Since 1953, the Potential Development Program Inc. has been providing services to children in our community with developmental delays. Under the leadership of Ms. Christine Kline, the Agency was originally incorporated as the United Cerebral Palsy Association.
Striving to accommodate the changing needs of the community, the Agency underwent a shift in focus. Since the need to provide services to children with cerebral palsy and physical disabilties was diminishing, the Agency began to focus on helping children with developmental delays, particularly speech and language delays, and children with challenging behaviors. In 1976 the Agency was reincorporated and renamed “Potential Development Program Inc.” to better define the the current programs and services.
In the early 1990's the Potential Development Program staff once again redefined their services to meet the sharp increase in requests for services for children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. Staff members received extensive training in how to work with these children and the Agency quickly became a leader in the education of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder.
In January 2000, PD’s Place was established to address a community need that became present in Trumbull County. PD’s Place is a preschool program, housed in the Children's Rehabilitiation Center, that serves children with autism and with severe communication delays.
In September 2001, the Potential Development Program expanded their services to include a non-public chartered school which is dedicated to serving children with autism in grades kindergarten through eight. By working with children from preschool and into their grade school years helps to insure a smooth tranistion into their local school district when the parent feels it is appropriate.
Most recently, after a year-long strategic planning process, Potential Development updated their mission statement to reflect the current programs and services and it states:
“Our mission is to provide children with autism and special needs a safe, structured educational environment with caring, supportive services that give our students the necessary skills and independence to lead a productive life.”
The Board of Directors of the Potential Development Program continually monitor the performance of existing programs and look for ways to address unmet community needs while remaining committed to the Agency's core values:
“We believe a child's potential develops best in a structured environment.”
"We believe all children should be treated with equality and should be given an equal opportunity to learn."
"We believe in a strong partnership between our Parents, Caregivers and Staff."
"We believe in developmentally appropriate educational, social and self-help skills that lead to a child's overall development."