Monthly Archives: May 2016

Special Parents Confidential Episode 36 Mentoring Programs

Mentoring Programs

Mentoring programs for children are some of the most successful social and educational support systems available. 

Many experts on child education will tell you that having someone who can mentor, coach, or demonstrate to kids how to do things outside of school and family is vital. Being able to talk to an adult mentor who can help a child with school goals and career choices can make a huge difference for a child’s confidence and outlook. Significant studies over the years have shown that kids who have been helped through mentoring programs are less likely to get into trouble in school, become more confident about their school performance, and get along better with their friends and families.

Now there’s a mentoring organization just for kids with special needs. Project Ready Set Goal , based in Grand Rapids, Michigan, offers mentoring for children with learning disabilities and physical disabilities. They help kids with academic and career guidance, building leadership skills, and help with social issue strategies and learning how to advocate for themselves. And it’s all done for free.

In this episode we talk with Janine Thomas, executive director of Project Ready Set Goal to find out more about the services and help they provide. She talks about their screening process for mentors, gives examples of how mentoring programs can help kids with school, as well as their future life choices.  Janine also talks about why she wanted to focus on mentoring for special needs children, and how she hopes that her idea will grow across the country.

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Special Parents Confidential Episode 35 Medical Advocacy

Medical Advocacy.

One of the continuous aspects of having a child with special needs is medical care and medical issues. Parents of special needs children often find themselves visiting medical facilities as often as they visit family or friends. Sometimes more often.

Understanding the medical issues our children have, however, isn’t easy. Too often the medical experts we see are not always able to give us the answers we need when we need them. Or in some cases the answers we get create even more questions. Sometimes parents turn to the internet to understand more about the issues and challenges our kids face. But the internet is not always a reliable source of information, and that can lead to poor choices, and bad outcomes that could have been prevented if the parents had access to the right help when they needed it.

With the increasing ‘corporatizing’ of the American medical industry, and insurance companies regulating how medical care can be done, with the emphasis being placed on cost-efficiency, parents can be left confused and uncertain about the care their children are being given. Medical groups and insurance companies are trying to address this situation by offering in-house medical advocacy services, but there are doubts as to whether those services are being made for the good of the patient or the good of the industry.

In the past few years a new kind of service business has taken root: private professional medical advocacy. These companies are usually medical professionals, such as Registered Nurses, who work exclusively for the patients or their caregivers and guardians. Their role is to advocate for the families to make sure that the medical companies and the insurance companies are offering the care and services that the patient really needs.

One such business is North Shore Patient Advocates, based in Chicago. John recently spoke to their President and Chief Advocate, Teri Dreher, RN, to find out about some of the problems that families can encounter when dealing with medical groups and the health insurance industry, and how private medical advocates can help families.

Links Mentioned In this Podcast

North Shore Patient Advocates – Family medical advocacy services based in Chicago, IL.

Alliance of Professional Health Advocates – International database of health care advocates for the United States, Canada, and Worldwide.

National Association of Healthcare Advocacy Consultants – National database of health care advocates.

Or, google search Private Professional Healthcare Advocates for your area.