. The 2019 schedule, including including a slate of performers, will be announced soon. The park, located at 495 Brookside Ave., is adjacent to the North Augusta Community Center.

June 7. The Black Jacket Symphony presents Journey’s escape. Miller Theater. A unique concert experience through recreating classic albums in a live performance setting. Visit, www.millertheateraugusta.com.

June 8. WAFJ presents Date night with Dave and Ashley Willis, some of America’s most trusted voices on issues related to marriage. Their books, blogs, videos, podcasts and live events have reached millions of couples worldwide. They are bringing a onenight-only date night experience to the Miller Theater which will include the best of their inspirational marriage teachings and hilarious comedy plus a live Question and Answer session and a book signing at the conclusion of the event featuring their new book, The Naked Marriage. Visit, millertheateraugusta.com.

June 14. Wine Housed: The Amy Celebration. A dazzling 10 piece tribute to the style, beauty, and music of Amy Winehouse. Rich Horns, lush background vocals. From Amy’s deep tracks & well-known covers to classic Amy bangers this fully immersive show will have you ready to show up with a popping beehive and winged eyeliner sharp enough to kill! Enjoy an evening with a tribute show you will never forget! Visit, www.millertheateraugusta.com.

June 22. Taylor Acorn at The Refinery After Hours, 953 Jones St, Augusta.

June 22. AthFest Sampler Featuring The Producers and Pylon Reenactment Society. Originally formed as a Beatles cover band named Cartoon, The Producers changed musical directions in the early ‘80s and began performing their own material in nightclubs around the Atlanta area. The response to their music was so good that they were quickly signed to CBS subsidiary Portrait Records. Visit, millertheateraugusta.com.

June 22. Saturday Salute to Music Legends on the Augusta Canal. Motown with Jonay Baile. 7:00 pm to 8:30 p.m. Visit, www. augustacanal.com.

June 22. uS Rowing Se Regional Regatta. Lake Olmstead Park. Clubs from all over the south east compete over two days. Visit, www.augustarowingclub.org.

We’d love to hear from you. If you have an event you’d like to add to our next issue, send an email to ashlee.duren@augustamagazine.com.

AugustA FAmily | June/July 2019 • 43


44 • AugustA FAmily | June/July 2019


Big Apple CirCus July 25 Come see awardwinning acts from around the world!

Photo by Bob Jagendorf on Flickr

Visit, www.augustaentertainmentcomplex.com.

June 28. Summer nights @ Riverwalk. June 29. Girl’s night Paint Party. 600 Broad Street, Augusta. Visit, www.eventbrite.com.

July 4. Fourth of July in the Sky at The Partridge Inn Augusta. 5:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. The most exclusive view in the city, overlooking downtown Augusta and the CSRA.Each guest will be able to observe fireworks at dark, as well as complimentary Hors D’oeuvres from 7pm-9pm, and a signature cocktail. Visit, www.eventbrite.com.

July 12. Marriage Retreat. 2 Springs Community Church will be having their first Marriage Retreat, July 12th-13th, at a beautiful Bed & Breakfast called the Lookaway Inn. Visit, www.lookawayinn.

July 13. The Pink Floyd laser Spectacular has become a cult classic, presenting the music of Pink Floyd, as you’ve never seen before. The entire show is presented with the original Master recordings of Pink Floyd. Surrounded by walls of concert quality sound, Laser Spectacular carries listeners away on a mind-expanding journey driven by cuttingedge effects, high-powered lasers, hi-def., large screen video projection, and special lighting effects. Your senses are confronted with an array of visual displays, choreographed to the soundtrack during this spectacular Laser Light Show. Visit, www.millertheateraugusta.com.

July 17. Augusta vs. Charleston 2nd Half. Wed, 7:05 pm SRP Park · North Augusta.

July 19. Mother’s Finest. Visit, millertheateraugusta.com.

AugustA FAmily | June/July 2019 • 45


generation Talkin’ abouT my

Three residents representing three age groups share their reflections on family, life and fun.

Mariam Pierce Brown, 70, is a retired teacher, administrator (Head of Middle School at Episcopal Day School). She has two daughters, Leslie Taylor, 42 and Amanda Testa 45 One word you would use to describe yourself: Survivor What qualities do you most admire? Integrity and honesty Is there an important life lesson you’ve learned? My husband died of early onset Alzheimer’s at 61 and I’m a breast cancer survivor so…love more, laugh more and enjoy each new day! What would surprise people about you? I play the ukulele.

Anslie Thorp, 14, is an 8th grade student at

James Edward Hawes II, 32, is a

Davidson Fine Arts.

truck driver married to Monica Hawes, who is a

If you could have any job, what would you choose? A professional ballet dancer with the Royal Ballet in England What quality do you most admire? Trustworthiness What’s your favorite food? The Tree Hugger burger from Boll Weevil in downtown Augusta If you had a super power, what would it be? To be invisible Is there an important life lesson you’ve learned? To look at the future with an open mind and be open to change

registered nurse. They have three children, James, 8, Alaya, 6 and Isaiah, 3. One word you would use to describe yourself: Astute If you could have any job, what would you choose? NBA Executive Dream vacation? Jerusalem to visit the holy land Best thing about being a dad? Seeing my kids smile, watching them sleep peacefully, watching them grow into amazing little people while taking with them the lessons I helped teach.

Best thing about being a mom? Watching my

What are you reading right now? Birds of

children grow and become outstanding adults…

Pray by Rob Maaddi

hopefully will see my grandchildren do the same!

46 • AugustA FAmily | June/July 2019


Augusta Family | April 2017 • 48

Profile for Augusta Family Magazine

Augusta Family Magazine June/July 2019  

Special Kids! Our 2019 Special Needs Directory A Generation At Risk

Augusta Family Magazine June/July 2019  

Special Kids! Our 2019 Special Needs Directory A Generation At Risk

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