4 ways Glenwood, Inc. makes a difference in Birmingham


Residential services at Glenwood, Inc.
Glenwood, Inc. has residential services that provide 24-hour residential care focused on each person’s unique needs. Photo courtesy of Glenwood. Inc.

Did you know that according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), 1 in 59 children will be diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), and up to 20 percent of school children will be diagnosed with mental health disorders? Those stats suggest it’s likely we all know someone affected by ASD or a behavioral or emotional disorder.

That’s where Birmingham’s Glenwood, Inc. comes in. Glenwood works hard to make sure children and adults impacted by ASD and children with severe emotional and behavioral disorders receive the treatment, education and services they need. Here’s how.

1. Glenwood has services for those with autism and children with severe behavioral and emotional disorders.

Glenwood Inc 2 4 ways Glenwood, Inc. makes a difference in Birmingham
Prom queen. Photo courtesy of Glenwood Inc.

Glenwood was founded in 1974 as a modest program in Birmingham serving 18 students with ASD and severe emotional disorders. Today, with a staff of over 350, Glenwood offers more than 20 programs serving over 18,000 families, most from the greater Birmingham area.

“The work we do is so rewarding. Whether it’s a young child learning to talk or communicate because of the help they receive from our therapists, or going bowling or enjoying music and refreshments with friends, it’s important. 

We offer evaluations, diagnosis, therapy, school and residential care, but what’s important is that all of these services result in the ability to live a full and meaningful life. Glenwood makes that possible.

Linda Baker, chief development officer, Glenwood, Inc.  

2. Glenwood offers early intervention.

Glenwood 5 4 ways Glenwood, Inc. makes a difference in Birmingham
Glenwood has programs focused on early intervention for children with ASD, which can make a difference for the rest of their lives. Photo courtesy of Glenwood, Inc.

One of Glenwood’s more recent programs focuses on young children (ages two to six years old) diagnosed with ASD. Research has shown that early intervention can greatly improve outcomes for those with ASD. 

It’s an intensive behavior therapy model that provides children with access to board-certified behavior therapists in a one-on-one setting up to 35 hours a week. These children receive individualized behavior therapy as well as speech and occupational therapy. 

“We started as Children’s Mental Health Services, and 46 years later we’re devoting a significant amount of resources to young children who need our care.” 

Ken Oliver, president & CEO, Glenwood Inc. 

In addition to their work with those who have ASD, Glenwood, Inc. also works with children with severe emotional and behavioral disorders. 

3. Glenwood provides more than 20 programs serving people with individualized care across Birmingham.

“Each child has an individualized treatment plan tailored specifically to their needs. In this way, children are seen as unique individuals with amazing potential to learn and grow, despite their autism diagnosis,” Dr. Mary-Kate Carey, director of Glenwood’s Children’s Center, explained. 

Programs include:

  • Outpatient and community services, including a location in Avondale (set to expand soon) that treats 20 children full or part-time and offers appointment-based evaluations, therapy and counseling for more than 700 annually.
  • Occupational therapy to aid in motor development and sensory functioning.
  • Speech-language therapy to treat communication deficits.
  • Crisis training for people to know how to respond to a behavioral issue

4. Glenwood supports both children and adults.

Screen Shot 2020 02 25 at 11.09.07 AM 4 ways Glenwood, Inc. makes a difference in Birmingham
The main campus of Glenwood, Inc. is located behind Liberty Park in Birmingham. Photo courtesy of Glenwood Inc.

Glenwood understands that children with autism become adults with autism. Care and services should not come with an age limit, which is why Glenwood offers day programs, residential programs and community support for adults with autism.

“We can serve a child as young as two years old with evaluations, and our oldest consumer is now in his mid-60s. There are others who serve those with autism, but Glenwood is unique in providing a continuum of care with services for every stage of life.” 

Linda Baker, chief development officer, Glenwood, Inc. 

ASD diagnosis or not, we all have many of the same goals in life—to pursue activities that interest us, maintain valuable relationships and live independently. Glenwood makes this possible for those who utilize their services. The organization’s multifaceted programs help adults live, work and learn in environments that are best suited for their individual needs.

If you’re interested in Glenwood’s services or programs, find out more:

To support Glenwood, Inc.:

Glenwood Inc 3 4 ways Glenwood, Inc. makes a difference in Birmingham
Good times at Glenwood. Photo courtesy of Glenwood, Inc. 

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Taylor Babington
Taylor Babington
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