Mission: To provide access to therapy services for children with developmental delays in Kansas City.
Vision: All children in Kansas City with a developmental delay receive the therapy services they need to reach their fullest potential.
The Aidan Project, an IRS 501(c)(3) organization, is a resource center for families of children with developmental delays. Our primary function is to connect families whose children do not qualify for state-funded early intervention therapy
services with alternative sources for early intervention. The Aidan Project also uses donations for a scholarship fund to help families offset the costs of private therapy services. Click HERE for details on specific programs.
Our vision is that all children with developmental delays in the Kansas City area receive the therapy services they need to achieve their maximum potential. As we refer more families of children with developmental delays to therapy clinics in the area, we will connect more kids with therapy and, ultimately, make them more productive members of our society.
Early intervention is proven to have a more significant impact on the lives of children with developmental delays. As we connect more young children with critical early intervention, less therapy will be required later in children's lives and will free up resources in school systems allowing them to serve more children in need.
The Aidan Project was established by Mitch & Sarah Kelly, the parents of a child, Aidan, with developmental delays who never qualified for state-funded early intervention services.
Here is their story:
After going through the state’s evaluation process we were left feeling as though Aidan required no additional therapy or intervention; however, we later learned otherwise. We were fortunate to have support and insight from family working in pediatric intervention who pressed us to pursue further evaluation. Because of this, Aidan began receiving private early intervention therapy services starting at 18 months of age. This early intervention would prove to be very effective, and much needed seeing as he received an autism diagnosis at the age of 3.
Aidan had a jump start on most children that receive a diagnosis at age 3, with nearly two years of therapy already under his belt. This head start facilitated his development, and allowed him to complete Pre-Kindergarten in a typically developing class room and proceed on to Kindergarten with his peers.
Not only did Aidan benefit from this therapy, but we did as well. With the help of Aidan’s therapists, we have gained a better understanding of how Aidan’s brain works and how to help him with everyday situations in the home both before his autism diagnosis and after.
After reflecting on our journey, we saw how easily Aidan could have slipped through the cracks. We started The Aidan Project to help families in Kansas City that are turned away from state services to navigate the unmapped road that they face so their children can reach their maximum potential.
Board of Directors
Mitch Kelly, President
Mitch has firsthand experience with the process of seeking evaluation and therapy services for his son with autism. He has a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Saint Louis University, and has experience working in project management and small business management/ownership. Mitch is currently part owner of a locally owned business, Kelly’s Westport Inn.
Kaitlin Holt, Vice President
Kaitlin is a Kansas, Missouri and American Speech-Language and Hearing Association Licensed Speech-Language Pathologist; she will serve as Board Vice President. She earned her undergraduate degree from Arizona State University in Speech and Hearing Science. She then received her Master’s degree in Communication Sciences Disorders from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri. Kaitlin has experience working in elementary schools where she treated children ages 3-12 with various speech and language disorders. In addition, she has had experience in preschools, hospitals, behavioral schools, home therapy and private practice. Kaitlin also did a practicum with Missouri First Steps while she was working on her Master’s degree providing her with firsthand experience with the evaluation and intervention process conducted through First Steps and helped her understand the importance of early intervention.
Sarah Kelly, Treasurer
Sarah has been through the process of recognizing a developmental delay and the long, sometimes painful process of trying to get help for her child but not knowing what to do after being turned away from state organizations. Sarah earned her undergraduate degree in Accounting and Marketing from Saint Louis University and a Master’s degree in Integrated Marketing Communications from the University of Kansas. She has worked in sales and marketing analytics for more than ten years.
Andy Price, Secretary
Andy grew up in St. Louis but has been a Kansas City resident for over 15 years. He has been a long time supporter of The Aidan Project through volunteer and fundraising efforts. Andy has BS in Mechanical Engineering from Mizzou and has worked for Trane in a sales role since he graduated. Andy has recently coached volleyball at Rockhurst High School.
Sara Hackett, Board Member
Sara has experience with evaluations, finding services, and parenting a child on the spectrum. Sara has fifteen years of experience in nonprofit development and fundraising. She has a BS in International Business and Operations Management from Penn State University. Sara also holds a Fundraising Certificate from UCLA and her Certified Fundraising Executive Certificate, CFRE. Sara currently works for the Patterson Family Foundation.
Sarah Cathey, Board Member
Sarah grew up in St. Louis but has lived in Kansas City for almost 14 years. She received her Bachelor of Business Administration degree in finance from the University of Missouri-Columbia. Sarah is an Institutional Advisor for CAPTRUST, specializing in defined contribution retirement plans. Sarah and her husband, Jeff, have supported The Aidan Project's fundraising efforts for several years.