"When we found out our second child was going to be born with a rare heart defect we had no idea where to turn or what to do. A friend told us about SD Parent Connection and all the ways they could help us.
When we first talked with SD Parent Connection they had a list of resources for us. They had contacts for Sioux Falls, but they also had resources for travel because we would have to go to Ann Arbor, MI. They were always friendly and continued to find resources for us. They went out of their way to have specific names and direct lines for different individuals to help us.
They also supplied us with a folder (FILE) to keep all of our son's papers and records organized! SD Parent Connection helped with everything and they are a resource that we are blessed to have been in contact with. The process of Medicaid, travel expenses, and reimbursement could have been a mess, but with their help it was a smooth process.
This is an organization who truly cares about their clients and treats everyone with dignity and respect and that is what we appreciated the most!"
Being in the school counseling profession for 22 years, I reach out to many different resources in the community. Over the years, my go to resource is South Dakota Parent Connection, It provides a wealth of resources from workshops, training, health care, etc... for both families and myself as a professional. I utilize the Family Resource Guide continually and having it printed in Spanish has served my community and school tremendously. I value the South Dakota Parent Connection so much that, as an instructor in the SDSU Counseling Department, I am using the information and materials that it has made available in the graduate level classroom! I inform students of this beneficial resource here in South Dakota and strongly encourage them to utilize it, not only the families they will be working with, but to enhance their own knowledge in the counseling field. Immense gratitude is extended to the US Dept of Health and Human Services, Health Resources and Services Administration, Maternal and Child Health Bureau, and Division of Services for Children with Special Health Needs for the development and funding. Thank you!
The staff at SDPC were awesome those first years for our family! No one from this agency judged us, told us we were bad parents or told us "how to parent" our son, they were just there to listen to us and to provide us with LOADS of information and resources to help us navigate the special education system to get him the help he needed.
Over the years our son has had many, many more diagnosis' added and had many more difficulties in life. SDPC is still there for us, 17 years later, guiding us through and helping us find services and resources to best fit our son's needs.
SDPC was involved with our family though his high school years when we were having HUGE difficulty with our local school district, with their Navigator Program it was awesome to have someone there for us! That is the best program ever!! SDPC was there when we needed funding for an autism evaluation, thank God for that help, without it we would have NEVER been able to afford to have him evaluated or serviced.
SDPC is still there for our family, our son is now 20 years old and they are still there supporting us. SDPC has been involved with my family in one way or another for over 17 years, the staff with this agency has improved my family's quality of life over the years and made a HUGE impact in my son's life!
How has SDPC helped me? That is such a broad question and difficult to answer since they have helped in so many ways. It's like trying to answer "How has your family helped you?', because I feel in many ways they act as if they were our family. You can always count on them.
I first learned about SDPC shortly after my youngest daughter was born with Down syndrome. They have helped inform me of my daughter's rights for an appropriate education, and when IEPs were difficult they provided me with a Navigator to help me work with my school system. I believe it was through them that I learned about New Directions- the Down syndrome support group which has been a great support system and a way to meet other families with children going through the same issues as ours. They have always been there for me.
Whenever I had a specific question, or just needed an understanding ear to listen to me when a frustration needed to be vented. They don't promise that they can fix everything, but they have always been able to help me understand the many different situations that are part of a special needs individual's daily life. On my own I would never have the time, resources, or knowledge to know of all the opportunities that they have kept me abreast of. They have always helped me to see that my children's disabilities are not nearly as important as their abilities.