The Wiley Center for Speech and Language Development was established in 1985 initially to provide direct services and support to children at-risk for developmental delays. Since its inception it has provided center based early intervention services for hundreds of at-risk infants and toddlers 18 mos.-3 years of age in a small home like environment located in Lawndale, California.
Through the years our mission has evolved in response to changes observed in our community. During the early 1990’s, the Wiley Center began to receive an increasing number of children born prenatally exposed to drugs and alcohol and struggling from the effects of abandonment, neglect and abuse. These children were raised by grand and great grandparent caregivers, many of whom lived at or below the poverty level.
In 1996, the Wiley Center hosted it’s first luncheon to honor and recognize these selfless individuals. Our event gained city wide attention and garnered the support of our political leaders, the business community as well as celebrities. Our honorees came from throughout L.A. county. It became our signature event.
After 16 years the decision was made to focus our efforts on children with ASD as they represented the largest population we serve. We realized that many of our children were from low and middle income (LMI) families with limited access to some of the services required to address their needs.
Our fundraising efforts provide scholarships and support for LMI children to participate in our weekly social skills training program and our most popular program for children 3-16 years of age: Say N’ Play Speech Camp as well as Drama Kings and Queens theatre program. Additionally we provide on-going advocacy training and support to families regardless of income through our newly opened Joyce A. Livingston Family Resource Center.
Our agency is a safety net for children with special needs and their families.