The Carlin Family
"Give Parents as Teachers a chance."
When Stephanie and Kyle Carlin first heard of Parents as Teachers at a birthing class, they were hesitant to join. Stephanie was already working with children, screening them for gross motor delays and helping them to achieve their developmental milestones. Her husband, Kyle, was in school studying School Psychology. Who had time for Parents as Teachers?! Despite this, Stephanie decided to sign up with her local program, Early Childhood Connections in Hays, Kan., while she was on maternity leave with their first child, Lauren.
"I was nervous about returning to work," explained Stephanie. "but our Parents as Teachers gave me information about returning to work and breastfeeding and helped put some of my nerves at ease," Stephanie says.
However, it wasn't until several months later that Stephanie truly appreciated the impact of Parents as Teachers in their lives. "I was concerned about Lauren's speech. She had many ear infections and her speech was at a standstill. She knew more words and her receptive vocabulary was great, but the clarity of her speech was not improving." Lauren's pediatrician told the Carlin's to wait, saying, "She's fine; all kids talk like this at this age."
Still concerned, Stephanie did not know who else to turn to until she casually mentioned her suspicions to their parent educator, Brenda. That same afternoon, Brenda set up an appointment to perform a hearing screening on Lauren. The results showed that Lauren could not hear in both ears. "My apprehensions were validated and I was able to go to my doctor with evidence that Lauren could not hear like other children."
Stephanie believes that without Parents as Teachers, Lauren's tube implants would have been delayed and her speech development would have been behind. Lauren would probably not have passed her kindergarten speech evaluation and would have been placed in speech therapy when she entered school.
"The advice I would give to parents who are not enrolled in this program is to give Parents as Teachers a chance...even if on a trial basis."
She adds, "If you are anything like me, you want your children to have as many people in their corner as possible to help them succeed. Never once did I feel like a bad parent or that I was being analyzed, but rather that I was becoming a more successful parent. I am Lauren's first teacher and I want to give her everything I can. Parents as Teachers helps you do that."