Specializing in pediatric physical, occupational and speech and language therapy, KRCC serves over 340 children throughout Southeast Missouri each year. Included in the number of KRCC clients are this year's featured poster children: Christopher Watson, Hannah Noe, Jacob Booth, Alexander Clayton, Brooke Reed and Brayden Green.
"We've been known for so long as the cerebral palsy center," Michelle Fayette, KRCC executive director. "And I think people still say that even to this day."
When the Center opened it treated children with lifetime disabilities; now it can treat children within 12 to 24 months of therapy -- a focus of the Center, Fayette said.
"This can make a huge difference in their lives and their family's lives," Fayette said.
Fayette estimated about 75 percent of KRCC's past poster children have been discharged from the Center.
"We've addressed the issues, and the children have moved down the road and entered our society and workforce, and everybody benefits," Fayette said. Christopher Watson, the son of Angie Watson of East Prairie, was diagnosed with a traumatic brain injury as a result from being struck by a vehicle.
Currently Christopher receives occupational, speech and physical therapy services at the Center. Occupational therapy addresses his motor planning abilities, visual efficiency skills, body and safety awareness and activities of daily living, such as shoe tying, hand washing, etc., activities that will improve his overall balance and coordination.
Weight training, gate training on the treadmill and exercises in the "Spider Cage" are used to help strengthen Christopher's trunk and extremities. Speech therapy focuses on improving processing time, answering questions, following multi-step commands and age-appropriate academic/language tasks. Christopher also works on improving the strength of his diaphragm and respiratory support for improved coordination of speech.
"Christopher has made significant progress since being discharged from St. Louis Children's Hospital and beginning therapy at the Kenny Rogers Children's Center," his therapist said.
Hannah Noe receives both occupational and speech therapy at the Center for sensory integration dysfunction, social delays, visual insufficiency and language delays.
The daughter of Patty and Timothy Noe of Lilbourn, Hannah's occupational therapy focuses on improving Hannah's fine-motor skills and activities of daily living such as hair brushing, dressing, and teeth brushing. Hannah also works on social interaction with other children to allow her improved play skills with same-aged peers.
Speech therapy focuses on Hannah's expressive and receptive language delays. Sign language is used to facilitate communication between Hannah and her friends. Modeling of appropriate use of language by the speech therapist teaches Hannah to communicate her needs effectively.
"Hannah has made great gains since beginning therapy services with the Kenny Rogers Children's Center," her therapist said. "She is able to transition and interact with her peers at a level that allows her to participate in a typical school day."
Jacob Booth is diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome and has visual motor weakness. He is the son of Lori and Greg Booth of Dexter.
Jacob receives occupational therapy to work on his visual efficiency, motor-
planning, coordination, providing sensory input to his central nervous system to enable easier transition between tasks. Occupational therapy also enables him to be more functional in daily tasks with transitioning between activities and keeping himself organized.
"Jacob has continued to show improvement each year and therefore his therapy time is decreasing which is our goal," his therapist said.
For nearly three years, Jacob has been treated at the Center and is expected to be released within the next year.
One-year-year-old Alexander Clayton, 1, who has Down Syndrome, currently receives physical therapy to address his gross-motor delay.
The son of Angela and J.R. Clayton of Sikeston, Alex's therapy includes ball activities to increase the strength in his trunk and improve his overall balance and stability. Alexander has low muscle tone, and the therapy ball helps improve his tone. He is working on sitting, crawling and transitional movements that will prepare him for walking.
According to his therapist, Alexander is a very motor-driven child with tremendous family support, both of which facilitate Alexander's progress toward his therapy goals.
Brooke Reed is the daughter of Holly and Shawn Reed of Puxico. She has been diagnosed with verbal apraxia and autism, which require occupational and speech therapies at the Center.
Current occupational therapy goals include organizing Brooke's sensory systems, improving her overall motor planning, social skills and fine and visual motor skills. Occupational therapy works on providing her with appropriate sensory experiences to organize her body so she can efficiently make an adaptive response to her environment. Speech therapy addresses communication skills for the verbal apraxia.
Brooke's treatment activities include facilitation of motor planning, encouragement of age-appropriate vowel and consonant production and simple sign language in order to promote expressive communication.
Brayden Green, the son of Todd and Carrie Green of Sikeston, was diagnosed with left hemiparesis due to a brain injury before birth. Brayden is seen for occupational and physical therapy at the Center.
Occupational therapy addresses Brayden's fine motor skills for development of preschool activities such as cutting, writing and grasping. Physical therapy addresses activities that will improve strength, balance and coordination of his lower extremities.
Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation is used to strengthen the muscles in Brayden's arms and legs. This helps how he walks and runs and improves tasks of daily living.
Therapists also provide parent-education to maximize therapeutic outcomes.
"Brayden's prognosis is good as he suffers from mild left hemiparesis," his therapist said. "His dad's goal is that he will be able to play ball and be age-
appropriate with his peers."