NACD works with some of the best families in the world. When these families get together to change how their communities view children with delays, they can make a resounding difference. How does this work? It works best when NACD parents join forces with other NACD parents within a geographic area to effect change.
Each quarter as NACD evaluators travel to various branches, they are able to meet with families to discuss new approaches and changes within NACD, as well as discuss ways in which families can have an impact on their communities. Most ideas in this regard actually come from the parents who know their communities the best. The meetings serve as an opportunity to share ideas and build networks among the families. They also serve as an opportunity to allow parents considering NACD and interested professionals, such as teachers and therapists, learn more about us.
What do parents in an NACD chapter do to change their community?
Parents look for opportunities to educate others within their community about the potential of children who have been labeled with delays. They spread the word to other families who are seeking help with their children. They assist in organizing meetings and participate in these meetings. They network with local support groups and organizations in order to educate them regarding new approaches to working with children with delays.
These efforts have a ripple effect that does impact the community, the schools, the professionals, service organizations, and more.
An excellent example of this is our St.Louis chapter parent group. This powerful group of parents has brought in many new families and have located and participated in conferences, association meetings, and parent groups in their community. They have spread the word of new interventions and provided a clearer understanding of what causes delays and how to fix them. They continue to make their voices heard within their community. What have been the results of their efforts? They have expanded their chapter. They have educated many new families, teachers, therapists and physicians in their community. They have made an impact on agencies within their state, such as the Department of Mental Health.
How do parents in NACD chapters help each other?
One of the many benefits of the meetings is that it allows parents to meet each other face to face and get to know each other. Talking with and getting to know other NACD families brings a welcome sense of community. You are not in this alone! Things parents have shared to help each other include local physicians who have been helpful, sources of less expensive organic foods, babysitters, places to find materials locally, sources of supplements locally, fun activities to do with kids locally, volunteers and more. Some chapters have set up Mom’s Nights Out. Some have organized picnics and barbecues. Groups have set up directories to make contacting each other and communicating easier. Many parents find this additional support invaluable in moving forward with their NACD program.
Building and maintaining your Chapter
NACD is a powerful group of families and staff working together to effect change in individual children and in communities. In order for evaluators to help the most children, we continue to build our three base offices, which are in Utah, Texas, and Pennsylvania. Our ability to work with children in chapters is based entirely on the ability of parents in a geographic area to build a big enough base to make and keep that chapter viable. We salute our marvelous parent groups who are working together to educate their communities, bring together new families in search of help, and support each other in moving forward with their children. We also salute parents whose children are seen at the base offices who also work to be voices in their communities to educate others.