Posted by CDS|
by Dana McConnell, CDS Executive Director
Imagine you’re a proud parent awaiting the birth of your child. The nursery room is ready, the clothes are neatly folded into piles by size, and children’s books are stacked beside the rocking chair. When the big day arrives, you head to the hospital with your overnight bag, and return home with a happy, healthy baby.
Unfortunately, life isn’t always like that.
Some infants need to spend more time in the hospital before going home. Sometimes that home nursery will need space for a ventilator, feeding pump, or heart monitor. Your baby is just as precious as you dreamed; he or she will just have more accessories than the traditional ball cap or hair bows.
As your child grows, some accessories will always be part of who they are, and some will be a memory viewed only in baby pictures. Regardless, that child is still the beautiful, talented and gifted person they were meant to be.
The Center for Developmental Services is a special place where families can find multiple community services in one location for children and individuals with delays and disabilities. Our goal is to make the process of caring for children with special needs easier, simpler and more effective.
The Children’s Hospital of the Greenville Health System has four departments within CDS. Their Wonder Center is an on-site day care for medically complex children ages birth through six years. Kidnetics evaluates and treats children from birth through age 21 for complex developmental disorders through physical, occupational, and speech therapy in our large gym, treatment rooms, and pool. Developmental-Behavioral/Psychology Pediatrics provides evaluation and diagnosis of Autism, Down’s syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, and other genetic disorders. Prosthetics and Orthotics offers our families specialty bracing and cranial remolding orthoses for the correction of plagiocephaly.
Clarity brings a unique combination of audiology and hearing treatment, speech and language evaluation and therapy, and psychological evaluation for developmental and school focused challenges, such as ADHD and learning disabilities.
Family Connection is the parent-to-parent organization which links families of children with special healthcare needs and disabilities to resources, support, and education.
Greenville County Disabilities and Special Needs Board has a program called KidVentures that offers developmental assessments, service coordination, and early intervention.
And the Greenville County School District is also on-site to help evaluate and coordinate the best educational environment for your child.
All these services are centralized into one family-friendly location which serves 6,000 children each year. That’s 6,000 children who are more prepared for school, more equipped with life skills, and whose families have been given the support and resources they need.
CDS still can’t guarantee that life will always go as planned, but our partnership can provide hope that more milestones will be achieved and more accessories can be stored away.
As we embark on a new year in 2016, many of us will make resolutions to improve the lives of ourselves and those around us. I’d like to challenge readers to also improve the way we view disabilities by recommending these resolutions:
- I will teach my child about inclusion, because all children love to play.
- I will not look away if I notice someone has a disability, but rather smile and say hello.
- I will consider hiring someone with a disability, because there’s more to people than what we see.
These small changes will embrace our differences and enhance our community. We invite you to visit our facility and take a tour. If interested, please call our office at 864-331-1300.