Generous Contributions Increase Technology

We feel so blessed.

BIG changes are happening in 2013 for the Marian Hope Center. We are constantly re-evaluating the services we provide to help us best meet the needs of our community. You may have heard about one of our recent changes on local television stations – click here to see us KCTV5 and click here for KSHB 41 Action News’s story. We recently received two generous contributions from corporations to expand our use of technology to enhance our therapy services.

Marian Hope Center was the recipient of a $10,000 contribution from Lucity Inc. and a $5,000 contribution from AT&T. We want to provide the children we service with the best therapies possible to help them reach their great potentials. These contributions are amazing blessings as the varying needs of the children in our community are great. Here are some of the main ways tablets are changing the lives at Marian Hope:

  • Providing a voice – Many children have amazing gifts but cannot communicate their thoughts with voice. The use of tablets at our center has been an alternative communication for some of our children. We have seen kids greet their friends, join in singing familiar songs, and request certain foods during snack time using tablets and other augmentative communication devices.  Technology has given them a voice that they otherwise would not have.
  • A unique therapy tool – tablets are used as a tool that can help with auditory processing, visual processing, fine motor skills, handwriting, turn taking, sharing, problem solving, expressive language, speech, and so much more.
  • Motivating children – Most children seem drawn to the tablets.  We are able to download apps to customize activities to incorporate the child’s interests.
  • Anyone can do it! – Technology has been a part of our therapy sessions for a while now, so what makes the tablets different?  They can be operated with a single touch and we have seen children with motor impairments successfully participate with a tablet.
  • Improved record keeping – We can’t lie.  Technology is making our paperwork easier too.  This will allow us to spend more time developing therapy activities and consulting with parents.  It will also help us to share information about a child’s progress more easily and quickly with his or her parents and school.

tablet during circle time 1

Here’s what our therapists are saying about the difference the tablets are making at Marian Hope Center:

“In our vision class, the skills we work on include eye teaming, visual perception, and scanning. We have some children that are not able to scan and use both eyes together for more then 5 seconds. The tablets have allowed us to download games and activities that are fun and exciting for the children. The kids will play a game/activity while increasing the above skills without even knowing that they are working. It’s a win-win situation. The kids get to do a rewarding and we get progress towards our goals!” – Occupational Therapist

“The tablets have helped my clients learn to communicate more effectively. They have also helped motivate my clients to learn and understand language better.” – Speech-Language Pathologist

“I was in the middle of a session with my client and needed an activity which would work on 3 areas at once.  As we began to transition, I suddenly remembered that I now had tablet we could utilize.  My client loved it and worked harder!” – Occupational Therapist
“I was thrilled to see a client with apraxia so motivated to use his best speech while utilizing the speech-to-text feature!” – Speech-Language Pathologist
To AT&T and Lucity, we are very thankful for your support. Thanks for helping us change lives!

Helping Families Through Nutrition

Marian Hope Center’s Co-Founder, Angie Knight, has been selflessly providing quality speech-language therapy and consultation services in Eastern Jackson County for many years.  Her research, experience, and eye-witness accounts of success with nutritional intervention have inspired her to expand and strengthen the nutritional support offered to families at the Marian Hope Center… 

I have been witnessing the astonishing affects of a healthy diet on the behavior and development of children for years.

I have seen children with severe Autism and behavior disorders change drastically before my own eyes.

I have seen many unhappy children become happy and many sick children become well.

Yet, I am amazed that the majority of families still resist changing “mainstream” dietary habits. I understand that to make these changes it takes time to learn, energy and a little extra expense. However, we cannot put a cost on the health and development of our children or ourselves. We are a nation filled with sickness and disease. Childhood epidemics are out of control…from severe asthma, allergies, eczema, GI issues, ADD, ADHD, Autism and other developmental delays, behavior/psychological disorders, childhood cancer, etc.

It breaks my heart that we as a nation have allowed disease to take root and grow out of control. We need to put our health and the health of our children in our own hands! Marian Hope Center (MHC) has embraced this change and wants to encourage and support our families as they take their steps toward a healthier lifestyle.

Our mission at MHC is to help all children reach their great God-given potential.  We see and believe that when children receive a nutrient-rich diet their ability to think and focus are increased, enabling them to learn and achieve at far higher levels.

– Angie Knight, M.A., CCC-SLP

Here are five of the ways MHC is responding to Angie’s call to offer nutritional support:

1. MHC hosts a Nutritional Management Support Group on the first Wednesday of each month at 6:30 PM.  Making dietary changes can be a challenge and feel overwhelming.  This support group will uplift and motivate you!  Our meetings provide families an opportunity to share successes, struggles, questions, recipes, and more.  We occasionally host guest speakers or watch films to gain more information.  These meetings are open to anyone who is interested – you do not need to sign up or register to attend.  If you are unable to attend meetings, but would like information, our group also communicates frequently via email.  Click here for more information about our monthly meetings and to sign up for our Yahoo! email group.

2. Our Occupational Therapists, Speech-Language Pathologists, and Registered Dietician offer feeding classes and individual therapy services to children with feeding concerns.  We are very excited to have recently added Blakely Page, Registered Dietician, to our staff.  She and our other staff members share a passion for helping children to reach their full potential and to gain lifelong healthy habits.  Click here to see a full list of classes currently offered.

3. MHC coordinates a mentoring program for parents.  We have several parents who have transformed from relying on fast-food and prepackaged meals to preparing whole foods for dinner – and their kids love it!  If you’d like to email or visit with one of these parents to hear their story, get tips and tricks, or even have someone walk you through the aisles of a local health food store for tips and ideas, we can make that happen!  Please email Angie Knight to request a nutrition mentor.

4. We are hosting a Health & Nutrition Conference, Boost Brain Power! at Truman Medical Center – Lakewood this Saturday, February 23rd from 9:00-2:00. Our three speakers and expert panel Q&A session will provide you with life-changing and inspiring information.  Get event details and register here.  Even if you can only attend 1 or 2 presentations, it is worth any scheduling headaches you may have to endure to be there.

5. We promote good nutrition daily by offering healthy snacks.  We have a wide variety of healthy options and gluten-free and casein-free foods for snacks.  We try to limit processed foods and do not use products containing high-fructose corn syrup or artificial colors.  We individualize the foods we offer to meet the needs and allergy restrictions of all of the children.  We utilize the positive power of peer pressure to encourage children to try a wider variety of foods.

We hope you will join us in our goal to help improve our children’s lives through better nutrition!  Please feel free to leave comments with any questions or ideas for other ways MHC can help your family with nutritional changes.