Help CHAT in our Expansion into El Service

Aug 29, 2023 | Stories

It’s back to school time! For many children it is a time of excitement and wonder. For others. it can be a time of uncertainty and anxiety.

Every year, CHAT tries to reach more families who have nowhere else to go for speech and language services and better equip children for success in school.

CHAT is continuing that legacy by entering the Early Intervention (El) space to serve more tamilies in need of support prior to entering the school system, to better set them up for future success.

El is offered through the Illinois Department of Human Services for children aged birth to three-years-old with a developmental disorder or delay in movement, behavior, cognition, or speech. El services are offered on a sliding fee scale, so every family can access necessary services for children at a critical developmental age.

But… this system is not perfect.

Long waiting lists exacerbated by the impacts of the pandemic, lack of access to or knowledge of other services, the short window of diagnosis to services before the age ot three, rellance on the system that Is supposed to know best, and the additional barriers of language, culture, insurance and cost all compound into an imperfect solution for children in need.

The El program Is meant to reach children betore they enter the school system, so that they enter kindergarten with a fighting chance of keeping up. But many families who receive El services don’t know what comes after El or how the complex special education system works.

CHAT will extend our rapport-based, advocacy-centered, affirming approach to every family seen through El. We will do all we can to support them after their children turn three, including by helping them navigate the system and know their rights.

If you’ve been on this ride with us for a while, you know CHAT is special. We believe communication is essential for success in everyday life and the future. Help us reach more underserved children with the gift of communication by giving a gift today.