Therapy center for kids with developmental disorders needs funding for new building

BURIEN -- Three hours a week, Jackson Henry comes to the Children's Therapy Center in Burien.  The 4-year-old has Dandy-Walker syndrome, a condition that affects brain development, primarily development of the part of the brain that coordinates movement.

“When Jackson first started it was hard for him to even walk without tripping or losing his balance or really being fearful,” said physical therapist Shireen Hauser-Miller.

Jackson is one of nearly 3,000 kids who come to the center for therapy each year.  All have some sort of brain developmental disorder, like cerebral palsy, Spina Bifida and autism.  The Children’s Therapy Center has three locations in south King and Pierce counties and the demand is huge.

“Currently there are over 450 kids on our waiting list.  That number is not going down, that number is growing,” said Director of Business Development Claude Ciancio.

So the organization decided to take a risk and move out of the cramped portables it was operating out of behind a local middle school and get a short-term loan to buy a new larger space.

“A very conventional way to do this would be to raise the funds necessary to buy and remodel the space and then begin the remodeling process.  We didn’t do it that way because the needs are now.  The needs are urgent,” said Ciancio.

There is still remodeling to do and a lot of fundraising.  The center needs $2.5 million to pay off construction costs.  They're hopeful they will be able to help more kids reach their full potential in this new space.

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