2010-03-05 / Front Page

The Therapy Place fulfills a dream

Peter Bartos, a Hungarian teacher of conductive education, works with a child in The Therapy Place By Pam Edwards Peter Bartos, a Hungarian teacher of conductive education, works with a child in The Therapy Place By Pam Edwards Dawn Darby and Susan Abell, co–founders of The Therapy Place, have a dream to bring traditional and innovative therapy programs for special needs children to Columbia. This dream is becoming a reality.

For five weeks, three hours per day in the summer of 2009, eight children with cerebral palsy experienced conductive education, an innovative program combining physical and occupational therapy techniques with educational methods to help children with motor disorders gain independence through improved mobility, social skills, and daily living skills.

This summer, Hungarian teachers Erika and Peter Bartos will join The Therapy Place to provide the same program to at least 20 children in two five–week sessions. This includes the eight children from last summer who all plan to participate again this year.

A room in The Therapy Place’s possible new building on Covenant Road A room in The Therapy Place’s possible new building on Covenant Road The ultimate goal of The Therapy Place is to provide programs year–round in a facility of its own, and this goal is about to be achieved.

Darby and Abell have located an 8,000 sq.ft. building on Covenant Road with large, open rooms perfect for the equipment and classroom needs. The owner of the facility is offering a reasonable lease if The Therapy Place is willing to do the upgrades needed to accommodate its requirements. Erika and Peter Bartos are willing to make the move to Columbia to work with The Therapy Place in providing programs for the children year–round. The hope is to offer a facility for innovative therapies for the children as well as resources for their families.

The Therapy Place has received some money in grants to help fund this project, but more is needed. The board of directors is hard at work to raise the funds. The second annual Charity Golf Tournament, sponsored in part by BlueCross BlueShield of S.C., will be held Monday, April 19 at Charwood Country Club in West Columbia to raise money for scholarships for children to attend the summer conductive education program.

In addition to funding, donations of labor, paint, carpet, and construction to make the new facility on Covenant Road handicap accessible are needed.

For more information about The Therapy Place or to participate in the annual Charity Golf Tournament, go to www.thetherapyplace.org, or email Dawn Darby at ddarby@thetherapyplace.org, or call 318-2939.

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