EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

Opinion

June 12, 2013

What the Professional Center for Childhood Development has meant for one family

To the editor:

I would like to invite your readers to pause for a moment and reflect on the excellent work of the Professional Center for Child Development of Andover, which is celebrating 40 years of service to our community. My family was a recipient of the center’s encouragement and support, and our story highlights much of the value of their contribution to us all.

Ten years ago when my son Davis was born, our family was devastated by the news that he was born with Down syndrome. We had no ties to anyone with special needs generally and, more specifically, knew no one with Down syndrome. Out of our own ignorance, we jumped to many wrong conclusions about what the lives of children with special needs were like. We had little hope for a bright future.

When Davis was 8 weeks old I found the PCCD and the staff instantly settled us in, both in terms of providing early therapeutic services to strengthen Davis’s body and in terms of providing support groups and a welcoming community to strengthen our family’s soul.

After four decades of working with families like ours — receiving us in our isolated downheartedness in the early days and returning us to our neighborhood and school communities with confidence — the positive impact of PCCD can’t be overestimated. The staff members are among our community’s true heroes, and I hope the occasion of this 40th anniversary will be celebrated throughout the Merrimack Valley.

Sharon Randall

North Andover

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