“Hurray, you did it!” 2-year-old Olivia* cheered on Julie Helm, our Operations Director, for putting on pants that day.
Sometimes, it's the small wins that are the most impactful.
When Olivia began attending Comprehensive Therapy Center last year, she had a challenging start to life. Having spent her early life in a difficult environment, Olivia was now living with her loving great-uncle, who needed help. Olivia had some developmental delays that were outside of her uncle’s scope of knowledge. She was able to mirror and parrot others, but unable to initiate language on her own. She didn’t know how to play with other children, and she didn't know where her body was in space. (*Name has been changed to protect client confidentiality.)
Our team quickly developed an individualized plan that prioritized communication with her uncle. He felt defeated that all she did was repeat him without ever being able to express what she wanted, or more importantly, what she needed. Our Speech-Language Pathologists, Occupational Therapists, and Dance-Movement Therapist worked together to help this little bundle of energy learn to answer questions, how to take turns in playing, and how to swing, jump, and balance. And while Olivia worked with our therapy team, her uncle took a well-deserved nap in the waiting room.
For over 41 years, Comprehensive Therapy Center (CTC) has been dedicated to helping children with disabilities— many of whom come from disadvantaged and low-income backgrounds— to receive the therapy they need to meet their goals and live life to the fullest. We pride ourselves on utilizing a holistic approach that includes support, resources, and activities for families to feel confident and involved in all areas of their child’s growth. The services we provide include speech-language pathology, occupational therapy, and social/emotional support through counseling and dance-movement therapy. Outside of our therapy services, we offer specialized programs such as: Therapeutic Play & Learn Groups, Diversity in Healthcare, and our flagship program, Therapy & Fun.
Therapy & Fun takes place from June to August, and is the only therapeutic summer program of its kind in Michigan. The demand for this type of program is so high that we launched a sister program, Therapy & Life Skills, to meet the needs of older children and help build skills that encourage independence. Children ages 2-14 attend three days per week from 9:00am-12:15pm, and receive therapeutic care in a play-based environment. Prior to attending the program, every child has an intake appointment with our expertly-trained therapists to identify each child’s needs, so we can tailor the therapy they receive to meet their individual needs and goals.
Throughout the summer, children play their way through speech therapy, occupational therapy, dance-movement therapy, and social/emotional therapy. Children consistently achieve a minimum of 75% of therapy goals by the end of summer, and 100% of caregivers consistently rated the program as “good” or “excellent”.
As the need in our community continues to grow for services, we have steadily increased the scale of our program throughout our 41 years. However, we still have a waiting list every summer!
“Because of CTC, we were able to work through [our child’s limitations] because she had the tools to do so; children often don’t. At that time, my financial situation changed dramatically, and I was unable to pay for CTC. When I came in and I said I couldn’t [afford to] bring her anymore, they told me I could still bring her, and the CTC scholarship covered her, as well as my outstanding bills. They really took care of us.” -CTC caregiver
The impact of Therapy & Fun doesn’t stop at the clients we serve. Each year, we have an average of 35 youth and young adult volunteers who donate 3,000+ hours of their time during the summer. Each volunteer is paired with a client. This “built-in friend” helps with transitions, play, socialization, and are an important part of why Therapy & Fun has been a cornerstone of our organization.
Apart from being a unique opportunity for youth to get involved with their local community, our Therapy & Fun volunteer program offers mentorship for young adults interested in entering the healthcare field. We’ve even had volunteers from years past join our staff, after pursuing higher education and becoming credentialed! We are dedicated to eliminating barriers throughout every aspect of our non-profit.
Comprehensive Therapy Center aims to support those who are at-risk and/or disadvantaged. Proper healthcare is expensive, and many of the families we work with fall at or below the federal poverty level. With this in mind, the fee for Therapy & Fun is on a sliding scale based on income, and we accept most insurances. Even so, many families are still unable to afford our services.
Comprehensive Therapy Center is looking for donors to raise money for our Therapy & Fun scholarship fund, which will ensure that every child who needs our services will get them, regardless of financial background. We hope you’ll consider sponsoring this program to help a child walk, talk, learn, and play.
Learn more on our website www.therapycenter.org