In order to provide specialized services to children with special needs, Children’s Village depends on the collaboration of the community; through partner agencies who provide services to children, dedicated philanthropy from community members who understand the value of the Village and many many volunteers who give time and energy to serve these special children and their families.
While Children’s Village is highly-efficient in utilizing its funds and resources to provide excellent services to children, the need for services continues to grow. And funding for these services is complicated and not always stable.
An example is the Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinic (the only one of its kind in the Yakima Valley) which is made possible through the collaboration of Yakima Valley Farmworkers Clinic, Behavioral Health Services, Memorial Hospital, The Memorial Foundation, donations from the community and private grant dollars.
The ASD Clinic is a multidisciplinary team of clinicians who meet two to three times a month to diagnose children on the autism spectrum. These clinics take place two to three times a month and often the wait time to have a child assessed is between six and nine months.
Currently, 1 in every 110 children suffers from Autism Spectrum Disorder, and an astonishing 30-40 percent of young children have behavioral, mental health and learning problems. Autism causes a wide range of social, emotional, behavioral and communicative disruptions, and the early intervention services provided by Children’s Village are at the forefront of innovations having a significant impact on children’s long-term learning experiences.
The MJ Murdock grant Children’s Village received in November 2011 is a grant specifically designed to plan and develop a model for medical and educational services for children with special needs – specifically autism.
What does this mean?
This grant will fund autism, behavioral and mental health therapies at Children’s Village. Additionally, it will allow further exploration of medical and educational models between Children’s Village and area school districts. This means more collaboration which means less duplication of services and more efficiency in providing children with the services they need.
Other services being developed through this grant include a 12-week parent training for families who have a child with a diagnoses of autism, therapeutic groups focused on social skill-building, community training and awareness building and planning focused on early intervention services.