A SPACE FOR SPECIAL KIDS

When you walk into the office of the Dallas Society for Crippled Children (DSCC) center at Maple Avenue and In-wood Road, the need for more space isn’t immediately apparent. a tour of the facility reveals a need for more room for both the therapists and the young patients.

The DSCC center opens its doors to more than 800 children a year. Each child is a special case, and each one requires a tool, task or toy to help him overcome his disabilities. The DSCC has all the equipment to fill those needs, but it often occupies large spaces in small rooms.

As a result of this overcrowding-and, more importantly, the population growth in northern Dallas County and Denton County-the DSCC opened its first satellite center at the Ded-man Medical Center in Farmers Branch last month. Three therapists manage the center, which is currently treating about 20 children in the area.

Shirley Knape, director of the new center, has worked for 14 years as a registered occupational therapist for the DSCC. She says she’ll be sad to leave her friends at the Maple Avenue office, but she knows the new office will help reach more children in the communities around Far North Dallas. She also knows it will help open more spaces for children who live near the old location.

The new center offers physical, occupational and speech therapy to children from infancy through age 16. Education classes available at the Maple Avenue center will be added at a later date. Part-time staff members include an education consultant, a social worker and a psychologis

The DSCC is an Easter Seal affiliate and a non-profit outpatient facility for children with orthopedic, developmental, neurological and communicative disabilities. Parents finance their child’s therapy based upon their ability to pay, Knape says. She adds that the DSCC cannot properly help children with mental retardation, epilepsy or blindness.

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