Friendship Community Care employees attend conference

RUSSELLVILLE — Managers, teachers, therapists and direct care workers from Friendship Community Care, Inc., pediatric locations throughout the state, gathered at the Doc Bryan Student Center on the ATU campus in Russellville, for their annual meeting and strategic staff training. Topics covered included Behavior Management, OSHA, Health and Safety/ Infection Control, Cultural Diversity and other topics required or deemed necessary by DHS/DDS, CARF and or Friendship.[more]

All Friendship staff are annually recertified in Infant/Child CPR and First Aid as well as Health and Safety policy and procedure and behavior management techniques. Over 250 pediatric staff attended the training from locations around Arkansas including Siloam Springs, West Fork, Marshall, Bryant, Pottsville, and multiple Russellville locations. Therapists stayed over on Thursday and Friday to attend a conference, hosted at Friendship’s primary Russellville pediatric location, entitled “Autism: Linking Early Indicators to Intervention”.

Friendship’s own therapists were joined by others from around the state. The conference speaker was Dr. Amy M. Wetherby, PhD, CCC-SLP a professor in the Department of Clinical Sciences and the Laurel Schendel Professor in the Department of Communication Disorders at Florida State University. Dr. Wetherby has over 25 years of clinical experience and is an ASHA Fellow. She is the Project Director of the FIRST WORDS Project, a research investigation on early identification of young children at-risk for autism spectrum and other communication disorders. The primary topics were early identification of Autism in infants and toddlers and enhancing communication for young children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This was Friendship’s second conference this year on the topic of Autism Spectrum Disorder. Friendship has the only facility in the state set up specifically for children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. This school is located in Russellville.

Thursday was also “re-enrollment” day at all pediatric locations. Office staff met with parents at each location providing them guidance and assistance for services unique to their child’s needs. All locations are currently holding re-enrollment/open enrollment for the 2009-2010 school year. There are multiple opportunities available to parents of children with special needs. These include ABC Pre-school, Kindergarten classes, CHMS (Child Health Management Services), Early Intervention therapies and other services for children that qualify. Not all services are available at all locations. For more information on enrollment and services offered, call Friendship’s home office at 1-800-461-1793 or visit a center near you.

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