3FROM THE PRESIDENTTo our Heartspring supporters,As I sit here in China, I reflect upon the countless parents of children with autism and various disabilities I’ve met during my trip. The financial burden they face is incredible; a recent report from China shows that 46.5 percent of parents sampled spent more than half of their income on services for their children with autism. I think about their stories of hopelessness and their feelings of loneliness—when they didn’t believe anyone could help their child. And then I think about their faces, when they attend our conferences and speak with us. Their desperation turns into hope when they finally see what could be. I see the growing passion of the developing programs and the success of our sister program, the Stars and Rain Education Institute for Autism, and their constant urge to learn. After five inspiring trips to China, I am humbled by the tremendous amount of progress the country has made in its support of children with special needs.I cannot help but feel grateful for our own programs at Heartspring. We often forget how lucky we are to be able to provide everything our children need under one roof. From intensive therapy to medical attention, Heartspring offers comprehensive care. Our services have grown as well, with efforts to travel farther into the local community. Our Community of Autism Research and Education (CARE) Program and Pediatric Services specialists visit clients within their homes, providing consultation services and therapy in the child’s normal setting. These expenses may prove costly, but our specialists do it because the children need it. Similar to the Chinese families, our own local families may be pressured with expensive treatment costs. Our financial aid program may often cover some of the costs of these sessions, so it is through your donations and endless support that these efforts are possible. Last year, Heartspring’s financial assistance fund provided $412,000 to families within Kansas. And as the number of children diagnosed with autism and related disorders increases, we are exponentially needing to raise the amount of donor support to continue our efforts in maintaining affordable therapies for children in need. Now, more than ever, we need your help to provide the highest quality of care for the children we serve. At Heartspring, we’re constantly working to improve the quality of our services. It’s an exciting time for us, as we forge a new path technologically that will significantly improve our ability to diagnose and treat our children in a timely manner. Our new mobile iPod application has completely eliminated the need for hand-written data collection. What previously took several weeks to count tallies and enter into our system, now takes seconds. All of the information our staff needs about our students—meal plans, schedules, behaviors, diagnoses, and medicine—is stored within a database. When a child has a behavior, our staff can quickly tap a button on their iPods. The information is immediately sent to our database where each child’s team of teachers, therapists and psychologists can analyze the data and make any changes to the child’s treatment plan. With this new system, decisions are made quicker, data is more reliable, and our staff can provide better programming to our students. You will see much more on this project in the coming months. I want to thank our donors, staff members and the surrounding community for the continued support of Heartspring. Because of you, the children with special needs that walk through our doors have the opportunity to achieve greater independence. Gary W. Singleton, Ph.D.Dr. Gary W. Singleton, President & CEO3
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