Spotlight : Cheerful Helpers Child & Family Study Center
(At a recent alumni event, Arizona with Head of School, Ellen Pearlman)
Cheerful Helpers Child & Family Study Center changed my life. It is the single most important intervention that Arizona has had to date. The program is a DIAMOND in the rough and unfortunately, the best kept secret in Los Angeles. If every child could reap the benefits of this program, the world would be a much better place.
Arizona attended the therapeutic school at Cheerful Helpers for almost 2.5 years. It was here that she learned how to express herself, socially and emotionally. She was given access to an emotional vocabulary to learn how to “talk about it” instead of act it out. Instead of teaching kids to “behave” a certain way, Cheerful Helpers staff and faculty use a methodology that enables children to come up with ideas from the inside out.
Established in 1958, Cheerful Helpers provides services to families with young children, ages 2-8, who are having difficulties with social and emotional development, including delays in speech and language, sensory-integration, motor-planning, self-regulation and socialization.
The school program is 5 days a week, held in language-rich classes with a 1:2 staff to student ratio. The staff includes a dedicated multi-disciplinary team of special education teachers and therapists. All parents participate in family therapy, as well as a weekly parent support group. Cheerful Helpers remains the only program in the Los Angeles area that helps children with special needs by treating the entire family. The majority of families who attend receive funding.
Located near downtown Los Angeles, families come from all over town. When Arizona was attending Cheerful Helpers, we had a 45 minute commute both ways (without traffic). It was worth every minute.
I’d love to hear what some of your favorite therapies and interventions have been for your child. What made them successful, do you think? How did your child benefit from them? How did you?