A new resource center supporting the needs of children in Livingston County is now open in Hartland.
The Children’s Center for Growth and Development is located in the Trillium Professional Center at 12319 Highland Road and is run by Beth Economou, formerly a speech therapist at Village Elementary School in Hartland.
Although the Children's Center will offer several different programs, such as preschool literacy and study-skills, the center's focus will be as a professional and medically-based therapy center that works with pediatricians and family physicians to serve the development needs of children.
Offering programs that include reading and writing support, occupational therapy and services available for special education and autistic children, the center hopes to provide necessary and comprehensive resources for local families.
“I always knew I wanted to work with kids but it just seemed that over the years, there wasn't anything in Livingston County that is really dedicated only to pediatrics,” Economou said.
With 23 years experience as a speech therapist working with all ages and in different environments, Economou said that being involved with a private-therapy center was something she had always been interested in, based off the needs of her clients and their families.
"For us, we're working a little bit closer with just that child," she said. "I think we really have the time to sit and observe."
Economou, a seven-year veteran of the school system, is quick to clarify, however, that the new center isn’t a substitute for the services children receive in schools, but considers it a way to “enhance and work collaboratively with the teachers, professionals and parents to help the students be most successful.”
"We're a team," she said. "Even when you're frustrated with teachers and whoever else is working with your child, they're part of that team, and we need to problem solve and find a way."
Advocacy, specialized and individual attention and the desire to help their clients succeed is what Economou's says she hopes to achieve by providing the private therapy center.
With two additional therapists available at the center, including an occupational therapist and special education teacher with an autism endorsement, Economou said that being able to serve their clients more efficiently in one location is another one of their goals.
“When you’re working on reading and comprehension, there can be overlap that has to do with vision, scanning, perception, communication,” she said. "Consulting with an OT can help."
The Children’s Center for Growth and Development serves children ages 1- 18 and is covered by most insurance plans. For more information or to schedule an evaluation, call 810-991-1211.
An Open House is scheduled for October 11 from 2:30 p.m. – 7 p.m. The public is welcome to attend and tour the facility and meet staff.