Middlesex Health Now Offers Developmental Services for Children

November 22, 2022

Despite his success on the golf course, pro golfer Billy Mayfair has struggled to fit in the world.

In 2021, Mayfair shared with Sports Illustrated details of his struggles and opened up about his medical diagnosis. He was over 50 when he learned he was on the autism spectrum, and he said he was relieved when he heard the news. Now, he knew the reason why he often felt like he didn’t fit in. 

“Look at what I’ve done in my career,” he told Sports Illustrated. “Not only am I a very good athlete, I’m also a good husband. I have a great wife. I’m happily married. I have a wonderful son. I have lived, and I am living, the dream life. And just because I have this disability doesn’t mean that I can’t have that.”

Developmental disorders can impact anyone regardless of ethnicity or socioeconomic status. While Mayfair wasn’t diagnosed until after age 50, there are many children who are on the autism spectrum or have another developmental disability who need help and would benefit from earlier intervention, such as physical therapy or occupational therapy. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that one in six children are diagnosed with a developmental disability and approximately 1 in 44 children in the United States are diagnosed with autism. 

This is where Middlesex Health can help. 

Middlesex Health recently opened The Mayer Center, a center that provides developmental services to children and adolescents with developmental challenges, such as autism, sensory processing disorder, speech disorders and cerebral palsy — all at one location. This new, 3,100 square-foot center is located in renovated space at Middlesex Health’s Essex Medical Building, 252 Westbrook Road in Essex, and it includes a sensory gym, private treatment spaces and group therapy space.

The Mayer Center provides a comprehensive approach to care. Services include applied behavioral analysis and treatment, speech and language pathology, physical therapy and occupational therapy services.

Prior to opening The Mayer Center, Middlesex Health referred most children who needed these services to other organizations. This often resulted in families experiencing long wait times, incurring travel expenses and having to make appointments at numerous facilities throughout the state.

The Mayer Center is named in recognition of Sally and George Mayer, of Essex, and their generous donation to the project’s capital fundraising campaign, a campaign to help and build the new center.

“The Mayer Center gives families the chance to get care close to home, easing the challenges they face,” says Annie Calamari, a licensed clinical social worker who serves as manager of Middlesex Health’s outpatient child and adolescent services.  

Middlesex Health’s new center focuses on the unique needs of children with developmental challenges in order to maximize their abilities so they can succeed in life.

“There are many children who could benefit from the developmental services we provide,” says Brian Taber, director of Physical Rehabilitation at Middlesex Health. “Early intervention is very important and may help improve brain development, learning, mobility, communication and social skills. I am pleased that we are able to help our community in this way.”

To learn more about The Mayer Center and how you can help, visit MiddlesexHealth.org/MayerCenter

Did you know?

Golf is a sport that can be played by people of all ages and abilities. At some courses, golfers who have disabilities can play equitably with able-bodied golfers or golfers with other types of disabilities. Specific requirements for golf course accessibility are outlined in the Americans with Disabilities Act. 

In addition, the National Alliance for Accessible Golf works to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to play golf. Golf is even part of the Special Olympics!

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