What is now a wooded lot full of trees will soon be transformed into a world class children's institute. Hamilton Medical Center will soon begin construction on the Anna Shaw Children's Institute.
Channel 3 spoke with Executive Director Terri Woodruff about how the center will treat children with all types of developmental delays.
Terri Woodruff says, "We will take care of children that may have any type of a physical delay such as cerebral palsy, children with down syndrome, we also take care of children that have autism."
Families will be able to receive a diagnosis, treatment, and much needed support all under one roof.
For parents of children with developmental delays, they say this center will make a big difference in their effort and struggle to find help and get treatment for their child.
Patti Arnold and Dwayne Smith are both parents of autistic children.
Patti Arnold says, "Some days it may be he's highly agitated, he doesn't want to speak, tell you he can't, he may sit for an hour or two and need nothing but silence."
Dwayne Smith says, "With it being right here in our home town, it's right across the bridge and you just can't beat that."
Statistics show that one in 64 children in Georgia have been diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder. One in eight has been diagnosed with ADHD, and 17 percent of children in the United States have been diagnosed with some type of developmental delay.
The children's institute will have a number of experts on staff.
Woodruff says, "We will also have physical therapist, occupational therapist and speech and feeding therapist will help these children."
The Anna Shaw Institute will be three stories, 5,000 square feet and have a tree house theme to be more inviting and comforting to the children and families they serve.
Arnold says, "So this center is going to be great for other families, so they don't have to go through what my family went through."
The groundbreaking is scheduled for November 16, 2017. The Anna Shaw Children's Institute is scheduled to open in early 2019. It will initially serve children up to age 11 and then hopefully expand.