27 Jun New Hope Family Perspective: Getting Started at New Hope
by Denise Caudill, parent of New Hope client
On St. Patrick’s Day in 2015, I felt that I had the Luck of the Irish… I finally received a call from the FSSA regarding the Family Supports Waiver. After being on the waitlist for nearly 3 years, it was the answer to a well-rehearsed prayer. After interviews, paperwork and more waiting, my daughter, then 8-years-old, finally had a case management group and a case worker. Let the long awaited therapies begin.
I look back at that time and marvel at how naïve and uniformed I was. At the initial meeting with the case worker, I was given provider lists for music and recreational therapies without much instruction other than select one, initial beside the provider name, and sign and date it. I was at a complete loss at where to begin or what questions to ask a provider. If you are reading this blog, you are leaps and bounds from where I started.
One of the best pieces of advice that I can give is to talk with people. I talk with other parents in waiting rooms, pharmacists, teachers, therapists, and anyone who is open to a conversation about children with special needs. One day I happened to speak with someone who recommended that I look into New Hope. Not only did New Hope provide music therapy, but also recreational therapy. I made an appointment to meet with Amy Flint, Director of Placement Services, and Amanda Boyd, Manager of Day Services. I was nervous and babbling, but they were compassionate listeners and did not balk at my questions and comments. They quickly assuaged many of my fears. Having had an unpleasant experience with a different provider when my daughter first received the waiver, I was weary of making a long term commitment. We agreed that my daughter would receive recreational therapy during her summer vacation. I was under no obligation nor did I feel pressure to continue her therapy after the 10-weeks. After leaving the meeting and having a tour of the facilities, I was cautiously optimistic. (Because of the long waitlist, please note that this meeting occurred in January in an attempt to procure a spot by June.)
Needless to say, my daughter has been part of the New Hope community for over a year and we could not be happier or more satisfied with the services she receives. In addition to recreational therapy on a weekly basis, my daughter also receives music therapy as well. Everyone we meet at New Hope is supportive and friendly. Not only does my daughter look forward to seeing her therapists, but also other staff members who work in different departments. I appreciate the dedication and professionalism of her therapists as well as other New Hope employees. New Hope has become a significant component of my daughter’s care. I feel confident that she is receiving quality therapy in a caring and positive environment.
As an unexpected blessing, I discovered the additional services that New Hope provides. My daughter has a rare chromosome duplication and her prognosis is unknown. As a planner with one eye on the future, I am relieved that she is growing up within the New Hope community. In the event that she needs vocational or residential services as an adult, we will have established a long relationship with New Hope and its staff.
I will always be grateful that someone recommended New Hope to us, and I appreciate the opportunity to pass along this information for others who are seeking assistance. If you are a parent or a caregiver, I hope that you take the time to visit New Hope and speak with its staff and clients. It’s worth the time to explore if New Hope is a good fit for your loved one.