Guest Blog: How Can Children's Special Needs Network Serve You?

Presented by: Children's Special Needs Network 

“We are not here to serve the masses.  We are here to serve the few.  The ones whose eyes are weary from worrying over their sick and wounded children. The ones who hope for better news tomorrow.  The ones who have heard the worst of news.  These are our families- this is who we serve.”

In 1990, the Children’s Special Needs Network (CSNN) began serving its first clients.  CSNN was created by a group of special needs providers who had two main goals.

  • The first goal was to help parents find resources for their special needs children.
  • The second goal was to help health care providers to connect with each other and share their ideas on how they can better serve children with special healthcare needs.

In 2001, CSNN was given a grant that helped us to grow our services and reach new goals.  With grant money and money given to us by community partners, CSNN is now able to help children with special needs and their families with respite care, recreational and social events and help with paying for some medical costs. 

Being a parent is hard.  Add the extra challenge of parenting a child with special needs and our parents are exhausted- emotionally, mentally, spiritually and physically.  CSNN offers respite care to our caregivers. We offer monthly respite care at qualified centers in Killeen, Waco, Austin and Temple.  We also offer some help with costs for in-home respite care.  Last year CSNN provided over 3,000 hours of respite care to our families. 

 The U.S. Department of Agriculture reports that it will take about $240,000 to raise a child from birth to age 18. For a special needs child, the cost can be four times as much.  CSNN helps our client families to pay for some of the extra medical costs that come with having a special needs child.  Last year, CSNN was able to help 139 families with their medical costs such as copays, medical equipment and other medical supplies.

One of our favorite services is to offer our families different kinds of both every day and extraordinary events from sensory-friendly movies and drive-through zoos to Christmas parties. Last year, CSNN and partners hosted over thirty recreational and social activities.  Moving forward, CSNN has some pretty big goals.  One of our goals for the future is to never have to turn a child away. We want to say “yes!” every time a family requests help with medical expenses.  Another 2018 goal is to reach our rural communities in Central Texas. 

CSNN serves 31 counties, but most of our clients live near Highway I-35. We want to branch out and help others that live further away in the counties we serve!  If you know someone who needs our services, please tell them to reach out to us.  We are on Facebook at Children’s Special Needs Network; our website is www.special-children.org and you can reach us by phone at 254-933-7597. Let us know how we can serve YOU!

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