Harwood Center celebrates 50 years of service

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC-TV) - The Harwood Center is celebrating a milestone this year with it's 50th anniversary, but despite five decades of service, many people do not even know what they do.

Dylan Studard is one of the Harwood Center's success stories. The three-year-old autistic child is upbeat now. But his mother, Jamie Studard, said when her son first started at the center back March, he was moody, non verbal, and did not associate much with other kids.
"Now he's very verbal. He's totally able to tell us what he wants or to express what his wants are," mother Jamie Studard said.

For more than 50 years the Harwood Center has been making success stories out of children with developmental disabilities.
"We see a lot of progress. Of course, each case is individual, but if we can get the children in early and get them the services that they need, many times they will not need special education later on in life," executive director Nan Miller said.

The Harwood Center focuses on giving early education training to children with autism and other conditions. And while the center has helped a lot of youngsters, officials said there are many more who are not getting help.

"Two out of three children is Shelby County with disabilities are not being served. So our goal is to get out into the community and let them know that we're here. To help those children so they can get the services that they need," Miller said.

The Center has two locations right now, but officials hope to expand and give more children the training that Dylan is getting.

Click here to visit the center's website.

Click here to e-mail Ben Watson.