Article provided by Kindering Bellevue, July 5, 2016

Founded in 1962 by five mothers of children with special needs, today Kindering is the largest early intervention center in Washington State, serving over 1/3 of children with special needs in King County alone. Each year nearly 4,000 infants and children with special needs and their families come to Kindering for critical physical & occupational therapy, speech-language therapy, feeding therapy, special education and other early intervention programming aimed at helping children with special needs reach developmental milestones. In addition, Kindering supports the entire family through support groups, parent education, and an amazing sense of community for those facing the unexpected journey of raising a child with special needs.

When parents first arrive at Kindering, they often feel like they are the only people in the world experiencing the trials of raising a child with special needs. And indeed, they may have a child who has a syndrome so rare that it doesn’t even have a name. However, these families quickly discover that Kindering is a place that brings families hope, joy and a sense of community. Our special educators and therapists are there for families in the midst of fear and uncertainty, providing a pathway to growth and development and offering the care and support necessary for hope to take root, as evidenced by the following story from one Kindering family:

“Nearly three years ago, at a well visit, our daughter was diagnosed with low muscle tone and developmental hip dysplasia. Our darling daughter, who could barely crawl, in order to treat hip dysplasia was put in a hip abduction brace that held her legs essentially in the splits. We shuffled from appointment to appointment looking for answers on how to help our sweet baby girl and, thankfully, we were quickly referred to Kindering. Of course, it was at times heart breaking, but with Kindering, we had a plan. Every week the most amazing Physical Therapist came to our home. She worked with my little girl, but most of all she worked with me. She gave me a sense of purpose that while I couldn’t heal my daughter; I could help her. She was in services at Kindering until she graduated at age three and that little girl who could barely drag her legs behind her one inch at a time is now running, jumping, climbing, kicking a ball, and most importantly trying. She falls down, but those therapy sessions did more than train her muscles, they trained her to get up and try again, to lean into her challenges. So, to me, Kindering is about so much more than therapy to treat a specific ailment. It’s a place where kids and their families come to learn and grow as people.”

A key part of what makes Kindering such a special place for families are the committed volunteers who enrich our services and programs and help provide a greater community understanding of the unique challenges of families with children with special needs. Over the past year and a half the team at Mainspring has partnered with Kindering towards a common goal: creating a brighter future for the children and families we serve. From graduation to fundraising events, from playing Santa at our holiday party to cooking up a special pancake brunch for staff, Mainspring has shown that when businesses and nonprofit organizations work together towards a common purpose, the community as a whole is stronger because of it.

To learn more about Kindering and the work we do helping children and families in our community, please visit us online at www.kindering.org.

Article provided by Kayleigh Williams, Development Assistant, Kindering Bellevue
16120 NE 8th St., Bellevue, WA 98008

Raymond James is not affiliated with the Kindering organization.