Leslie Jeanne Berns Support Group 
for children who have communication challenges and their families

The Leslie Jeanne Berns Support Group was created with generous support from the Berns family to honor their daughter, Leslie’s, legacy. The intent of the group is to celebrate Leslie’s memory and to positively impact the lives of children and families in need of speech development and communication support. There are few groups dedicated specifically to supporting caregivers of children with communication disorders. This group seeks to fill that gap in the community. Read more about Leslie’s story and the support fund here

Mission: To create connections and resources for children who have communication challenges and their families. 

What we do: Caregivers meet once per month to share experiences, connect with community providers, engage in informational sessions, and share resources. 

Who should attend: Caregivers of children with communication disorders (e.g. receptive and expressive language delay, developmental delay, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down syndrome, etc.). Caregivers of children from birth to early adulthood are invited. 

Who facilitates sessions: Sessions are facilitated by a speech-language pathologist who is a University of Washington Speech and Hearing Sciences (SPHSC) clinical faculty member and SPHSC graduate students.

Where/when do we meet: *New times for 2023-2024 academic year! * To accommodate more schedules, we will meet twice a month, once in the evening and once in the morning.  Meetings last 1-2 hours depending on the needs of the group. We invite guest speakers, generate community connection, share resources, and have great discussions. 

To sign up, please contact amyrodda@uw.edu 


Q. Are you working with children also?

A. We are working with caregivers only at this time, but intend to expand this service to include children with communication disorders at the UW Speech and Hearing Clinic.

Q. How often will we meet?

A. Twice per month for 1-2 hours

Q. Do I have to attend all the meetings?

A. No, but we would love to have you as often as you can make it. Meeting dates will fall within the UW Dates of Instruction

Q. Does my child have to have a specific diagnosis?

A. No. This group is open to caregivers of children with a broad range of communication disorders and challenges. 

Q. How will we meet?

A. We are meeting virtually to allow people from a wide geographical area to participate.