The Most Difficult Times

. January 1, 2018.

Living in Washtenaw County, with immediate access to the University of Michigan, provides a variety of incredible resources. One incredible asset the University of Michigan offers is the Mary A. Rackham Institute (MARI) services for children and families..

Focus on family

The Institute offers services for families and children through two centers: the University Center for the Child and Family (UCCF) and the University Center for Language and Literacy (UCLL). Ann Arbor Family Press caught up with Stephanie Ariganello, the Marketing and Communications director of MARI, to learn more.

Life can be challenging:
find support through UCCF

The general mission of the UCCF is to support families through life challenges and times of transition that include, but are not limited to: divorce, diagnosis of learning disabilities, academic challenges, emotional and behavior concerns in children, parenting difficulties, and grief and loss. The staff members specialize in many treatment approaches, and are committed to helping families enjoy happier lives, more satisfying relationships and increased success.
UCCF offers a comprehensive range of mental health services for community children, adolescents, and families that include evaluations, one-on-one or group therapy, and other mental health services. For example, UCCF offers a book club called Feelings Through Fiction, which is group therapy to help young teens deal with emotional challenges.

Support for children struggling with language and literacy at UCLL
Are you seeing early signs that your child may be struggling with language development? At the UCLL, speech language pathologists and reading and literacy specialists help families identify, diagnose and strengthen language and literacy skills through early intervention. UCLL offers specialized testing and evaluation, programs for children’s language and literacy development, and individual therapy for people of any age facing language and literacy challenges. The Preschool and Communication Therapy (PACT) program offers early intervention language development for children 3-5 years old in a small group setting, while the newly launched Reading Intervention Program helps children of all ages with different aspects of literacy, like comprehension, phonemic awareness, writing, fluidity and more.

Stronger, healthier, and happier

Parents of a client in the UCLL Reading Intervention Program summer camp program expressed their satisfaction with the program: “We were delighted to have the opportunity to enroll our son for the two-week program. He is a rising first grader and was diagnosed with dyslexia during his kindergarten year. He thrived with the innovative approaches, multi-sensory learning curriculum and overall energy and enthusiasm that Dr. Carolyn Hansen brought to this endeavor. For our son, learning to read has been a long journey. We were delighted with the experience and cannot recommend it highly enough to others.”

As parents, it is important to be able to get support during difficult times and transitions. Explore the services through the Mary A. Rackham Institute today to get the support your family may need to become stronger, healthier, and happier.

The costs of the services vary: some services are covered by Medicaid and can be offered at low cost if your family meets certain requirements. Some private insurance is also accepted. Visit or call 734-764-3471 to find out more information on the various services offered.

UCCF offers several regularly scheduled free workshops.

Attention Deficit and Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD)
& Learning Disabilities (LD) Series
Who: Parents of children with ADHD or LD.
What: The workshops focus on practical tips, resources and guidance for supporting and advocating for children with attention and learning challenges.
When: Typically offered in the late fall and late spring.
Cost: Free.
Register: On the ADHD & LD Series Workshop page at

Parenting Through Separation & Divorce
Who: Parents who are separating or divorcing.
What: The free workshops deliver practical advice in a collaborative, caring environment. UCCF helps parents understand their children’s needs during the time of separation and divorce and offers specific suggestions for creating the most beneficial post-divorce parenting relationships. This program is an approved alternative to the SMILE Program presented by the Friend of the Court.
When: 7pm on the first Monday of the month (except January and September due to holidays).
Cost: Free, but registration required. Drop in childcare is also provided free of charge.
Register: Go to “” and fill out the “contact me” form.
The newly launched Reading Intervention Program at UCLL is currently accepting new clients.

Reading Intervention Program
Who: Children from 4 to 16 years old.
What: The Reading Intervention Program offers intensive, individualized services to build literacy skills in each child. The program is run by Carolyn Hansen, Ph.D., an experienced reading specialist who works with each child to close reading gaps as efficiently as possible, while focusing on their individual needs. She uses research-based instructional approaches, including Orton-Gillingham and Lindamood-Bell multisensory intervention strategies.
Cost: Varies depending on services.
Register: Email us at or call (734) 764-8440.