STORY BY KACIE FREDRICK. PHOTOS BY JAN OSBORN.
For over 50 years, The Warren Center has provided therapy and treatment resources for developmentally delayed or disabled children across the Dallas-Fort Worth area. Founded in 1968, The Warren Center has three locations and can be found in Richardson, Garland, and Irving. The Warren Center advocates, serves, and empowers children and families impacted by developmental delays and differences by offering them therapy services, support, and tools they need to thrive and grow. They give hope for families searching for help. The Warren Center has also paved the way for increased community awareness of children with disabilities.
The Warren Center prides itself on doing what’s best for each child and family. The agency ensures parents have the support they need in order to support their kid on their own unique journey. The center offers a variety of services, including Early Childhood Intervention, Clinic Therapy Services, and Family Education & Support.
“Our Early Childhood Intervention program is actually a federally mandated program,” shares Chief Program Officer and speech pathologist, Pam Ruatta. “So, we work with the state of Texas to provide the service working with children who are from birth to three [years old]. Anyone can call and refer a child who may qualify for services, and that’s where we step in and conduct comprehensive assessments.”
While public schools offer federally mandated services for individuals with disabilities, the Warren Center makes sure children are supported even before they reach school age. Other services provided by the Warren Center focus on parent coaching, highlighting the strength and culture of each individual family and working within the home to find a balance that sets the child up for success. With a team of speech therapists, physical therapists, occupational therapists, intervention specialists, dieticians, and social workers, the Warren Center guarantees each family is in the right hands. By fostering well-rounded services, the center grants the child and family the best support possible.
“We really focus on ‘how do we work within the environment the child already has’ mentality,” shares Ruatta. “We work with siblings, grandma, grandpa, and whoever else is living in the home. Then the other piece is what we call ‘service coordination.’ Besides just working on the developmental milestones that the child may have, we also address any other concerns or weaknesses the family may have such as low income resources, paying for food, among other struggles.”
The Warren Center is excited to announce their annual Operation Santa event taking place on Dec. 10, 2022 at the Highland Park Presbyterian Church. The Warren Center invites its families and children as honored guests of the event. Santa Claus and Mrs. Claus are anticipated attendees. There will also be fun holiday activities and games. Each child under eight years old gets to take a donated gift home with them – spreading Christmas cheer! With almost 1,100 children currently receiving therapy services through the Warren Center’s Early Childhood Intervention program and 200 in their clinic, the Warren Center is currently accepting gift donations for Operation Santa. Please visit their Amazon wishlist page if interested. The event is not open to the public, but if you are interested in volunteering, please visit their volunteer page.
“Operation Santa is our most anticipated event of the season,” shares Ruatta. “It’s for the kids, but really it’s also for the parents. Last year after Operation Santa we got this really nice note from a mother who thanked us for the event because it provided her a space to socialize with other parents who understood her and her child. Being a parent of a child who does not necessarily behave like other children is challenging, but the Warren Center gives kids and parents that safe space to be themselves.”
The Warren Center is a nonprofit organization dedicated to doing what’s best for the child and family affected by disability. The Warren Center is a registered 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, making your donation tax-deductible. Donations can be made on The Warren Center website.