Bright Horizons Family Solutions® today announced that it has added a program to its educational advising offerings to help address the challenges faced by working parents and caregivers of children with special or exceptional needs.
"Navigating educational services for students with special or exceptional needs can be a frustrating and costly experience for parents faced with the process of diagnosing and planning out the most effective and well-suited educational direction for their child," said Bright Horizons CEO David Lissy. "For working parents who are trying to manage all of these tasks and maintain their work responsibilities, the situation can be daunting. We have heard from employers that employees experiencing this need resources that help them to manage this complex challenge in order to maintain their productivity. Several of our clients have already adopted the program and are among the first to provide this valuable new benefit offering."
There are more than 19 million children in the U.S. with autism, ADHD, learning disabilities and other special or exceptional needs, and this number is continuing to grow. According to a recent CDC report, one in every 68 children has an autism spectrum disorder (ASD), which is a 30 percent increase from 2012.
The Special and Exceptional Needs, powered by myEdGPS program guides families step-by-step, defining their child’s most pressing needs and helping parents to understand their rights and the resources available to them. The program includes live webinars throughout the year on a variety of topics relevant to navigating the complex special needs system, personalized educational counseling sessions and access to the myEdGPS platform.
The first-of-its-kind online platform will be offered to employer clients exclusively by Bright Horizons, enabling users to create a personalized profile for their child and identify the areas of concern. Other features include: a virtual binder to store school records, reports and notifications, letter-generators to ensure effective communications with school, a dynamic calendar for tracking state-specific timelines, private sharing for extended team members, and progress monitoring, all accessible via the web from a desktop or mobile device.
"When parents are guided effectively to secure services for their children through their schools, as appropriate, their children are better off and their employers realize significant healthcare savings and improved productivity," added myEdGPS Founder and CEO Adam Goldberg, M.Ed. "A study from the National Institute of Health showed that 66 percent of those receiving special education services do not receive additional special health or mental health services. Having a go-to automated system accessible at all times to address concerns and plan for the future eliminates stress and means less time out of the office."