Center in Oklahoma City, OK 73114
12201 N. Western
Oklahoma City, OK 73114
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Special CARE opened its doors in 1985 to provide specialized direct care, education, and therapy services to children with and without special needs. At the time, there was not another day care or after school program in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area designed to meet the needs of children with special needs and the needs of their parents. In fact, the Executive Director and co-founder of Special CARE, Pam Newby, was inspired to establish Special Care because her own daughter, at the time facing childhood leukemia, did not have a school she could continue to attend. The school she had been attending said the family had to leave because of other parents’ fears that somehow Amanda’s illness might be contagious.
Newby, along with co-founder Joe Dan Trigg, established Special CARE to include children and families who have enormous, overwhelming challenges to face but who also deserve the same opportunities as typically developing children and their families. Special CARE continues to be the only inclusive program of its kind in the Oklahoma City metropolitan area. Located at Sunset Elementary School (above) until 2002, when changes in the Oklahoma City Public School System required relocation, Special CARE now has a facility designed specifically for children of all abilities.
Since opening our doors, Special CARE has served approximately 6,000 children through our direct care programs. Counting family members who benefit from Special CAREs services, we have served approximately 17, 000 Oklahomans (parents and siblings). Between 400-500 high school, college, and community volunteers contribute their time and energy to Special Care each year. Through our outreach training programs we have trained over 5,000 childcare professionals from Oklahoma and surrounding states in the skills of caring for children with special needs. Indirectly, Special CARE impacts all children who interact with these professionals.
Child care professionals from across the country tour our facility and spend time with our staff, teachers, and children—learning firsthand that children with and without disabilities develop to their full potential and have higher self-esteem when they learn alongside one another rather than in separate educational and social environments.
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