Raising Special Kids – A Crucial Partner for Parents, Every Step of the Way

Sarah Gonzales’s son Baker started receiving services through the Arizona Early Intervention Program (AzEIP) when she reached out to Raising Special Kids. Baker has Down syndrome and as he approached his first birthday, his developmental delays became more pronounced. Because of these delays, Sarah wanted him to receive additional AzEIP therapies but was running into roadblocks. “At six months old, Baker had been through multiple service coordinators, only receiving infrequent physical therapy,” Sarah shares. “He began to show more delays, as expected, but every time I asked for additional services, we were told that was not an option. By nine months, he was still only receiving physical therapy, and I could not get clear answers on what we needed to do to add additional services to help my son.”

Per the guidance of another parent of a child with Down syndrome and a friend of Raising Special Kids, Sarah reached out for help. “I contacted RSK through their website and heard from our family support specialist the next day,” Sarah said. “She listened to our struggles, and I immediately felt comfortable when she shared that the majority of the staff at Raising Special Kids have children with disabilities, including herself. She knew exactly what we were going through and took as much time as I needed to explain how the system works and answer every question I had, big or small.”

After this conversation, Sarah felt she had the necessary tools and knowledge to advocate more effectively for Baker. “Our family support specialist encouraged us to try ourselves first, using the suggestions she gave on ways to advocate for Baker,” Sarah added. “But she assured us if we were met with another ‘no,’ there were other routes we could take to get Baker the services he needed, and she would be there to help.”

Sarah quickly called a meeting with Baker’s early intervention team and was able to advocate for speech and feeding therapy for Baker! Sarah is grateful for the support she received from Raising Special Kids and the tools and knowledge she gained that will help her advocate moving forward. “As a family, we feel more confident knowing we have RSK behind us as we embark on the lifelong journey of advocating for Baker,” Sarah added. “We consider ourselves lucky to have two beautiful, amazing children and we will stop at nothing to give them every possibility of success. Raising Special Kids is a crucial partner in helping us get there, every step of the way.”

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