Testimonies

Gwendolyn J. Williams, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor, Division of Education

"I'm writing in support of "The Hali Project", which is designed to provide parents of children with disabilities support and connection to resources needed to (a) deal with the challenges of having a child with a disability; (b) help them work through the various stages of grief that they experience; and (c) assist them as they learn techniques that will benefit their child. It has become abundantly clear that this program is desperately needed in the Texas Panhandle. West Texas A & M University, Division of Education is committed to providing support to this Project. I recommend The Hali Project to you most strongly."

Roger Webb, Executive Director
Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities

TCDD has provided support to numerous parent advocacy and leadership training programs and to parent networks and is well aware of the critical importance and the need for parent training and support--including respite services--across Texas, especially in rural areas. Our review of your ... project indicates that the HALI Project has the background, expertise, and capability to provide the support and information needed by parents and families in the Texas Panhandle.

TCDD has heard high praises about the HALI Project from individuals with whom we have long, positive working relations. These individuals attest to your reputation for providing solid, responsive, caring, and effective services. We also commend your efforts to work with area churches, a direction consistent with efforts by President Bush and others to support faith-based initiatives. We are pleased to see that your organization has been successful and are optimistic that the quality of your program will continue to be a true asset to your community and surrounding area.

Andrea Hall

"As a parent of a child with Down Syndrome my husband and I were invited to take part in The Hali Project. We were a little apprehensive at first because we didn't know what to expect, as parents of a child with special needs, we want to think that we are doing all the right things and not be told that we aren't by someone that has never had experience in what we deal with on a day to day basis.

We were able to see right away that Brad Thompson is exactly like us, a man with a family dealing with day to day issues with his "normal" child as well as his child with special needs. He talked to us about some of his own experiences and asked us to share ours. We were able to see that there are other families that experience some of the same situation that we do. Brad showed us how to face things that we thought were difficult and turn them into joys. We were able to see that things our son did were great accomplishments for him. We learned to be joyful even in the little things that our son did, feeding himself, drinking from a cup, or pulling up his pants with our assistance. We learned to set goals and that if you set them too high, lower them a little. It doesn't mean that we have failed or that our son failed, some goals just take a little longer to accomplish. Brad showed us how to be happy about little things and try not to dwell on things that we cannot change. I am so thankful for being able to take part in The Hali Project and hope that Brad is able to continue with this program, he was able to use his personal experience and experiences from other families he has dealt with through this program to help our family emotionally. I feel this program will greatly benefit other families with children who have special needs."

The Wheeler Family
Brent, Rhonda, Kailee, Clint and Grant

"Soon after our youngest son, Grand was diagnosed as autistic the Hali Project began providing counseling and educational support to my family. The support that the Hali Project provided proved invaluable to my wife and I not only in coping with our son's autism but also playing an important part on "Grant's team". Grant's team includes medical, educational, therapist and the Hali Project as we continue with Grant's progress through school and at home.

As a team member the Hali Project brings parent training programs, parent networks, participation in the educational and development needs of our son, identification of programs and services available to not only Grant but also for us as parents.

With the Hali Project as a team member my wife and I feel that we will be able to provide our son with the greatest chance of success."

Janice Robertson, Ed.D., LPC
Associate Professor/Coordinator of Counselor Education

"Brad's commitment to parents of children with disabilities is obvious. I know Brad to be very intelligent, honest, a hard worker, and a man with a calling to help others. I wish I had more graduate students like him."

Dr. Veitenheimer, Superintendent
Canyon ISD

"As I reviewed your project, it became clear to me what a much-needed service this project provides. I, too, believe that the families of special needs children have special needs of their own. Hopefully, combining our support with that of others with help The HALI Project provide a long-lasting opportunity of hope for families trying to meet the immense challenges they face. Thanks for your work."

Eve Cugini
The Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities

"It has been my pleasure to get to know Brad and his wife, Karen over the past couple of years and come to know about the important work they do in the Panhandle of Texas. Brad is a determined advocate for people with disabilities and had done an incredible job of building a program in an area of our Stat that has many needs.

As the Director of Family to Family Network, I understand the importance of identifying leaders from around the State to work together and provide quality training so that we can effectively improve the lives of people with disabilities in Texas. Brad and The Hali Project work towards this goal every day. I believe that they are the ideal candidate for administering the Local Advocacy Training Project. I also believe that the Panhandle needs resources and I can think of no one better to provide this sort of training than Brad Thompson and The Hali Project. I knew immediately upon meeting Brad that he was a good partner to have in the disability advocacy work that we do."

Maria Garcia, M.ED.
Program Director Uniting Parents
Texas Council for Developmental Disabilities

"It is with pleasure that I write this letter of support for the Hali Project. I believe that Mr. Thompson's Empowerment Curriculum is a good model to assist families and youth as they begin their journey as advocates. Uniting Parents has a forum in place to bring together service providers and families for education and networking called Path to Partnerships. We will continue to extend an invitation to the Hali Project to participate as to further nourish our collaboration."

Rolf Habersang, M.D.
Managing Partner
Amarillo Aarea Healthcare Specialists, LLP

"Our practice routinely refers families to The Hali Project for counseling. It is important that families know there are other families right here in the Panhandle that have or are experiencing the same crisis. Counseling to families of children with special healthcare needs is lacking in the Panhandle, and the Hali Project helps fill that gap. This project not only provides counseling, but also training, insight and resources to help the family with grief, school systems, doctors, medical insurance and much more. Families of children with special healthcare needs face enormous everyday challenges and The Hali Project teaches the family how to handle even the simplest of problems. I wholeheartedly support this project."

Dina Herrea, LBSW

"As an officer of the Canyon Council of PTA and Canyon Jr. High PTA, have given my full support to the Hali Project."

Esther McGee
Parent Liaison Training Coordinator
Children's Special Health Services
State of Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals

"Mr. Thompson (Brad) and I worked together to provide a training opportunity to Parent Liaisons who work in Children's Special Health Services (CSHS) clinics in Louisiana's Title V program. Parents are part of the staff in the clinics. Being parents of children with special needs gives them insight into what the clinic attendees' families are dealing with. Parent Liaisons are able to provide an understanding to the users of services that is often lacking in persons who do not have the personal experience of raising a child with a disability.

Brad's workshop materials "Empowered Parent Training" were family-friendly and useful to everyone. The 2-1/2 day training included Parent Liaisons, CSHS Supervisors, and contractors for the liaisons. CSHS works to build a team approach to serving families and believes all members of the team need to be on the same page.

Brad is a wonderfully gifted speaker who shares his family and their lives with his audience. He uses personal experiences to make his audience see the best method for handling difficult situations. The audience is asked to be interactive and Brad tells wonderful stories on himself. This was a fun wan to learn and the evaluations at the end of the day tell the whole story--no one left without having learned some new skill or skills, no one thought a single minute had been boring, and everyone said, 'let's have him come again.' I, without hesitation, recommend Brad's workshop to anyone with a similar goal of training parents/families."

Diane O’Rear - Principal, Wellington Elementary

"Wellington Elementary has been fortunate to have Brad Thompson of "The HALI Project" available to provide counseling for special needs families on our campus.

Mr. Thompson arranges for counseling sessions every two weeks for families in our community dealing with special needs for their children. The program is designed to provide an on-site service to families making it easily accessible for both parents to attend. This is especially helpful to our community as we are one-hundred ;miles from major medical and counseling facilities.

The parents involved in the sessions have reported to me personally that they find Mr. Thompson's experience and support extremely helpful and look forward to the counseling sessions."

Jerry Bigham, Principal
Oscar Hinger Elementary School

"Brad, I commend you for your vision and commitment. It has been my pleasure to work with you and Karen over the years as we strive to provide the most appropriate educational environment at Oscar Hinger Elementary School for all children. You and Karen have always been encouraging and supportive. Your background definitely qualifies you as a provider of services to any parent or child needing counseling and assistance."

Mike Word
Elementary Principal

"We spent a few hours with Brad and knew right away that the HALI Project was a one of a kind opportunity for our district We have several students who are Down Syndrome, and we had never been able to provide parents with an effective, knowledgeable, and very insightful person to talk with about the concerns and feelings our parents were experiencing. When Brad came and talked with us, we immediately put him on the agenda for our next Clarendon CISD School Board Meeting. Brad spoke to our Board and they were 100% behind the HALI Project.

We then contracted our parents and set up a date to have Brad visit with them. We had the same response then as we had both times previously. Our parents were very excited to have someone to talk to about issues they were going through, and who could give them some comfort and peace in their world.

We have had Mr. Thompson come to our district each year since to be with our parents and students. He relates with them on a level that we could not provide before the HALI Project was implemented."

Monty Hysinger
Superintendent
Clarendon CISD

"I would like to express my complete support for Mr. Brad Thompson and the Hali Project. Our school district has had the privilege of working with Brad as he has counseled with numerous families with special needs for the past three years. The parents that have participated in his working sessions have all responded very favorably to Brad's approach and to the program itself.

The Hali Project has helped fill a true void in many of these families' lives. Parents and siblings alike of students with special needs have learned skills and techniques to help them cope with the special challenges involved in raising and living with a child with special needs."

Carl Taylor
Superintendent of Schools
Wellington ISD

"I am writing on behalf of the Hali Project. Our school district has been fortunate to participate in this project this past year. We've found it to be so beneficial to our families in our community. The parents of children with special needs have communicated to me that this assistance was invaluable to their personal well-being and the strength of their families.

It was especially useful in that our parents had direct access to Mr. Thompson and the resources he could provide. His knowledge and support system were certainly assets to a program that we could offer locally without parents having to travel one hundreds to the nearest professionals.

As a school administrator, I was so pleased to watch the program have a positive impact on the families of our community."