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Norwalk's STAR Uses Grant To Fund Center For Children With Disabilities

David Van Buskirk, business development officer of First County Bank; Katie Banzhaf, executive director of STAR and Connie Spearman, assistant vice president and branch manager of the Westport Avenue branch of First County Bank. Photo Credit: Courtesy of STAR, Inc.
The Taylor children work on an iPad with Laurie Allan, social worker at the STAR Rubino Family Center. Photo Credit: Courtesy of STAR, Inc.

NORWALK, Conn. -- Norwalk-based STAR Inc. Lighting the Way received a $5,000 grant from First County Bank for its STAR Rubino Family Center, which serves infants and children with developmental disabilities and their families from New Canaan, Norwalk, Darien, Westport, Weston and Wilton.

The center, located at 120 East Ave. in Norwalk, offers early intervention services for 200 infants and toddlers with special needs from birth to age 3.

"We are thankful for years of continuous support from First County Bank," STAR Executive Director Katie Banzhaf said in a statement. "Their investment in our early intervention programs for children with developmental disabilities has helped us to sustain and enhance a state recognized program of success and to provide our local Fairfield County families with the confidence and proven methods to meet the challenges of their children’s developmental needs."

The STAR Rubino Family Center program uses an interdisciplinary approach that includes: evaluation and assessment, speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, individualized educational and behavioral services, social work services, individual and family counseling, parent support groups, parent-to-parent networking, home program coordination and provision, coordination of transition to public school services, in-home respite services, referral, translation services, liaison with medical community, school advocacy, toy lending library, video and book lending library, online family resource directory, toy and assistive technology assessment, according to the organization's website.

Current data indicates that a third of the children served by the program leave at or before the age of 3 having met their developmental milestones and with no need for further special education services.

For more information about STAR’s Rubino Family Center and its birth to three early intervention programs, call Barbara Fitzpatrick at 203-855-0634 or visit the organization's website .

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