Thank you, Pediatric Associates!

Thank you, Pediatric Associates!

The Kansas Children's Discovery Center received a generous donation from Pediatric Associates of Topeka this week. Topeka-based Pediatric Associates offers a full range of pediatric care including prenatal visits for expecting parents, well-child check-ups, immunizations, and sick appointments. The organization is a long-time supporter of the Discovery Center.

Pediatric Associates is committed to helping every child have access to play. Their gift supports two KCDC Cares programs: Puzzle Pieces and Medical Warriors. These programs remove barriers that prevent play at our children’s museum, helping the Discover Center serve as a community anchor where all families are celebrated.

Puzzle Pieces is a program for children who have autism spectrum disorders and their families. Children who have autism spectrum disorders need and enjoy play, but may find some kinds of play difficult. For these children, play is vitally important to learn social skills like communication, observation and imitation. Play also gives children a chance to practice using their muscles to perform tasks. On the second Sunday of each month from 11 to 1, the Discovery Center offers free admission to these families. Children play in a safe and understanding environment where the lights and sounds are kept low, a therapy dog and music therapist provide soothing interactions and fun activities are designed just for them. Pediatric Associates funds these special days for families.

Medical Warriors is a free program designed to allow medically fragile children or those battling life-limiting illnesses to come to the museum after-hours for a private play time. Children experience high-quality, hands-on learning experiences with their families, while avoiding the crowds that exist while the museum is open. Medically fragile children cannot play when the museum is open for a number of reasons. Many Medical Warriors have compromised immune systems. For these children, exposure to a simple cold virus poses significant danger. Their doctors usually recommend isolation from public places to prevent potentially deadly illness. Many Medical Warriors only see their homes and doctor’s offices, limited from the trips to playgrounds, parks, libraries, and other places that fill the days of childhood with play and wonder. Pediatric Associates funds Medical Warrior visits for families to help ensure all children can access the museum.

Thank you Dennis Cooley, MD, Eleni Grammatikopoulou, MD, Greggory Van Sickle, MD, Sara Nelson, MD, Tara Pridgett, MD, David Nichols, DO, Holly Serk, MD, Hannah Lauer, APRN, Krystal Brunin, APRN and the rest of the Pediatric Associates team for providing play experiences for every child.