by Frank MacEachern

Photo: Keelin Daly/Contributed

STAMFORD, Conn., -- Greenwich-based Abilis has expanded its work by opening a new Stamford office that will offer services for people of all ages with developmental disabilities.

Abilis, which was founded in 1951, helps people with developmental disabilities to lead full and active lives. The newly opened Therapy Center at Abilis will fill a gap for many people, said Dennis W. Perry, the organization's President and CEO.


"What we are trying to do is to be a lifespan supporter to these families and to their loved ones, providing them with services" they need, he said. "Families need continuous support and what we are doing is offering continuity of care beyond the Birth-to-Three Program."

The organization offers the state-funded Birth-to-Three program, but continuing to find services for youngsters after that can be difficult for many families, he said. Perry stressed that it's a private therapy center and that Abilis hopes to provide funding for the organization's programs.

During a tour of the facility at at 1150 Summer St., Perry showed off the different rooms, including one for occupational therapy and one with a one-way window where parents can watch their children when they are with therapists without their children seeing them.

The rooms are "kid friendly," and Perry said that enables children to relax and play in the hope of getting them to open up.

"You want them in an environment where they can play and through play they can begin to articulate what otherwise they may not be able to say," Perry said.

The Therapy Center at Abilis offers a range of therapeutic services for individuals of all ages to address communication, social, sensory, physical and cognitive challenges, as well as behavioral issues that hurt family dynamics and community inclusion.

The therapists assess the needs of each individual and work with families, caregivers, educators, and allied professionals to create personalized plans with specific goals and objectives.

Abilis therapists tailor plans to the specific needs of the individuals.

Its services cover the lifespan of an individual, including employment services, residential services, transitions at critical points in life such as graduation and more. The Therapy Center at Abilis will add even more depth to the system of supports, Perry said.