Investing in the early years… Many children begin life with a delay in one or more areas of their development. Licensed and certified early intervention specialists at the Children’s Developmental Center are available to assist families in helping their children reach their full potential. Improving early learning experiences of eligible children enhances the chance for their success in school and in life.
Who do we serve…The Children’s Developmental Center provides services to young children, birth to three years old with disabilities and challenges and their families residing in Benton and Franklin Counties and some outlying areas. Additionally, we offer some services to children up to 10 years old within the Autism Spectrum and an Incontinence Program for those 5 to 16 years.
Where we came from….The Children’s Developmental Center actually began prior to 1977 when parents of children with disabilities became frustrated because services for their children were not available. They began meeting in homes, drawing upon local expertise to assist their children with disabilities and challenges. Due to the great need, this group soon grew too large for a home setting and formally established a center, known as the Benton Franklin Developmental Center. The name was changed to the Children’s Developmental Center in 2007. Classes grew, needs were met, and important services in our community were born!
Today’s Location…. In 1999, with the help of a Capital Campaign and tremendous support from the Community, the Children’s Center was born. Today, housed at the end of Georgia Street in the Richland “Y” area, the Children’s Developmental Center shares an up to date, fully appointed building specifically designed to serve the needs of our community’s children with disabilities and challenges. A division of Head Start occupies a portion of the building, making the most of a facility designed for children’s learning. Thanks to the tireless efforts of many and funding from generous donors throughout the Tri Cities, the Children’s Center is designed and equipped to serve all aspects of therapies and education for our unique and individual students.
And beyond….The Children’s Developmental Center now provides services to nearly 700 children a year both in their Natural Environment and in our Center. The majority of our services are in the child’s Natural Environment. Children are served at home, day care, grandparent’s homes, or wherever they spend the majority of their time. Natural Environments empower and strengthen families to deal with their child’s unique developmental needs. Children also come to the Center to enhance their learning experiences by participating in “Play To Learn” groups, specialized physical and occupational therapies, and parents participate in sessions designed to give them the skills needed to be their child’s best teacher. We recently received the designation of “Neurological Development Center”, which will enable us to draw on specialized funding to expand services, further enabling the Center to assist our kids and families.
Where do we go from here…. There will always be a need for services for special needs children. Through advancements in technologies and methods, we are challenged to continue to give the most up to date, advanced assistance available. To that end, we at the Center continually seek out training and methods to better provide services to families in our communities.