The Franklin County Area United Way supports 13 agencies and programs that provide services for children. Some of them, such as Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, 4-H, the Summer Reading Program and others, offer character-building, life-enhancing programs that equip children to grow into healthy, productive, altruistic adults. Others, such as Children's Advocacy Center, Buddies Not Bullies, and CASA, fulfill a different purpose - they help the children who haven't been blessed with "normal" childhoods to develop to their fullest potential. A "normal" childhood is one in which a child goes through the developmental stages in predictable time periods and doesn't encounter any major traumas such as sexual or physical abuse, a major illness, or a significant loss along the way.
Gateway Education and Therapy is an amazing agency that serves children with developmental challenges. At Gateway, children with Down's syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy and other conditions that cause developmental delays are able to receive much-needed therapy to learn skills that enable them to experience greater success in school and in life. While children with developmental challenges may qualify for special services through their schools, often families need support to address the challenges their children face outside of the school environment. Gateway Education and Therapy fills in the gaps for kids who need help, but don't qualify for school services. They also provide supplemental therapy to those who do qualify for therapy, but need more than the schools have time and resources to provide.
Gateway offers a variety of therapies to meet a wide range of needs, including Applied Behavior Analysis Therapy, which incorporates behavior, language, and even food therapy when needed, because often children with challenges also have severe food aversions. Other therapies offered at Gateway include speech and language therapy, social skills classes, activity classes for sensory-seeking children, tutoring, and several different art classes including pottery and acrylic painting.
"At Gateway we are able to make therapy accessible and affordable for kiddos in the Franklin County area. Without Gateway offering these therapies and classes, the many families Gateway serves would have to drive 60 miles to St. Louis - or go without." Kim Helm, Executive Director.
Gateway Education and Therapy is dedicated to competently and compassionately helping kids reach their full potential, whatever that potential may be, and making it affordable for families. While Gateway strives to keep their fee schedule modest, it is still difficult, if not impossible, for some families to afford the extra help their developmentally challenged child needs. Funding from Franklin County Area United Way makes it possible for Gateway to offer a scholarship program to provide financial assistance when needed.
Gateway Education and Therapy is an organization that Franklin County Area United Way is proud to sponsor. Their passion for improving children's lives matches the passion of United Way to improve lives in every sector of the Franklin County area. We strive to strengthen families, assist the elderly and disabled, provide emergency services, and protect and nurture children, so that they can grow into adults who will take on the responsibility of building better communities in the future.