Four heads are better than one

By Cara Donfrio

Imagine that you are a parent who wants the best for your child. You would drive from county to county because each service that your child needs is located in a different area. Many parents in DeKalb and its surrounding counties have been doing just this.

Now, through the efforts of four different service agencies, these parents will be able to get their children the care that they need in one place.

NIU’s Speech, Language and Hearing Clinic, along with Easter Seals and T.E.A.M. for Families, will offer services at Two Rivers Head Start Agency, 2425 Bethany Road, Sycamore.

Mary McCarty, disabilities coordinator of Head Start, described the program.

“Head Start is a social service and educational agency,” she said.

McCarty said that Head Start is part of the United States Department of Health and Human Services. Families are eligible for the program based on their income.

Anne Davidson, director of the NIU clinic, which is a part of the department of communicative disorders in the College of Health and Human Services, stressed that the clinic was not moving, but just expanding.

Currently, the clinic offers programs for both undergraduate and graduate students at NIU, and Davidson said that isn’t going to change. Programs for students will be open at both the NIU clinic and the Sycamore branch.

For the NIU clinic, the transition is not yet complete. Davidson said that the word will be out to the public sometime in November. She said that many parents have to drive long distances to provide care for their children.

McCarty said that having the NIU’s service along with the other agencies under one roof is not a problem because the building has plenty of space. The transition already has begun, but there is still some work to be done.

According to the DeKalb County Special Education Association’s Web site, T.E.A.M., which stands for Together Everyone Achieves More, is a program for children from birth to age three. The agency does developmental screening and holds Transitional Developmental Play Groups.

“Having everything in one building really provides a nice service,” she said.