My Utah Parent Center Story
Tell us how we’ve helped you or your loved ones!
We would like to invite anyone who has had their life touched by the Utah Parent Center to share your story with us. If you would like your personal story posted on the Center’s website please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
~ Video Stories ~
For our September 2013 breakfast event we had 3 parents and an individual served by the Utah Parent Center share their stories with us. These stories help provide great insight into how the Utah Parent Center can help families help their loved ones with disabilities and special needs succeed. View their short video testimonial on youtube at: http://youtu.be/uYvBea-kSE0.
~ Aleis’ Story ~
My fifteen-year-old daughter has developed several disabilities due to treatment of a malignant brain tumor she underwent at age three. Her school experience and plan of action for the future have become manageable due to the guidance of the Utah Parent Center, (UPC). The staff is not only caring and compassionate, but also very knowledgeable about laws regarding special education, resources in the community, troubleshooting ideas, navigating the school system, and much more! I have been empowered as the UPC has guided me to be a better advocate for my daughter. They have provided me with a wealth of information. I have benefitted from parent training sessions, handbooks, the website and webinars. I feel deep gratitude to the UPC, and that gratitude has led me to be trained to become a volunteer. I am now a trained IEP coach, and have also worked in the office as a parent consultant on a volunteer basis. It feels so good to give back, but I must acknowledge that all the volunteering gives me more experience for my daughter’s benefit. My gratitude is immense!
~ Sheri’s Story ~
I first connected with the Utah Parent Center when my son Ethan was born with Down syndrome in 1992. I was given their information in the hospital. The Parent Center really became a life line for me. I love the people at the Parent Center. They have always been kind and passionate about the work they do. They are a great resource. I have been to many Family Links conferences and workshops over the years. I became a community resource volunteer. It was fantastic to connect with other parents and learn so many things to help my son along the way. Today Ethan is working at the University of Utah Athletic department. He is 21 and a Black belt in Karate. I am grateful to the Parent Center for helping me to make his life a success.
~ Michelle’s Story ~
As a parent, it is sometimes a challenge to know how to help your child be their own self advocate. One blessing I have had in my life is to be able to interact with the Utah Parent Center. One of the greatest things I have learned through trainings and from staff is how to help my child learn to be his own self-advocate. Christopher is only 12, but I know that by teaching him skills now, I am preparing him for his future. It is scary to let your child deal with an issue more independently, but I believe it is worth it. With the tips I learned at the Center, my son has been able to successfully advocate for himself.
Watch Christopher’s video on self-advocacy here: www.youtube.com/user/utahparentcenterupc
~ Jodi’s Story ~
When my son Jacob was about three, I wanted to know how to help him in any way that was possible. I was given the name of the Utah Parent Center (UPC) and decided to contact them. As I took classes from the UPC on communication and how to advocate at the schools, I began to realize how important it was for parents to advocate. As a family if we didn’t do it, no one would. I soon realized that people will listen to me as a parent, but really they wanted and needed to hear from the children. Jacob is learning that he has the power to speak for what he believes in. I am grateful the Utah Parent Center gave me the tools so many years ago, to teach my son to advocate for his needs.
Watch Jacob’s video on self-advocacy here: www.youtube.com/user/utahparentcenterupc
~ Stephanie’s Story ~
My first experience with the Utah Parent Center, (UPC) was in 2004, when my daughter turned 3 years old. She received Early Intervention services and was getting ready to transfer to the public school system with a special education plan. She has a rare chromosomal abnormality called 18q Deletion Syndrome, and as a result has many issues that impact her ability to learn. The thought of the public school system was overwhelming, we had no idea what an IEP was or why she needed one. Luckily, our Early Intervention provider told us about the UPC. We called, and immediately felt we had reached a place that would help us understand and navigate this confusing new world. The consultant we spoke with was knowledgeable, but more than that, she was compassionate and understanding. We felt she related to our stress and wanted to help us in any way she could. I’ve called the UPC many times over the years as we’ve worked out kinks in my kids’ educations. My daughter is now 13, and thrives at school. My son is 10, has high-functioning autism, and is also thriving. The help I’ve received from the UPC has been invaluable to my family, and we are so grateful to them.
~ Tina’s Story ~
My son Adam is 14 years old. He lives with multiple disabilities and is medically fragile. Before Adam started school, I did not think it would be more complicated than regular education, but was I wrong! Understanding all I needed to know about special education, was unnerving! Through elementary and middle school I requested assistance from our District’s Parent Consultant, who is highly trained by the UPC in special education process and other services. Although I have an understanding of the process, I needed someone to help me go over what we were doing and how we could improve my son’s goals, work with teachers to ensure inclusion for my son, and address my concerns to the team so that my voice would be truly heard. I am so thankful for these services that are so very important to parents like me. Keep up the great work UPC!
~ Ashlie’s Story ~
I reach for the moon for my children with special needs because of the advice and tools provided by the Utah Parent Center. Raising two children with special needs was not the plan that I had intended, however I would not be the strong, compassionate mother I am today without the challenges and experiences I have already gone through. I am never alone in this process as I utilized the webinars, resource lists and handbooks from the Utah Parent Center website. I always know that the Center is just a call away when I need advice or just a listening ear from a parent consultant. Today, my twins are now in the fifth grade and I am encouraging them to be their own advocates. They attend their IEP meetings and give input on what their needs and strengths are. The transition into middle school is just around the corner and you better believe I will be calling my friends at the UPC to guide me through this next stage of our lives.