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Friday, February 25, 2011

The Children's Center

The Children's Center: A special place for special children 

The Children's Center for Neurodevelopmental Studies is a state-certified, non-profit school and therapy center for children with autism and other developmental delays. The Center was founded in 1978, by Lorna Jean King, OTR/L, FAOTA. The Children's Center is internationally known for its unique and effective therapeutic approach to education. The Center's philosophy emphasizes facilitating neurodevelopment,the formation of new neural pathways, rather than simply training the child to act "appropriately". It is based on well-known research demonstrating neuroplasticity and the ability of the brain to continue developing at any age. 
Why is the Center so uniquely qualified to help - and add hope - to the lives of these children and their families? The key lies in the neurodevelopmental needs of the children. One of their defining characteristics is sensory integrative dysfunction - the inability of the brain to process input from various senses to create meaningful information. When neural pathways are damaged or impaired, correct processing cannot be achieved. The Center's primary therapeutic approach, called sensory integration, addresses these dysfunctions. 
To promote the development of new neural pathways and minimize the effect of sensory processing dysfunction, staff provides appropriate forms of sensory input - a sensory diet. These personalized plans may include swinging, deep pressure, music - all aimed at facilitating the processing of information. When sensory issues have been addressed, learning always follows. Sensory integrative therapy helps "get the brain ready to learn".  In over two decades of service, the Center's sensory integrative approach has proven highly effective for hundreds of children in Arizona, across the United States and around the world. The Children’s Center is a private, non-profit corporation (501-c-3) founded in 1978 by a group of health and educational professionals, under the leadership of Lorna Jean King, OTR/L, FAOTA. 
Beginning with just one student, one teacher and one therapist, the Center’s staff now includes occupational, speech, music and recreational therapists and  certified special education teachers.

       The above is the center I am working as a substitute teacher's aid. And I am enjoying my time there so far. When I was unemployed for the past almost two years I never envisioned this as my next job. I do more for autistic children then substitute at this learning center. I also have two clients I go to there house and continue to work on their treatment goals one on one in the home "Habilitation". These children are a joy to work with and doing this work is changing me in ways I am also liking. I am return to an attitude and feeling of my younger self. I see myself happy and it isn't just because I am getting paid.. I started with one client 7.5 hours a week for most of February so my first monthly check will not be that big. But now between this job and Hope Group, LLC for habilitation hours I have built my hours up to 19.5 and two days a week I can be called in to substitute as a teacher's aid at The Children's Center. If I am called in both days that is 28.5 hours and the pay which basically will take the place of what i was making on unemployment.. But, my point here is I am getting more out of it then the pay. I didn't intend to go back to a regular 9-5 customer service job but didn't know what that would mean for me...

This job is changing my perspective of people, my outlook on my life, my attitude and it is giving me joy. That alone is worth more to me than how many hours and what my hourly pay is... I can't even take credit for me trying this out as a job. I did not find it on my own. My sister in law Kim is a full time teacher's aid at a different school and suggested the other Hope Group, LLC where she works habilitation for after school. From the Hope Group, LLC job I was introduced the The Children's Center as a place to work with the same population and pick up some additional hours and it is in my town really close to my house. Between the two agencies I made a little niche for myself. I smile at work, I enjoy my co-workers, and my habilitation kids are a breath of fresh air. Maybe my next post I will write about and focus on Hope Group, LLC who started this whole progression but it was The Children's Center that helped me the most. 

I see this as a wonderful new adventure maybe career... it has revived my spirit and not just my employment for sure...