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TWO HARBORS - A new program has launched in the Northland to help families with children who have special needs.
"When you have a regular child you kind of know what you're getting into,” said Jill Gebeck of Two Harbors. “When you have a child with a disability it's kind of you really don't know a lot about it."
Jill Gebeck’s twins Clara and Jackson were born with cerebral palsy.
For the first couple of months, their home was constantly filled with specialists and experts.
"They all talked different languages and had their own paperwork and they had different acronyms for all their programs,” said Gebeck. “It was really challenging."
The Parent Support Mentor Project was developed for parents like Gebeck who struggle through the system to find exactly what their children need.
"What we're striving for is that we provide support for parents that are new to special ed," Northern Lights Special Education Cooperative director Cathy Tryggestad said.
A mentor will visit the home of a parent who has a child with a disability or special need.
"We're looking at an initial visit of maybe an hour, two hours, and it could be over the phone it could be face to face," said Tryggestad.
"She can help describe what special ed is and what the resources and the rights of the parents and students are," said Tryggestad.
What makes this program even more unique is it targets families living in rural areas of northeastern Minnesota who don't usually have a lot of access.
"Because we're obviously more spread out and then the programs that do exists they’re farther away."
Now, more care, hope and much needed advice are all just a phone call away.
The pilot project will run until June 2013.
Anyone who would like to be apart of the program can contact their early childhood special ed teacher, child coordinator or social services.