In 1962, the first county day care program for “retarded” children was organized under the Charles County Handicapped and Retarded Citizens Association. In 1967, this program spun off to become separately incorporated as Spring Dell Center, Inc. As other local programs began serving the most capable segments of the county’s developmentally disabled citizens, Spring Dell made efforts to serve the segment of this population that required more specialized and intensive services.
As a result, the agency developed an expertise in using an interdisciplinary team approach and in developmental and behavioral programming. September 1975, marked the completion of the Radio Station Road facility, designed to meet the specific needs of the day program for children and adults with severe and multiple handicaps. Three years later, in 1978 and as a result of PL 92-142, the Charles County Public Schools began a program for all children, irrespective of handicapping conditions. Our 30 children were transferred to the appropriate school placements and Spring Dell began concentrating on vocational and prevocational training for adults.
Residential services began in 1980 with the acquisition of two wheelchair-accessible houses in St. Charles as part of the Southern Maryland Demonstration Project. This project was one of Maryland ’s first efforts to provide residential services to more challenging, severely and profoundly handicapped adults in the community, rather than an institution. Residential services are presently provided for over fifty people in twenty homes and apartments throughout the county.