Walking out of the elevator, I was greeted with bursts of color along the hallways of the Toby and Leon Cooperman Therapy and Family Resource Center. Feeling like a child once again, I followed the pathways along the tiles across the floor, putting me at ease. A tactile wall with different materials lines the hallway, calming the children as they come in for therapy.
In March, I had the wonderful opportunity to meet so many amazing people at the local Autism Speaks Walk. One of whom was Aliyah Longhurst, the Director of the Family Resource Center in South Florida. She has worked diligently to provide children with varying needs a better quality of life through various treatment techniques and therapies.
Gifted by the philanthropists Toby and Leon Cooperman, the Family Resource Center acts as a one stop-shop for families who have a child with special needs, whether they are on the spectrum, have difficulties with speech and communication, or suffer from other developmental disorders. The center aims to equip parents and other caregivers with the crucial information and support to build a stronger household and provide children with affordable access to treatments. They offer numerous services, including occupational, physical, and speech therapies as well as support groups for family members of individuals with special needs. The Coopermans’ vision has positively affected the lives of so many families and individuals living with disabilities.
I really wish that every community could have such an important place like the one I got to visit. The center has been able to provide substantial financial assistance to clients. Though many areas have non-profit therapy centers, the center distinguishes itself by contributing financial aid to the families who are eligible, making the much-needed therapies less of a financial strain.