Regrettably, I’ve kind of been stumped with this question when asked by community members so I don’t blame you for asking! No doubt in this situation, it’s easier to do the service than describe the service.
Insurance denials, recruiting staff, finding curriculum and resources, strollers and handicapped stickers, solutions for sibling support, identifying mental health and other speciality providers, researching recreational and social opportunities, connect with community resources such as DVR…these are all examples of a day in the life of a community integration specialist.
So, here’s the quick way to figure it out for yourself–
Stop and ask yourself:
Are you or your participant struggling with navigating successful community engagement? For example, do you avoid going out or taking your participant into the community because it’s simply too difficult or people don’t understand how to interact with him/her? Perhaps you worry about what might happen should a meltdown occur and need assistance to make a plan for a crisis event?
Are you overwhelmed with all of the daily details required to successfully engage your participant or acquire the resources he/she needs?
Are you or your participant at risk of having to leave the home (even temporarily) either now or in the future due to problem behavior or mental health issues?
Are you or your participant overwhelmed with finding the right resources in the community and need someone to come alongside you as a “resource GPS”?
If you have answered yes to any of these questions or you read the examples and you think, “I NEED THAT!,” you and/or your participant may be best served with community integration services! Our CIS specialists come alongside you to find and research resources, develop crisis plans to share with relevant stakeholders, identify options which could allow the participant to successfully integrate within their community (e.g., local community, church community, volunteer community, employment options, etc.) and support other goals outlined by you and/or your service coordinator.
There is simply no need to spend precious time researching options to support yourself and your loved one; let us come alongside you to clear the path of some speed bumps to allow for a smoother journey.