Therapy and Wellness Connection is proud to provide support services and therapy to young adults and children with disabilities in Akron – the fifth-largest Ohio city – with a greater metro area home to a diverse population of more than 700,000.

Fun Fact: When Akron Public Schools were first founded in 1947, it cost just $2-a-year to educate a child. Of course, there’s no question that for children with disabilities, outcomes were markedly poorer – if they were even noted at all. That was 20 years before Down syndrome was formally identified and 50 years before the first occupational therapists and “speech correctionists” (pioneers of speech-language pathology) began organizing. ABA therapy, meanwhile, was still more than 120 years away.

Akron Pediatric Therapy for Kids with Disabilities: We’ve Come a Long Way

Sometimes as Akron speech therapists, occupational therapists, ABA specialists, physical therapists and educators, we ponder the fact that we still have so much farther to go in terms of understanding, inclusivity and acceptance for the populations we serve. Yet even just looking back 150 years, we see how far we’ve come – undoubtedly in ways that would have been unimaginable in 1850s America.

In some ways, it’s a good analogy for the way one might picture the arch of a person’s progress from early diagnosis of a disability to adulthood and the realization of their full potential.

It’s likely you’ve heard stories of doctors issuing near-hopeless prognoses for patients with autism spectrum disorder (i.e., they’ll never talk, they’ll never be capable of participating in mainstream schooling, they’ll always be dependent, they may never show affection, etc.). This is followed years later by “miraculous” stories of those very same individuals who grew up to defy the odds – and go on to achieve things considered incredible even by typically-developing standards, with careers are renowned doctors, lawyers, authors, motivational speakers, famous entertainers or tech company gurus.

To be sure, those stories are inspirational. But people with disabilities have ALWAYS been capable of so much more than what they were given credit. It just needed to be recognized and nurtured.

As it turns out: The ABLE matters more than the LABLE.

These days, our Akron pediatric therapists know doctors are more cautious in dictating long-term prognoses for some conditions (autism is a prime example). No two people with the same diagnosis will experience it exactly 100 percent the same way.

At Therapy and Wellness Connection, it’s not our job to tell a child what isn’t possible or what they can’t or shouldn’t try do. It’s to show them what they can, handing them the tools they need to pursue life without limitations.