Empowering People

With Developmental Needs

Welcome to Excentia

Excentia provides comprehensive services that are warm, caring and respectful. Services are available from childhood through adulthood and are utilized as needed. Excentia is recognized as a center of excellence for all services offered. With this commitment to excellence, we invite you to get involved and participate as an individual, a family member, or someone looking to make a real difference as a staff member, volunteer or supporter.

Here's How We Serve Our Community

Early Childhood

Excentia's S. June Smith Center provides therapeutic and educational services for children with developmental needs.

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Life Enrichment

Helping individuals achieve their highest potential through supportive social, recreational, educational and developmental activities.

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Residential

Providing a secure home environment, a sense of community and the means to discover a meaningful place in society.

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Community Matters

Our Excentia community creates a place for you to Live, Learn and Thrive.
Here you can browse articles across topics, conditions, and success stories.

Greystone Manor Therapeutic Riding Center

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Like nearly every pre-teen girl in the company of a horse, the young ladies riding around the ring are smiling and making an occasional sigh or giggle.  The two girls on this breezy May afternoon at Greystone Manor are not just there to assuage their overwhelming horse obsessions- as is often the case with girls.  These young ladies are receiving equine therapy with lead instructor, Karen Weber-Zug and four volunteers. [gallery link="none" ids="1567,1568,1569,1570,1571,1572,1573,1574,1575,1576,1577,1578,1579"] It is quite a ratio, two volunteers per girl and a teacher split between them.  Both of these riders are advanced and only require a leader and one side spotter.  For beginners, there would be a side spotter on both sides of the horse.  Bringing the ratio up to three dedicated volunteers per rider plus the instructor.  That may seem like a lot of manpower for a therapy session, but everyone involved will tell you that it is absolutely worth it.   Greystone Manor Therapeutic Riding Center on Hartman Station Rd is a lovely property and was once used by local riders to board show horses that were pampered and preened for Hunter-Jumper events and Steeple Chase.  These days the horses are much more laid back and docile.  The horses that Heather Mitterer, director of GMTRC, searches for are ones that can walk, trot, and canter but can also handle lots of human contact, loud noises, and the unpredictable movements that some of the riders may make during the therapy sessions.   Providing six six-week sessions every year from February through November is no small feat for this small non-profit group.  The company charges $350 for a rider to take part in a six-week session and many of the riders continue to come back session after session.  Heather has witnessed rider after rider find a deep sense of self-confidence through the therapeutic riding sessions.  Everything from better posture and muscle control to more intangibles like wearing brighter colors or a new bold hair style begins to manifest in the students.  This sentiment was echoed by one of the young rider’s mothers, “We don’t do any other therapy at this point, it is just the riding now.”   The young ladies couldn’t contain their smiles as they walked the horses back to the stables after a brief walk around the outside grounds.  As the Pennsylvania Department of Human Services rolls out a new service for Music, Art, & Equine Assisted Therapy on July 1, 2017, it is without question one of the highlights for those with disabilities in the Commonwealth.  The Equine Therapy can be provided to individuals of any age as it is not covered by Medical Assistance.  The state would cover about $40 per one hour session, so a total of around $240 towards the $350 fees that the Greystone Manor Therapeutic Riding Center charges for the six-week session.   If you are interested in adopting a horse (cover the cost of boarding, feed, and medical care), making a donation, or attending one of the GMTRC events, please go to www.greystonemanortrc.org for more information.  Excentia has several riders who frequent Greystone and ride in the annual horse show.  Excentia hopes to get even more of the people we support involved in the Equine Therapy programs at Greystone.  Join us in our excitement and support this valuable therapy.

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When is a Sock-Hop more than just a dance?

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Flashback to the 1950’s at a Sock-Hop.  “The Stroll” is playing and you grab your dance partner and line up across from them as the music fills your ears and the feeling of being part of something fills your entire being.  Your eyes are greeted with smiles and you hear giggling and chatting from all around you.  You are part of something wonderful, something enviable, something that tells your soul that everything is going to be alright and you are right where you are supposed to be. Two weeks ago, Excentia’s Sock-Hop event was thrown to create opportunities for increased socialization with peers for people living in the homes managed by Excentia.  It was a cookout and dance, to spend time getting to know others, and to dance the day away.  A chance to belong and make friends that will last a lifetime. You may have a family cookout, that you invite the people closest to you, it was like that only it was the Excentia RES family.  Finding ways to connect with each other is an important piece of socialization and a first step on the path to community integration. “The Sock-Hop theme was just for fun as we love to dress up and have a great time (the Halloween being one of our biggest events and the individuals loving to go shopping and get all dressed in costume).  Next year we are looking at having an event that invites family members of those we support as a way to build positive relationships with families and the company.” shared Anna Edling, Assistant Director of Residential Services. If you would like to learn more about Excentia’s Residential Services, please contact Anna Edling or June Johnston on our website. https://www.ourexcentia.org/about/#team-and-board

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The Slattery Home - Beyond Accessible

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The tale that brings Dr. Ed Slattery’s family to their current state of living- in one of the most amazing adaptive homes I’ve ever seen- is not an enviable one.  A horrific crash with a tractor trailer changed the landscape of their lives forever.  The response and actions that the family took to create an adaptive living space, is what is inspiring to those in the differently-abled community.  Whatever the circumstances are that led to a loved one inhabiting a wheelchair, this environment is undoubtedly the one that we would all choose to make the situation feel like less of a burden.  Knowing that a regularly designed home was not going to serve his family- an outpouring of creativity, circular thinking, and imagination blossomed just outside the metropolitan center of Baltimore.  The home that Dr. Ed Slattery helped to design and appoint features a myriad of both subtle and diverse adaptations to allow his son, Matthew, to live in a space that works for him and the chair he depends on for daily living.  Some of the features are specifically geared towards mobility ease for Matthew and some are to support the goal of a zero impact house. Before you reach the front door to the Slattery home, you encounter raised garden beds designed to allow Matthew to be able to comfortably reach the full planting space.  The beds are built from the same hardwoods that finish the exterior of the home.  Not only are they long-lasting and beautiful but also an esthetic choice that keeps the façade of the property tied to the beauty and functionality created by zero impact design. At the entrance to the home there are two uncommon features that are deeply enviable to any who regularly operate a wheelchair.  The inlaid “walk-off” carpeting feature that is located at both the exterior and the interior walkway at the front door allows for the benefits of a doormat without the hassles of a traditional rug that would bunch and shift as wheels run across the surface.  The exterior features a trough beneath that can be cleaned and the carpet area replaced as needed.  At all of the entrances to the home there are electronic buttons that open the door to allow for passage unencumbered by heavy doors. Once inside the home, which is oriented to best take advantage of the sun’s warming rays, you are further comforted by the radiant floor heat throughout the living space.  Railings in the corridors allow for stability if Matthew is venturing, sans chair, down any of the hallways.  When the home was built, the family was not sure what level of recovery he may achieve and what features would prove most important to his ultimate mobility. Pocket doors and sliding barn doors equip each doorway- allowing for ease of movement thru hallways and entrances to rooms.  The interior rooms that Matthew frequents are also equipped with electronic buttons that open and close the pocket doors. Another feature that has served the family well is the enlarged kick-plates that run the length of the hallways and the interiors of the rooms.  At 12 inches high, this feature keeps the wheelchair from unintentionally gouging the walls.  In every room there are cupboards that feature a cantilevered style which allows Matthew to roll in close enough to access the interiors completely.  This style of hanging cabinetry is found in the living room, kitchen, bathrooms, and Matthew’s bedroom. The kitchen is designed to allow for Matthew’s full access to all of the appliances.  There is a sink that is cantilevered replete with touch controls, a vertically adjustable cook-top fitted with a pot-filler, as well as a microwave oven situated below the oven for ease of reach.  The microwave also opens up/down rather than side-to-side which creates an intermediate landing for handling hot vessels.  The one kitchen appliance that does not live up to Slattery’s standards is the refrigerator.  The interior cavity, of all of the coolers they researched, is too deep to allow for access to anything but items in the very front of the shelves or on the doors. Dr. Ed Slattery works with local “hackers” to create better solutions to the difficulties of daily living for those who are wheelchair bound.  We fully expect one of his protégés to hack the refrigerator conundrum in the future. Half of the roof-scape of the Slattery home is planted with herbs that can be harvested easily from the pathway or by walking through the plantings.  The pathway leads to the observation tower which overlooks the back of the property, including fruit trees and gardens, and ultimately the skyline of Towson.   The interior of the three-story tower holds a unique chair lift that allows Matthew to use counter weights to pull himself, while seated, from the first story to the third.  It is a fully unique feature that demonstrates the delight the Slattery family finds in living within their environment. Everything about this residence is unique and it reflects the care and thoughtful nature that Dr. Slattery bestows upon his entire family and community.  

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Lexis joins Excentia

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My name is Lexis Lipko and I am currently a Junior at Millersville University located in Lancaster, PA. I am studying for a degree in Speech Communication with an option in Public Relations. At school I hold a few positions such as secretary/treasurer for Panhellenic Council and service and giving chair for my sorority, Alpha Sigma Alpha. I am interning with Excentia’s marketing team this summer and have happily taken on this blogging experience to connect our community to happenings going on within our wonderful organization. With that being said, I want to give you a little insight on what I do for Excentia’s S. June Smith Center when I’m at school and not in the office.     Summer vacation is all about relaxing but sorority philanthropy chairs all over the country are already getting their fall semester calendars together, because the work never truly stops. Planning and organization are two very important things to keep in mind when taking on such a large position in a chapter. I took on the position in December 2016 and thus far it has brought joy to my life, because I know with each fundraising event and time spent volunteering we are making a difference.   In my sorority, Alpha Sigma Alpha, the service and giving chair is in charge of organizing volunteer opportunities and fundraising events for chapter members. We are fortunate enough to have three philanthropic partners: Excentia’s S. June Smith Center, Girls On the Run and Special Olympics. In my chapter we tend to volunteer with Girls On the Run and Special Olympics the most then focus on raising money for Excentia’s S. June Smith Center. Having three philanthropic partners makes it easy to quickly add local events to the calendar, which can keep us involved with one or more of the organizations at least once a month.       One unique thing about my chapter in particular is that we are located in the same county as Excentia’s S.June Smith Center. Being so close allows my chapter to attend events such as the Extra Give phone-a-thon and Road Rally where money is raised and then distributed among Excentia’s many programs. It is also easy to set up restaurant nights and get the community involved because Excentia’s services affect individuals right here in Lancaster County. Other chapters around the country tend to have tabling events, restaurant nights and even purchase items such as toys off of the Amazon Smile account to show their support. Some of my favorite tabling events include having a simple bake sale or a Flocking table where pink feather pins are sold in support of Excentia’s S. June Smith Center.   Of course with every position or job there come mild frustrations and hiccups. I’m sure other service and giving chairs can relate to setting up an event and not having enough ladies willing to sign up for the cause or ladies saying they need to study. My biggest frustration though is deciding what I can do to raise the most money effectively. When I first got this position I told myself I wanted to raise the most money ever in a semester and I am well on my way to making that happen within my chapter.   Pictured: Alpha Sigma Alpha, EK at Extra Give 2016   Having the opportunity to serve my chapter and Excentia’s S. June Smith Center with this fundraising position has been hard but fun work. Each event we attend or that I come up with allows monetary funds to be raised for the advancement of learning and furthering the education and lives of many individuals.   For more information about Alpha Sigma Alpha sorority and Excentia’s S. June Smith Center head over to    www.ourexcentia.org.   Alpha Love and Mine, Lexis      

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