Siskin Children’s Institute Helps Special Needs Children At Home

Tuesday, May 8, 2018
Catherine Millard, lead developmental therapist, with family
Catherine Millard, lead developmental therapist, with family

The Home and Community-Based Early Intervention Program at Siskin Children’s Institute is primarily focused on helping children with special needs, ages birth to three years, through best practices in the field of early intervention. 

Deidra Love, director of the HCBEI program, said, "The best way to help and support young children in their growth and development is to support their families and caregivers. We do that by making weekly home visits where we discuss child and family needs with the caregiver; then we help them develop strategies to accomplish their goals.”

Ms. Love further notes that very young children learn best in familiar environments and in the regular routines of their day. Furthermore, they need repetition and practice to learn new skills. Families and caregivers are the best people to work with them throughout the day, since they are with them all of those hours when the professionals are not there. 

Jennifer Lawhorn is the mother of Jadon, a child who was in the HCBEI program for over two years. She says that her son has overcome so many struggles and continues to meet goals and accomplish milestones monthly. She is grateful for the support of the program because it ultimately changed their lives.

“Our developmental therapist and our physical therapist are the most caring and compassionate people I have ever met," said Ms. Lawhorn. "Jadon is not 'just another child' to them; he is loved by them, and our family considers them family.” 

Catherine Millard, a lead developmental therapist at Siskin Children’s Institute, explains that the HCBEI program provides families with various types of support such as modeling specific developmental techniques, coaching, providing feedback, sharing information about child development, and brainstorming with them to develop a plan of action. When Ms. Millard was asked why Siskin Children’s Institute is so special to her, her response was one that sums it up best. “Siskin is so special to me because I firmly believe in its mission to support families of children with special needs. These are often the families that feel most isolated, and it humbles me to know that Siskin is an organization that reaches far beyond the walls of our building to provide help for families who quite possibly need it the most.”

The HCBEI program is supported by Tennessee’s Early Intervention System, a state program that serves children with special needs, ages birth to three. If you think your child could benefit from the HCBEI program provided at Siskin Children’s Institute, you can make a referral directly to the Chattanooga office of TEIS at 624-6344. 

For more information about Siskin Children’s Institute, visit

Jill Hammon, developmental therapist, with family
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