On a cool crisp fall day in 2012, I made my first ever trip to the Child Development Clinic. My son’s early intervention team who was working with him due to being born at 30 weeks premature had seen some red flags and were worried that he could be on the Autism Spectrum. Little did I know that day would not only change my son’s life, but also my families. After three hours of evaluations and tests we left with a label of autism spectrum disorder and broken hearts.
While the CDC is doing the best they can with the time they have, after a special needs diagnosis there is no true support from the agency. There are pamphlets, handouts, and a suggestion to call the wonderful people at the Vermont Family Network. That is about it.
All the parents that I know who have children with special needs have found their own path to therapists, doctors, restaurants, and recreational activities through trial and error. A local mom, Sara Kruk and the founder of Kayla’s Directory decided to create a website where all services that are available to special needs families in Vermont can be located. On Kayla’s Directory, special needs parents can find services, support, recreational, and social opportunities for their children.
Kayla’s Directory’s mission is to: provide a central and comprehensive location for community resources that assist with supporting children with special needs and their families.
Some key features of the website include,
Here you can find information on a range of topics. Are you looking for a dentist who works well with children with special needs, do you want to find information on a day trip for your family, or would you like to find a music therapist? You can find all this information and more using the main Directory.
Here you can find local events that are geared toward children with special needs. In addition to local events, Kayla’s Directory also host their own special events. This fall Kayla’s directory hosted an 8-week cooking class for children with special needs at Healthy Living. Kayla’s directory also runs a mini-milers program where kids with special needs learn pre-sport skills. On November 20th, Kayla’s Directory is hosting a Birthday Party for Everyone. This event will be held at UVM during the Women’s Ice Hockey game. During the game there will be party games, sensory activities, and treats. After the game kids and parents can skate with the UVM Women’s Ice Hockey Team.
Kayla’s Directory also runs a social group called, Friends on the Go. This social group support kids ages four and older who have social challenges and wish to make friends in a low-stress environment. Monthly area scheduled to local destinations!
Kayla’s Directory has donated a Caroline’s Grocery cart for an area merchant and purchased an all-terrain adaptive stroller for Shelburne Farms.
Donate! Right on the website you can donate to this amazing non-profit, join the social group, or spread the word to families who could use Kayla’s Directory.
About Sara Kruk, founder of Kayla’s Directory :
“With a 6 year old daughter who has unique health and educational needs, I have spent a lot of time researching services and activities for special needs children. I strongly believe that my daughter should be included in community events and participate in as many activities as her peers. Although my daughter’s pediatrician office has been amazing at helping me navigate the system, there are a lot of services I found by networking with people within the community. Through this process I have come to realize that there is very little information available for families who have children with special needs.
It is often difficult to find accessible programming, particularly after the age of 3. I started Kaylasdirectory.org to help families locate services for children with special needs in Vermont.”