Believe it or not, Helping Hand Developmental Center was started in 1967 as a day care for children with special needs to help families out so they could work. The first location was in the basement of Grace Lutheran Church. As years went on Helping Hand outgrew this location and the schools began to see the benefit of our program and offered us space in the Henderson County Public School system. We served the “hard to serve” children. They had a variety of special needs, cerebral palsy, seizure disorder, autism and developmentally delayed children. In 1998, Helping Hand merged with Blue Ridge Community College child care and became a totally inclusive center serving children with and without identified special needs. Today, we are once again housed within Henderson County public schools.
We are a one of a kind, nonprofit center in Western North Carolina. Students from the area colleges and local high schools use our facility as a training site for those in the field of child care, education, special education, nursing, occupational health, sign language, occupational therapy, and physical therapy.
Our lead teachers all have 4 year degrees and our assistants have a minimum of 12 college credits. Our staff to child ratio does not exceed 1:6 for all ages. Helping Hand serves 86% of the identified special needs children 3-5 years of age in Henderson County. For several of our children, there are no other options to receive a full day program with therapies. One of our classrooms is equipped with an amplified system for children with cochlear implants and hearing impairments.
We see the benefits of our program daily. For those who: learn to communicate using assistive devices, are able to say a word or put two words together in a sentence, can walk with a walker and take steps without assistance, can eat food, whether pureed or solid, communicate their wants or needs using sign language, walk for the first time, ride a bike, skip or jump. We all take a lot of these skills for granted, but here at Helping Hand, these skills are often great feats for some of our children. Helping Hand is a place that all children are provided with the tools they need and encouraged to reach their highest potential. We sincerely appreciate your support! Your generosity allows us to continue to provide a quality program for the children of Henderson County!