The Warren Center, a nonprofit agency providing professional evaluations, therapy services and support to children with developmental delays and disabilities is seeking assistance from the community to help special needs children go back to school with the technology needed for virtual learning and essential therapy services.
For parents and caregivers of young children with developmental delays and disabilities, they may be concerned about their child's progress during this interruption caused by COVID-19. When shelter-in-place orders were issued in early March, The Warren Center pivoted its offerings to give clients HIPAA compliant virtual therapy sessions to help families stay home. Virtual appointments ensure children do not miss therapy sessions, their progress is not hindered, and parents still receive the help and support they need. Unfortunately, for some families served by The Warren Center, they are unable to access teletherapy services and online learning because they do not have the technological support required to get online.
"Many of the young children we serve have chronic health conditions – and as a precaution, their parents and caregivers have decided to quarantine their families. Without internet access or a computer, these children are no longer able to receive the critical therapy services they greatly need," says Amy Spawn, CEO of The Warren Center. "As back-to-school dates draw near, the urgency to provide technology for special needs family continues to grow. More than 50 percent of the families we serve have an income below the poverty level in Texas. A donation of $175 will provide a tablet to a family in need.”
With teletherapy, children can receive convenient, quality therapy services that they need from the comfort of their own homes. Virtual therapy sessions take place through a tablet, computer or smartphone. The Warren Center is using the WebEx platform to ensure security and privacy for each session. The Richardson-based nonprofit provides therapy and support for over 3,000 families every year. Each day, the need for services continues to grow. The CDC estimates one in six children have intellectual or physical disabilities or delays. In Dallas County alone, over 102,000 children have a developmental disability. The period between birth to five years is a time of rapid development. The earliest possible intervention is critical due to the accelerated brain development during these first years of life. Early childhood intervention programs have been shown to yield benefits in academic achievement, behavior, educational progression and attainment, and labor market success. Before the pandemic, The Warren Center staff traveled to 48 zip codes and more than 900 homes each week to serve children in need. The nonprofit’s offices also served more than 200 children on-site for clinic-based services. Providing physical therapy, speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, and social support is essential to help children with disabilities reach their full potential.
To help provide a tablet, internet access, set up, accessories and shipping to families with developmental delays and disabilities, it costs The Warren Center $434. To sponsor a family or make a donation of any amount visit, https://www.thewarrencenter.org.