The History of Boyer Children's Clinic

The agency was formed by a group of doctors, parents and volunteers. They began services in a one-room office in 1942. Enrollment swelled to 100 children, requiring a larger facility. Women volunteers formed Auxiliary units and incorporated as the Spastic Aid Council, Inc., in 1947 and operated the Spastic Children’s Clinic and Preschool. A down payment was made on the existing building at 1850 Boyer Avenue East, then owned by the Presbyterian Church. The Kiwanis stepped forward and performed the first of many generous deeds by providing $7,000 of the $8,000 purchase price. Several renovations were made over the years in order to make the facility suitable to the special needs of children with cerebral palsy.

The women’s volunteer groups grew dramatically in the fifties and sixties. At one time there were more than 900 women in the Spastic Auxiliary Units. They supported the agency through fund-raising events and initially provided administrative supervision. The Auxiliary was the chief support for Boyer until 1968 when the agency joined United Way and changed to a community Board of Directors. The agency had to seek other means for community support when Auxiliary groups dwindled as more women joined the work force.

In 1972, the Spastic Children’s Clinic and Preschool was renamed Children’s Clinic and Preschool. Later in 1986, the agency was reincorporated as Boyer Children’s Clinic.

Throughout its history, Boyer staff, Board, parents and volunteers have played active roles in establishing services in the community for children with cerebral palsy and other neuromuscular disorders. Boyer promoted acceptance of children with cerebral palsy into the public schools in the fifties. It has provided trained staff in outlying areas through its professional education program, which began in the late sixties. Boyer was one of two programs (the other a hospital) upon which the state modeled its Neuromuscular Center Program. In the late seventies, Boyer trained doctors to identify infants at an early age so they could receive the benefits of early intervention.

Since 1968, Boyer Children’s Clinic has had a major impact on the treatment of children with cerebral palsy in the United States. In that year, Boyer became a leading training center for the NeuroDevelopmental Treatment Method (NDT), a standard therapy method for children with cerebral palsy. More than 1,700 doctors, nurses, teachers, physical, occupational and speech therapists have come from 46 states, 6 Canadian provinces, Mexico, South Africa, Sweden, Puerto Rico, Belgium, India and New Zealand, to be trained in the NDT method. In the Northwest alone, students have come from 66 separate cities in Washington, 14 in Oregon, 5 in Alaska, 5 in Idaho, and 17 in British Columbia.

In August of 1991, the original building at 1850 Boyer Avenue East was demolished and a new building was constructed. During the year of construction, the program continued at a temporary site. In September 1992, the new facility was opened and an Open House was held on April 18, 1993.

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Boyer Children’s Clinic improves the quality of life of children with neuromuscular disorders or other developmental delays by providing the best solutions for each child and family.

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Are you concerned with a child's movement, play, language or feeding skills? Call our Intake Coordinator at 206-325-8477 or email us below. Anyone can refer a child to Boyer Children's Clinic.

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