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Dynamic Chiropractic – January 14, 1994, Vol. 12, Issue 02

Kentuckiana: Helping Children with Special Needs

By Editorial Staff
Editor's Note: We're pleased to present this year a new column from the people at the Kentuckiana Children's Center, a nonprofit charitable organization, primarily a chiropractic clinic and school. Kentuckiana was founded by Palmer graduate Lorraine Golden, DC. Dr. Golden is the Center's executive administrator.


It's a typical Monday at Kentuckiana Children's Center. Forty-eight special needs children are brought in by the Center's buses or their parents at 8 a.m. to have hot breakfast, then attend classes at Kentuckiana's special education school. All of these children are seen regularly in the clinic.

At 9 a.m., the clinic staff are waiting for Dr. Joan Partridge, director of health services, to begin their weekly staff meeting. She walks in 10 minutes late, apologizing and explaining that she was called to the school to handle two behavioral problems.

She begins by asking Carrie, a part-time clinic worker, to give a report of Dr. Barnes' recent visit to Holy Cross High School, where Carrie attends school. Dr. Tracy Barnes, the Center's resident doctor, spoke at career day about the profession of chiropractic. Carrie says that student response was enthusiastic.

Dr. Barnes mentions that she is driving to Atlanta for a conference on "validating chiropractic." Research has long been a concern of the Kentuckiana Children's Center, and with 37 years of meticulously kept records on treatment of thousands of special needs children, the Center is ready.

Then it's on to the week's schedule. Mark Keele, DC, Kentuckiana's newest volunteer, is asked if he is having any problems with the children he is seeing. Many of the children have severe behavior problems in addition to structural, nutritional, and other disorders, and can be difficult to deal with. He laughs and answers that they are on their best behavior when they see him.

Dr. Partridge mentions one of the patients who is coming in for an adjustment also needs counseling. Aryn Meyer, the Center's social worker and counselor, says she is limited to seeing five children a day because of the complexity of their problems.

Several particularly complex cases are coming in this week, in addition to the usual behavior problems, learning disorders, cerebral palsy, and other multiple disorders. This week's calendar includes:

  • an eight-year-old boy with cerebral palsy who is nonverbal, nonambulatory, and has a shunt for hydrocephalis;


  • a 13-year-old boy who has asked his mother to bring him back to the Center. He is being seen by a neurologist for migraine headaches, but says that chiropractic adjustments have helped more;


  • a 15-year-old girl with Rubenstein-Tabia syndrome,hyperactivity, and problems with developmental delay;


  • a six-year-old boy who is severely autistic, with motor control difficulties, hypersensory sensitivities, and developmental delay;


  • an 11-year-old boy with sudden violent outbursts, short attention span and headaches;


  • a two-year-old girl with neurofibromatosis;


  • a 13-year-old boy who is in remission from neuroblastoma, who has sleeping difficulties, headaches, and scoliosis.

Kentuckiana Children's Center has been treating children with special needs since 1957. Back in 1954, Dr. Golden saw the need nationwide for children with multiple handicaps to receive chiropractic care, and began to organize local DCs and lay people to open a clinic that would provide free care to these children, most of whom come from families that are already financially exhausted.

Today, Kentuckiana operates with 38 full-time employees in the clinic, school, and business office. It serves over 350 special needs children per year in its out-patient clinic and still charges no fees. Currently 65 more children are waiting to be seen.

Dr. Golden's objective has always been to provide special needs children with the health care and special education opportunities that they need to become as healthy, happy, and productive as possible. This goal has been realized through the Center's concept of bringing all healing arts together, with chiropractic as primary care and all disciplines working together for the good of the child.

With a committed, loyal staff, and an 18-member volunteer board of directors, Kentuckian Children's Center is well prepared to continue its mission of serving the profession and special needs children far into the future. Plans for a new facility and expanded programs are in place. The board of directors and staff are all very enthusiastic about the future of Kentuckiana Children's Center.

Monica (One of Many)

Monica was seven-years-old when admitted for clinic care. Her seizures began when she was four. She had chronic ear infections since she was four-months-old, was treated with medication, and had three sets of tubes inserted in her ears. She also received allergy shots. Her grand mal seizures were controlled with Tegretol and Depakote. However she continued having "complex partial seizures." The Center staff found toxic mineral levels and spinal subluxations.

Monica is now nine-years-old. Her complex partial seizures have been reduced in frequency with spinal adjustments and nutritional supplements. Her mother reports that recently she went five weeks without any seizure activity at all, which is the longest period of time that Monica has been seizure free since the age of four.

Monica is a sweet, loving child who often walks into the clinic in a daze, unresponsive and distant. But after an adjustment, she becomes bright and cheerful, and runs into the business office to give hugs to all the staff.

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