Children’s TLC was founded in 1947 by a group of caring and foresighted volunteers who understood the importance of early intervention for children struggling with disabilities. Mary Shaw (Shawsie) Branton, Jane Dick and Jeanette Luhnow understood that waiting until a child was old enough to enter elementary school was too late. From their efforts, The Cerebral Palsy Nursery School was born, and many young children thrived under their care.
In the 1950’s, the polio epidemic brought a new group of children in need of care. The name of the organization changed to reflect the evolving need. The Cerebral Palsy Nursery School became The Crippled Children’s Nursery School. The commitment of the staff and volunteers had not changed. In fact, Children’s TLC dedicated itself to meeting the ever-changing needs of children in our community.
In the 1970’s the organization evolved once again to serve the needs of children with hearing impairments. Once again, the name was changed, and the organization became Children’s Therapeutic Learning Center, serving young children with a wide range of disabilities, delays and medically fragile conditions.
In the 1990’s Children’s TLC expanded again to serve infants, toddlers, and their parents in their homes. The agency joined forces with Children’s Center for the Visually Impaired (CCVI) to build a facility that would provide state-of-the-art care for young children with and without disabilities. The Children’s Center Campus opened in 1999, and is the home for Children’s TLC, CCVI and the YMCA at 31st and Main Street in the heart of Kansas City, Missouri.
As autism has increased rapidly to now impacting 1 of every 88 children, Children’s TLC has responded. The agency has developed a cutting edge program that includes applied behavioral therapy (ABA) with a focus on helping each child to develop and then generalize needed skills. ABA therapy is provided in individual sessions and then children are transitioned to the classroom environment to practice the skills they have learned. Parental involvement is a key component to the program’s success so that skills can be practiced at home as well as at school.
The Children’s TLC focus on integrating education and therapy so that children can practice needed skills in a supportive environment remains steadfast over the organization’s 66 year history. The coordination and communication among teachers, therapists, and family members provides the best possible environment for the young children served here. Services are tailored to each individual child and family’s needs with full day, part day, and part week options available.