ESCT Parent Support and Training Program (PST)
Families of children with special needs experience unique challenges and unexpected obstacles along their journey. To make sure that Moms and Dads receive the resources they need to meet these challenges, the Parent Support and Training program at Easterseals Central Texas provides free programming for parents of children with special needs in the Austin area.
About Parent Support and Training
Please contact staff for more information:
Jennifer Ells, LMSW
Parent Support & Training Program Manager
The Parent Support and Training program strives to implement evidence-based practices in areas where parents have identified a need exists, and consists of:
- Case Management for Children and Pregnant Women: We offer case management services through Medicaid for children with special needs and women who currently have a high-risk pregnancy. We can help families obtain the supports they need, including medical, school, and social supports.
- Topic-centered workshops provide parents with expert information on topics relevant to their experience raising a child with special needs. See a list of upcoming events.
- Nurturing Parenting groups provide parents with a supportive place to learn and build nurturing parenting skills to use with their little ones. Groups follow the evidence-based Nurturing Parenting curriculum. See information about current groups below.
- Play groups for kids of all abilities ages 0-3 These bimonthly groups include time for structured play with parents and children and free-play with peers to allow social skill building and a chance for parents to socialize with each other. Activities include child-friendly yoga and music classes. See upcoming play group dates.
- Each year the PST program hosts community events where families can have fun in a judgment-free space and leave with a positive take-away such as a backpack filled with school supplies or a photo with Santa Claus. See upcoming events.
- We are starting a PARENT & CAREGIVER SUPPORT GROUP! If you are a parent or caregiver of a child with a special need, join our group to learn about relevant resources and topics, make friends going through similar experiences, and feel supported through your journey of raising a child with a special need! See below for support group dates.
We know parenting is a hard job and believe that every parent deserves a break from time to time. We strive to offer regular Respite events for children with special needs and their siblings. Please contact 512-615-6871 to find out the current Respite schedule and availability, or See upcoming respite events.
Have more questions? Please contact us for more information:
Jennifer Ells, LMSW Parent Support and Training Program Manager 512-615-6871 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Play Groups, ages 0 to 3
Fridays, 9:30am to 11:00am
Play Groups are open to the public for children of all abilities. RSVP to Play Groups on Eventbrite (search "Play Group for All Abilities") or email email@example.com.
Spring 2020 dates:
*Play Groups are cancelled in light of COVID-19, and will be resumed as soon as it is safe to gather again.
Wednesdays 9:00am to 12:00pm
Parents of children with special needs are invited to take the morning off! Drop your child off for a fun, social experience facilitated by Easterseals staff and volunteers while you go to appointments, run errands, or get some much-needed self care!
Fall Respite dates are FREE!
RSVP on Eventbrite (search "Respite") or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Spring 2020 dates:
*Respite is cancelled in light of COVID-19, and will be resumed as soon as it is safe to gather again.
Parent & Caregiver Support Group
Last Wednesday of the Month from 12:00 to 1:00pm
Are you a parent or caregiver of a child with special needs? Join us for our first Parent & Caregiver Support Group where you can form supportive relationships with others and learn about resources and topics relevant to you.
Refreshments and childcare will be provided! No RSVP required.
Spring 2020 dates:
*Parent & Caregiver Support will continue to meet as scheduled, but we will be meeting virtually. Please contact Jennifer Ells at email@example.com if you would like to participate!
Nurturing Parenting Group
Thursdays 10:00-11:30am from April 2 to May 21
We are excited to announce that we will be starting a Nurturing Parenting group for parents in the Austin community! The group will meet for eight sessions. Together we will learn and support each other in building nurturing parenting skills to support your child’s and family’s healthy development.
*The Nurturing Parenting Group will continue as planned, but we will be meeting virtually! Please contact Jennifer Ells at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to sign up for the group.
More workshops coming soon! Have an idea for a workshop? Email your ideas to email@example.com.