AP NEWS

South Dakota special needs nonprofit expands

September 23, 2018

ABERDEEN, S.D. (AP) — A nonprofit that connects families caring for children with disabilities to information, training and resources is increasing its presence in northern South Dakota.

The Sioux Falls-based South Dakota Parent Connection opened an office in Aberdeen last month, the Aberdeen News reported .

The group aims to help parents feel informed when talking to doctors or teachers about their child’s needs, said Executive Director Carla Miller.

The organization worked with almost 90 families and professionals from Aberdeen from 2015 to 2016, Miller said.

“I thought, ‘We need to get up to Aberdeen and make sure that families know how to access us and provide consistent resources up there,’” she said.

The Aberdeen office has worked with 110 people since it opened in August, Miller said.

Julie Huber reached out to the nonprofit in February after her son, who was diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and behavioral disturbance, was suspended from second grade. She says she’s since learned more about his disability and how to work with the school system.

“They validated those concerns and have supported me beyond my expectations. They empowered me to be an advocate for my son. Nothing is more uplifting than that. I will never forget the day that they told me, ‘Every single one of your concerns, as a mother, are sound,’” Huber said.

The nonprofit also has an office in Rapid City. The next goal is to add a location in the Yankton and Vermillion area, she said.

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Information from: Aberdeen American News, http://www.aberdeennews.com

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