Do you have a question not listed below?
Contact us, and we'll be happy to help.
I think my child might have autism. Where can I go for an assessment?
Our Center for Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics offers assessment, diagnosis and treatment for children with or at risk for developmental and behavioral disabilites. For information about the referral process to the center, visit the Referrals and Appointments page.
Are there support groups available locally for families of children with autism?
Yes. Currently, two local support groups serve families of individuals with autism. Awesome Autism meets on the fourth Monday of each month at 7 p.m. at the Ronald McDonald House near Erlanger Hospital. And Mothers Moving Mountains meets on the second Friday of the month from noon to 2 p.m. at the Hamilton YMCA.
My child needs a specific type of medical equipment, which is expensive. Are there local agencies that could help provide funding?
The Child Welfare Auxiliary sponsored by the local Civitan Club helps families acquire medical equipment. Our Family Support Coordinator can provide you with contact infomation for the auxiliary. National organizations like the Disabled Children's Relief Fund offer assistance for obtaining medical equipment such as wheelchairs, braces, walkers, lifts and hearing aids.
My child has a physical disability. Is there a local summer camp he or she can attend?
We are fortunate to have many summer camp opportunities available in the region. For a detailed list of summer camps, contact Karen Coleman at 423.648.1754.
I’m pregnant and was just informed that my child will have Down syndrome. Can you connect me to local resources that can help?
The Chattanooga Down Syndrome Society offers periodic mini-conferences, newsletters, and social gatherings. They are affiliated with the Down Syndrome Policy Network of Tennessee, the National Down Syndrome Society and the National Down Syndrome Congress. Contact them at Chattanooga Down Syndrome or Amy Petulla at 423.867.1629
How can I help my parents and other extended family members better understand and support my child with a disability?
To enlist support from family members encourage them to:
- Focus on the whole child, not just the disability
- Accept reality
- Be patient and flexible
- Learn as much as possible about the diagnosis.
- Seek advice from you, the parent, when they have questions. Ask, ask, ask!
- Relate to other grandparents to discover tips for successful relationships
My child has some real behavior issues. My mother thinks I give in to him too much. But if I don't give in I have to deal with his temper tantrums. I'm exhausted. What can I do to make life easier for both of us?
Temper tantrums are exhausting, both for the parent and the child. A tantrum is often the result of pent-up frustration that builds and builds until an explosion erupts. Be aware that even though it is unpleasant for you to endure the tantrum, it may be worse for your child. At that point, he is out of control and may be frightened by his own behavior. Protect him from hurting himself and don't waste your effort at trying to argue or reason with the child during the tantrum. Try to organize your schedules so that unecessary frustration is avoided. For example, avoid grocery shopping when the child is hungry. And remember to refrain from either punishing or rewarding the child for a tantrum. Be aware, too, that there are times when a child will use behaviors that resemble those of tantrums to get what he wants. He may be very much in control but testing to see if the behaviors help him get what he wants.