Youth & Family Resources in Omaha, NE 2017
Specialized Program Spotlight: Children’s Respite Care Center
Here in the Omaha Metro area, there’s so much that exists to support the diverse needs of youth in our community. For almost a decade now, we’ve been honored to be able to shine a light on many of these wonderful businesses and organizations, sharing unique opportunities with our readers. In order to take full advantage of everything that the community has to offer, especially the things that would make the most difference in the life of your child, it is all about connecting with the right resources. This month, we’re proud to highlight the Children’s Respite Care Center.
Children’s Respite Care Center (CRCC) is a local, independent, non-profit organization that focuses on the holistic development of children with special needs. All offerings are designed to evoke maximum potential and foster the development of intellectual and social competence. It is the sole facility of its kind in the state of Nebraska.
CRCC provides comprehensive services and family support for children with special medical, developmental, cognitive and impairment issues. Its expert multidisciplinary team of nurses, mental health therapists, occupational therapists (OT), physical therapists (PT), speech therapists (SP), and nurturing classroom teachers and staff combine their skills to provide an array of programs that enable each child to reach his or her maximum potential.
“Children’s Respite Care Center (CRCC) offers specialized services for clients ages six weeks to 21 years old, year-round,” explains Amber Pullmann, Southwest Site Director at CRCC. “CRCC’s mission to provide a place where parents find hope and children thrive gives parents peace of mind that their child is being well cared for and challenged. We strive to offer programs that allow for children with special needs to have some of the same experiences typical children do, just with a little more support as needed.
Programs at CRCC support not just the child, but the whole family. For example, our Care Coordination Services are provided free of charge to any family with a child/youth who has special health care needs in Nebraska. Care Coordination assists families in many ways, including where to find resources to meet their child’s health care needs, finding funding for those who struggle with the cost of services and can even help individuals transitioning to adult services.
Youth and families who utilize our Day Program Services, whether through our Summer Camp, Before and After School Program, Behavioral Health Day Services, Early Childhood Special Education, or Sensory Adapted Classroom, receive services that are also supportive of their medical or behavioral needs. Our team of pediatric specialists supports children and youth by offering an inclusive environment where kids can be kids. We value collaboration with our comprehensive approach to promoting the children’s health and development. We accomplish this through working as a team with the family, the medical professionals, school-based services and other providers important to the child’s well-being.”
Children’s Respite Care Center recently announced the opening of the newest program in its line-up of comprehensive care services, a Sensory Adapted Classroom. The Sensory Adapted Classroom has been designed to support children ages five to twelve who are often overstimulated in busy settings and need support to participate in groups. The Sensory Adapted Classroom uses the ALERT Self-regulation Program and specially-trained occupational therapists to design individualized sensory plans for each child. The program can be modified to meet various developmental and communicative needs for any child enrolled. Child-specific plans are used to guide the child’s engagement and interactions in the classroom. Learning sensory regulation strategies helps the child to better attend to tasks, learn, relax and play. “The children in the SAC program are taught how to know if their bodies are acting too fast, too slow or if they are ready for learning,” explains Linda Shadoin, Vice President of Day Services at CRCC. “When children can tell that their motor is running too fast, they can choose one of the many tools that work for them to calm their motor down. The fun, kid-friendly language and visual prompts help the children learn, too.”
As for what’s coming up at CRCC, Pullman also mentions a few big things on the horizon. “We will kick off our annual Summer Sensations Program on May 30th with the theme of Soaring to New Heights. It will be jam-packed with activities about flight as campers will learn about weather, space, flying creatures and famous pilots. Summer Sensations camp enrolls school-aged children from six to 21. Our campers have fun making new friends while staying active with special on-site visitors and weekly field trips. Our Early Childhood Special Education programming for clients five and under will also continue throughout the summer.
As was already covered, we are thrilled to be able to offer a new opportunity to support families in our community with the Sensory Adapted Classroom. It is now open for children needing this type of compassionate and specialized environment through before and after school care during the school year as well as full-time and part-time care during the summer months. Inquiries into all of our programs can be made via our website at www.crccomaha.org or by contacting our Care Coordination office at (402) 895-4000.”
In closing, she offers the following advice: “I encourage parents to find a program that supports their child/youth’s growth by providing a loving and nurturing setting where the experiences they will have foster a sense of trust and self-esteem. Activities and programs should help children learn about expressing themselves, interacting with others, building relationships, and learning about the world around them. These opportunities should allow children to explore what is around them and become more independent with each new discovery they make. Any program should encourage family involvement and provide an environment where parents and caregivers are always welcome. Most of all, find something that your child/youth will enjoy because the best way for him/her to learn and grow is by having fun.”
We applaud the amazing work being done at CRCC and encourage those interested in learning more to check them out online contact them directly.
There are two locations: Northwest CRCC – 2010 N. 88th Street in Omaha – (402) 496-1000; and Southwest CRCC & Therapy Center – 5321 S. 138th Street – (402) 895-4000.