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 in two-hour sessions 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: Sessions will be held once per month, beginning October 17, 2020 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. via Zoom. Once COVID restrictions are lifted and it is safe to meet in person, we intend to move to in-person meetings. 

To sign up, please contact LJBSupport@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. Once per month for 2 hours

Q. Do I have to attend all the meetings?

A. We ask that by signing up you commit to the first three meetings (October, November, December 2020). We will consider group enrollment and participation on a quarterly basis (Fall: October/November/December; Winter: January/February/March; Spring: April/May/June). 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. For Fall 2020, we will meet virtually, in correspondence with COVID-19 safety recommendations. Future quarters will be determined as recommendations are updated.