Manhattan Clinic Helping Special Needs Children Continues To Expand

By: Lindsey Rogers Email
By: Lindsey Rogers Email

MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) -- Tucked into the Manhattan Medical Center complex is the No Stone Unturned Therapeutic Learning Center, a unique facility for children with developmental and neurological disorders.

"Our mission here is basically to meet the needs of children with special needs, regardless of how little or how much help that they need. That’s in the areas of their speech and language, their communication, their self-help skills- feeding, eating, toileting, their gross motor skills and behavior management as well," said Katie Palenzuela Clinic Director, Speech Language Therapist. The clinic just hired a behavior therapist, rounding out their team of specialists.

Melinda Wolford and her husband, a former K-State football player and alum, founded the clinic in honor of their son, Stone, who was diagnosed at the age of two with a rare genetic disorder called Cardio-Facio-Cutaneous (CFC) Syndrome.Only around 430 children in the world are diagnosed with it.

"I had been a school psychologist for a number of years and had worked in the area of neural psychology diagnosing and assessing children so when I had my first child, I knew something was wrong because I had that background and experience working with children," she said.

"I had a very difficult time getting help for my child. We went through more than 40 MD specialists. He had a number of different therapies, some of which insurance would not pay for because he didn’t have a diagnosis. It was very difficult as parents of a child with neurological and developmental needs to get the services that we needed," she told WIBW.

Not wanting to see other families endure the same hardships trying to get their kids help, they formed the No Stone Unturned Foundation and opened the clinic in December 2012.

No Stone Unturned continues to grow as more and more families turn to them for services and therapies and interventions, services that aren’t always easily accessible or affordable.

"It’s quite an experience to see parents come in and they’re exhausted. They’re frustrated but what we see the most from them is fear. They’re afraid for their children- they’re afraid of what their life could look like, might look like and what it won’t look like. What we’re able to do here is work as a team to impact their lives every day, giving the parents skills to work with their children at home and to improve the child’s functions," Palenzuela said.

"We just wanted to really provide some type of intervention service for those kids that really covered all areas of their lives.. We wanted it to be collaborative and comprehensive, working with pediatricians and school systems to supplement services they provide, training to parents so they know what to do at home," Wolford added.

Hundreds came out in Manhattan over the weekend, including K-State football coach Bill Snyder and former players, to show their support and help raise funds for the clinic during the "Wildcats for Charity" charity event.

No Stone Unturned is working to raise awareness not only in the medical community but also in schools and for families; providing assistance to families and supporting aggressive research- dedicated to kids with debilitating disorders.


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