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The Children's Center Introduces New Program to Treat Children With Autism

Thursday, June 12, 2008 General News J E 4
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DETROIT, June 12 Identifying a crucial need in the MetroDetroit community to provide special programming for youngsters with autism,The Children's Center proudly unveiled its newest program in May. The Playand Language for Autistic Youngsters Program -- or "P.L.A.Y. Program" as it isknown throughout the country -- is offered in collaboration with the nationalP.L.A.Y. office based in Ann Arbor.

The P.L.A.Y. Program provides specialized intensive home-based services tochildren 18 months to seven years of age who have been diagnosed with autismor pervasive developmental disorder. It is designed to decrease selfisolation and impaired skills, improve language and communication and decreasestereotyped or repetitive behaviors. By closing or lessening the learninggap, the program will also help prepare clients for school as well.

The program is hands-on and unique in that it is designed to benefit thechild as well as the parent. Interacting and playing with the child at home,the therapist will model appropriate intervention and skills to empower andteach the parent. By teaching these skills, the child benefits from anincreased frequency of quality interaction that only the parent can provideand is more relaxed and open to learning because he or she is at home in anenvironment that is familiar to them.

The Children's Center is one of only two agencies in Wayne Countyproviding this kind of programming for children and parents dealing withautism. "Autism is one of the fastest-growing diseases affecting childrentoday," said George Winn, Chief Clinical Operations Officer for The Children'sCenter. "In fact, one in every 150 children born in our community will haveit. When we identified a need for this type of support, we immediately beganlooking for a partner who could help us bring this programming to the peoplewho need it. We're thrilled to partner with the caring professionals at theP.L.A.Y. Project to offer this program," Winn added.

Richard Solomon, MD, founder of the P.L.A.Y. Project, is equally pleasedwith the new relationship between the two organizations. "We are very excitedabout our new partnership with The Children's Center," Solomon said. "As thefounder of The P.L.A.Y. Project, I've been hoping to reach the kind of diversecommunity that the agency serves and I believe that this program fits wellwith the wonderful child and family services already offered at The Children'sCenter," he said. "There is a growing need for affordable autism services,and I am pleased that the P.L.A.Y. Project will help provide this care to theDetroit community," Solomon added.

The Children's Center was founded in 1929 as one of the first childguidance clinics in the country. Today, it has evolved to become one of thelargest, most diverse child-serving agencies in Michigan. The Children'sCenter offers programs that embrace children and families dealing with suchissues as abuse, neglect, mental illness and behavioral problems. Through thesupport of many generous and caring supporters and donors, The Children'sCenter serves more than 5,000 children and families annually.

For more information about the agency, please call (313) 831-5535 or logon to www.thechildrenscenter.com.

SOURCE The Children's Center
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