Marian Hope Center adds new technology to help children who have special needs

INDEPENDENCE, Mo. - Delores Champ's grandson is an inquisitive 4-year-old. He's also working to overcome some challenges.

"He has apraxia which is in the autism spectrum. I think he was two when he was diagnosed," Champ said.

Champ said when Braden first started working with therapists at the Marian Hope Center, he could barely say five understandable words. He would hide, and he was afraid to be around other people.

"He has now been able to identify animals in his books; he can sing songs with TV shows, and movies that he likes. He can say his ABCs," she said.

This week, AT&T made a $5,000 donation toward technology at the center. The non-profit used the money to purchase iPads and tablets as learning tools for the kids.

Angie Knight, works for the center and said the technology gives children a voice.

"Everywhere from helping them with receptive language, and helping them understand and process, it's even very social. There are many games where you can start creating social relationships with other kids," Knight said.

Braden has added a new phrase to his vocabulary.

"The best part is when I see him, he'll say ‘Hi grandma!' And I can understand that. It just makes my heart jump for joy," Champ said.

For additional information on the Marian Hope Center and its services visit

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