Wonderland Developmental Center Programs
Wonderland’s holistic approach focuses on the needs of the entire family while delivering individualized, developmentally appropriate services in the child’s natural learning environment. Our programs include comprehensive developmental evaluations; early intervention; Play and Learn groups and summer camps open to children of all abilities; the internationally acclaimed Hanen parenting program supporting early childhood communication development; and family support opportunities. We are contracted with Edmonds, Northshore, Shoreline, and Seattle School Districts to provide birth-to-three services for children in their districts. In 2012, we served 323 children and 565 parents and caregivers. Wonderland was among the first birth-to-three centers to switch from a classroom and clinic-based model to a home-based (or other community setting) intervention program designed to support the parent/caregiver as the child’s most important teacher. To qualify for services, children must have a 25% or greater delay in one or more developmental areas: cognitive, fine and gross motor, adaptive (feeding, dressing, self-care), social/emotional, and communication. Wonderland serves children with a variety of developmental delays and disabilities, such as autism spectrum disorder, Fragile X, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, and Fetal Alcohol Syndrome. Wonderland’s services are available to any family, regardless of ability to pay.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
The number of children with disabilities has increased at a faster rate in the last two decades than both the general population and school enrollment—one in six students in the US can’t benefit from a traditional educational program because they have a disability which impacts their ability to participate in the classroom (Office of Special Education Programs, National Center for Education Statistics). There is a tremendous need in our community for early intervention services. Wonderland experienced a 20% increase in caseload in 2012, and the numbers continue to climb. We anticipate our caseload to grow by at least 10% in 2013. Much of this growth comes from the higher number of children with autism spectrum disorder (estimated by the Centers for Disease Control at 1 in 88 of every children) and other complex diagnoses, like tubular sclerosis, being referred to Wonderland. These children often require more intensive early intervention services in order to reach their developmental goals. To better serve these families—and every Wonderland child/family—we are working to develop a tiered services model. This will help us maximize developmental progress and family functioning, giving everyone the best possible chance to succeed and thrive. We are also working to add additional staff to support our growing caseload. Other funding needs include securing the resources to support our Hanen parenting programs, community Play & Learn classes, and summer camp.