When parents or caregivers worry there is an issue with their child’s development, it’s a scary moment. It’s hard to know where to turn. Fortunately, there are local resources available for families with questions or concerns.
Rise for Baby and Family supports families with infants and toddlers who have or are at risk for developmental delays or disabilities through comprehensive therapeutic services – Family Centered Early Supports and Services (FCESS). Parents who have concerns about how their young child is crawling, walking, running, talking or acting can come to Rise for a developmental evaluation.
These services are designed for children from birth to age 3 who have a condition likely to result in a developmental delay, who are experiencing developmental delays, or who are at risk for developmental delays if supports and services are not provided. Rise has speech, physical and occupational therapists to work with families as well as educators and a mental health counselor.
Best of all, families with concerns about their babies and toddlers (up to age 3) can reach out to request an evaluation to see if their child would benefit.
“We encourage any parent with a concern to contact Rise with their questions about their child’s development,” said Alicia Deaver, executive director of Rise. “Early intervention is key to laying the foundation for a child’s growth and development.”
Some examples of children who would be eligible for Rise’s services include a newborn diagnosed prenatally or at birth with a genetic disorder or who was born addicted; an infant who favors looking to their left or right side and starts developing a flat spot on their head (usually noticed by a pediatrician at around a child’s four-month checkup; a 2-year-old who is not making a lot of sounds or saying fewer than 10 to 15 words or is difficult to understand; children who cry a lot and aren’t comforted by their caregivers; and children who don’t engage in their environment, such as not playing with a lot of toys or others.
All early support and services are at no cost to the family; with the parent’s permission, Rise will bill Medicaid and private insurance when possible. No family is denied services because of the cost.
“Families say the home visiting supports they received helped them to be the best parent they could be and helped their child be successful later in life. Parents are a child’s first and foremost teacher and by having an advocate, families get the support they need to develop the strongest foundation possible,” Deaver said. “To truly help a child, you cannot focus on one skill. Instead, you address the whole child in the context of the whole family. That is one of the values our staff hold that makes the biggest impacts on our families.”
Rise has remained open and helping families, even with ongoing COVID-19 restrictions. However, right now, children are getting care primarily though video and telephone conferencing.
All referrals to Rise go through Monadnock Developmental Services. A parent or caregiver can refer a child (up to age 3) by contacting the MDS Intake Coordinator at (603) 352-1304. Early supports and services stop when children are 3 years old because they transition to their local school district for these services (if eligible).
“Rise has been a constant support for families in the Monadnock Region since its founding. One of the best things we experience is helping a parent and their child, then seeing the child’s child come through Rise. To make it even better, we have had some long-term staff that have been able to serve both generations within the same family,” Deaver said. “The staff at Rise have expansive knowledge regarding development and working with families and are committed to helping others and strengthening the community. We have great partnerships and would not be successful without the support of Monadnock Developmental Services, Monadnock United Way, the Monadnock Home Visiting Alliance, doctors’ offices, school districts and the community at large. I like to say there are only two degrees of separation from Rise and am grateful to be able to see the impact the agency has in the community.”
In 2021, Rise will mark its 40th anniversary. To celebrate, the organization will feature a “Rise Graduates: Where are They Now” story-sharing campaign. If you’d like to share a story about how Rise has impacted your family, call (603) 357-1395 or email email@example.com.
Rise for Baby and Family is at 147 Washington St. in Keene. For more information, or to fill out a childcare application, visit riseforbabyandfamily.org. Families may also call the main number at (603) 357-1395, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.