Hidden Potentials is a 9 year old non-profit organization which believes that “every child deserves a fighting chance”. Their motto is the drive behind their program which offers specialized in-home tutoring services to special needs and regular education students.
Founded because of the need of her son, Tristan, Kathy Clinton discovered very soon after his diagnosis of autism that she needed help and she needed it fast! Kathy worked full time at the space center and she and her husband had just been blessed with their second child. Tristan was 3 at the time and totally out of control. He had lost all verbal language and his behaviors made it impossible for the family to go anywhere outside the home.
To say that she needed a “team” was an understatement. She felt like she needed an army to get her through this difficult time. At that time (9 years ago), there were resources through the school system and a few private agencies and that was about it. She enrolled Tristan in a special class in the school system and set out to get him individual help in her home. This help and the progress Tristan made led the way to filling a need in our community which is, Hidden Potentials.
The team approach used by Hidden Potentials staff involves each child’s teachers, therapists, parents, doctors and extended family. This approach makes it imperative that all work to meet the needs of the “whole child”, not just the child at home or just the child at school, but rather, the child in every environment. f
Children in the Hidden Potentials program are not only taught academic skills, but they are also taught important social, organizational, focusing and behavioral skills which will allow them to be included in all aspects of a community.
Successes include non-verbal children with autism learning to use pictures to communicate rather than throwing themselves on the floor until their parent guesses what they want. Children with learning disabilities are learning that reading is not as hard as they once thought and they are participating in casual reading at home for enjoyment. The middle-school student who has Asperger’s syndrome finally went to a dance at the local rec center instead of just standing in the parking lot as he did the previous two years.
These successes are thanks to the teamwork of all individuals associated with the children who work together to make the program effective. It really does take a village to raise a child and each and every one of them deserves “a fighting chance.”
Super Stars Camp will be offered for students (K-6th) and their siblings by Hidden Potentials at The Children’s Center in Titusville. This camp will give working parents of special needs children a fun alternative to day care during the month of July when children are not in school. If you would like to make a tax deductible donation toward a scholarship for a child for this camp, contact the Hidden Potentials office.
April is Autism Awareness Month as resolved by the Brevard County Commissioners. Our website has valuable links so that you can be informed about this disease which affects 1 in 166 individuals.
Visit: www.nbbd.com/hiddenpotentials and contact Kathy Clinton at (321) 267-6318 for information.