Ever since she met a child with a brain condition called hydrocephalus while on a mission trip to Puerto Rico in high school, Jennifer Dantzler has remained dedicated to serving children with special needs.
This dedication inspired Dantzler to open the nonprofit organization Including Kids, which helps children, young adults and families who are affected by autism and other developmental delays.
Including Kids, or InKids, was founded in April 2003 and opened its Humble campus on Timber Forest Drive last July. Before the center was built, the nonprofit had been renting a smaller building in Humble, Dantzler said.
The purpose of InKids is to provide educational and therapeutic instruction using the principles of applied behavior analysis, according to the nonprofit group’s website.
Dantzler said her top priorities are to meet the needs of the autism community and ensuring quality care.
“One in 68 people in the U.S. are affected by autism,” Dantzler said. “This is something our entire community has to embrace.”
By community, Dantzler said she envisions not only schools and the workplace, but also the everyday places for errands and services, such as the barbershop, the doctor’s office or the grocery store.
Making these businesses more accessible to an autistic child might include barbers or dentists taking time during appointments to help children become familiar with the equipment used or breaking down the task into smaller steps, she said.
Since its founding, InKids has served at least 900 families from 13 counties in the Greater Houston area. Its part-time program, known as focused intervention, can range from one to four hours per week. InKids offers lunch-and-learn education sessions, free workshops on Saturdays and free parents’ night out events.
Article Written by Kathleen Sison
Including Kids Inc.
18401 Timber Forest Drive, Humble
Hours: Mon.-Fri. 8 a.m.–4 p.m., Closed Saturdays and Sundays