A major milestone for about 400 special needs children in Bellevue, who accomplished something that other children might take for granted. They graduated from a program at Kindering Center, a non-profit neurodevelopmental center that helps children with special needs, teaching them basic skills like walking, talking and feeding themselves.
“Something like 85% of the brain develops ages birth to four. We want to make sure that time is the most optimal in our care and the children in our community,” said Mimi Siegel, executive director at Kindering.
It’s a proud moment for Jessamyn Clark, whose daughter Kinley had trouble with large motor skills and at 14 months, wasn’t even crawling. Their family doctor referred them to Kindering, which helped Kinley learn the skills to walk, through classes and the use of a physical therapist.
“They worked on basic things that a parent wouldn't know what to do. The actual mechanics of pushing herself up to a position where she could start walking,” said Clark. “She's gone from now even being able to walk, to walking, running wtih her friends, climbing, pedal on a tricycle. We really do credit Kindering for her being able to do that and the confidence to be able to try something new.”
Kindering helps more than 3,000 children and their families each year. The non-profit, which is celebrating its 50th anniversary this year, has been nationally recognized for its intervention program.
“A third of the children who graduate will have recovered all their skills, closed the gap and won't need special education in the public schools,” said Siegel.