Joshua Center for Neurological Disorders
400 E. Bannister Road, Suite A
Kansas City MO 64131

Web and Phone Contact
Telephone (816) 763-7605
Fax 816- 763-1802
Mission Statement
The Joshua Center for Neurological Disorders provides programs designed to improve the lives of individuals and families living with Tourette, High Functioning Autism, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and ADHD through clinical, education, social and research programs. 
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Sarah Oliver
Board Chair Mr. Marty Walter
Board Chair Company Affiliation Central States Telecom
History and Background
Year of Incorporation 1997
Former Names
Joshua Child and Family Development Center
Volunteer Opportunities
Ways to donate, support, or volunteer

Donors may donate on our website, send a check and donate to the Camps for Kids Campaign on our website. We appreciate any donations to offer social skills and camp scholarships.

Our social skills classes are growing dramatically. We now offer classes in Olathe, Lee's Summit, Pleasant Valley, Raymore, Blue Springs and St. Joe in addition to the Joshua Center. We have participated in a KU and Juniper Gardens research project with our young adults. We continue to ask for donations for our wonderful programs, including social and life skills classes. 
Over ten years ago, Becky Ottinger, Founder of Joshua Center, began teaching social skills. After purchasing several different social skills programs to use with the class, she was disappointed and began working on our own set of board games and curriculum, which evolved into the Me and My World™ program. We began to see results. Parents were thrilled and our one class grew into more than twenty a month in over seven locations throughout the metro area.
The Me and My World™ Social Skills Board Games and Curriculum continues to be very successful with these kids in schools and in our Saturday social skills classes. We now have over 70 topics. We developed in 2018 the Speak Up for Schools cards to address school safety in schools. Schools will read a card over the intercom each morning and the whole school will stop and discuss for five minutes. We are trying very hard to get the MMW Games and the Speak Up Cards into schools. We recently had a school district call to say they wanted to purchase 20 games for all of their SW. They have not been successful with grants so we are trying to help. We need to get all kids on the same page.
Financial Summary
Revenue Expense Area Graph

Comparing revenue to expenses shows how the organizations finances fluctuate over time.

Source: IRS Form 990

Net Gain/Loss:    in 
Note: When component data are not available, the graph displays the total Revenue and/or Expense values.
Mission Statement The Joshua Center for Neurological Disorders provides programs designed to improve the lives of individuals and families living with Tourette, High Functioning Autism, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder and ADHD through clinical, education, social and research programs. 
Background Statement
In 1987 Becky Ottinger became involved with the local chapter of the Tourette Association of America when her son, Josh Oliver, was diagnosed with Tourette. At that time the chapter held bi-monthly support group meetings and Becky remembers walking away from the first meeting wondering how she was to survive for two months without talking to someone who "understood". Not knowing then how to help Josh in the school system, with his misunderstood neurological symptoms, she became very frustrated. She served on the National Board of the Tourette Association for 2 years. 
She learned a lot about the disorders and realized more needed to be done to help the hundreds of children and their families living with neurological disorders. She didn't want other children and families to have to go through what she and her family did.
In 1994 Becky quit teaching so she could spend more time helping these kids. It became her vision that the doctor, counselor and educator needed to be all in one place for these children to be successful. On November 5, 1996 the Joshua Center, a non-profit organization, was opened.
While teaching at an Environmental Science Magnet, Becky took her 2nd graders on an overnight to the Rotary Club Youth Camp where she met Bob Walden, the Camp Superintendent. She learned that she could have a camp for kids with TS, since it was a disability so she designed a camp for the kids. Each year 120 campers with a diagnosis of TS, HFA and OCD attend a 1 of 2 resident camp programs accredited through the American Camp Association.
Founders Becky Ottinger and Jack Southwick, Josh's therapist (who soon became an expert on the disorders), wrote the following books that are staples for parents of neurological disorders (all proceeds benefit the Joshua Center): 
  • Tictionary, by Becky Ottinger (a workbook for parents and professionals addressing accommodations)
  • Individual Home Plan and Individual Classroom Plan, by Jack Southwick (workbooks for parents, educators and mental health professionals that address behaviors) are available along with others on the website. All proceeds benefit the Joshua Center.
Impact Statement
2018 Accomplishments:
We have expanded our social skills programs to Olathe, Lee's Summit, St. Joe, Pleasant Valley, Raymore, Blue Springs, here at the Joshua Center and soon Oak Grove. Daily we receive so many new calls. KU, CM, all the doctors, education professionals and agencies refer to us. We know we are the experts and will continue to help these kids and young adults be successful. We are developing new programs for the young adults and will be offering more social skills locations. We developed a Professional Development page for schools so they will know what we have to offer them, including the expert Mike Sumler, LMFT to speak.
Needs Statement
Our most pressing needs are: 
  • Funding for continued programs
  • Funding to add staff
  • More corporate involvement
  • Scholarships for social skills and camp
Service Categories
Youth Development Programs
Areas of Service
MO - Jackson County
MO - Clay County
MO - Platte County
KS - Wyandotte County
KS - Johnson County
Geographic Area Served Narrative We have parents drive hours to see our therapists and attend our social skills classes.
CEO/Executive Director/Board Chair Statement
I am constantly amazed at the passion of the people who serve in this grassroots organization. The staff and volunteers at Joshua Center have a passion for their mission of helping kids. The Board is a mixture of parents and professionals, with many of the parents having children with Tourette Syndrome and High Functioning Autism. This diverse board of parents, medical personnel and community volunteers can best address the operation of the Center. Our Executive Director is a true visionary and does a great deal to energize the parents involved. One challenge we face is to get even more corporate involvement. Our overriding thought in the management of the organization is “what is good for the kids.” Our Annual Bowl-a-thon, individual donations, social skills, clinic fees and camp fees raise the significant portion of our operating budget.
The Joshua Center excels by the fact that it is ONE central place where counseling and educational support is available for the children we serve. This interdisciplinary approach is necessary for our children because each of their situations is extremely unique. Counseling and support for the children and their parents are important at our Center. The children we serve are able to obtain social skills and educational counseling which brings about the best collaboration of care for them. We would like to be able to add additional disciplines within the Center but funding is always a challenge. The week-long Camp we sponsor in the summer provides a safe environment for children who often have a hard time fitting in traditional, mainstream activities. In 2018, our Camp we served 120 campers, one camp for kids with kids with Tourette and one camp for kids with High Functioning Autism. The Camp is well-run and very successful. It's amazing how many kids on the last day say "I have made a friend."
Description We now have two camps in with 60 campers at each camp. The camp is held at the Rotary Youth Camp in Lee's Summit, MO. Our camp program is American Camping Association accredited. Our program provides a normal camp experience like those of children without disabilities. Often, the children make friends and feel accepted for the first time in their lives. That's why they count the days until they return the next year. 
Program Budget $45,000.00
Category Human Services, General/Other Children & Youth Services
Population Served People/Families with of People with Disabilities, Children Only (5 - 14 years)
Short-Term Success Sometimes the children arrive at camp the first day apprehensive, but on the last day are in tears because they truly have made a friend for the first time in their life. It's just amazing how often this happens. It's the greatest joy in the life of the Joshua Center.
Long-Term Success The children beg to return each year. It is the highlight of their year. They have made a friend to communicate with no matter where they live. They know they are accepted.
Program Success Monitored By Each year after camp the staff meets to discuss successes and concerns and to determine what changes need to take place. With 60 campers and a staff of 40-50 we are determined to provide the best possible experience for children with neurological disorders. We implement any suggestions during the next year's camp program.
Examples of Program Success Children and families tell us and write us. We have a wonderful DVD my camp director developed of the kids at camp, not only having fun, but telling us how great it is.
Description Mike Sumler, our lead therapist, added another therapist, Kris Mitchell 5 years ago and recently added Michelle Niehues to meet the growing demands for our services. M - F the counselors are available to see clients individually or as a family. They continue to observe children at school and work closely with teachers and school counselors. They provide staff training for these professionals. They provide Lunch and Learn programs, staff development and conferences.
Category Diseases, Disorders & Medical Disciplines, General/Other Diseases, Disorders & Medical Disciplines, General/Other
Population Served Families, Adults
Short-Term Success Constant communication with doctor, counselor and Joshua Center staff that is shared with the appropriate professional.
Long-Term Success Communication between the Joshua Center and parents, children and schools. The weekly collaboration between the counselor, doctor and executive director assures that all needs are addressed.
Program Success Monitored By Once again, communication is the key.
Examples of Program Success The children and families are less stressed, able to manage the symptoms better and able to participate successfully in life experiences.
Description We currently are asking businesses to donate a set of Me and My World Social Skills Games to a school of their choice. Education professionals are asking to be place on a list to receive a set. In each newsletter we will include: a message from Mike Sumler addressing ideas to address specific behavioral concerns; recommended reading for children and teachers; reference to supportive articles; and links to helpful websites. At our conference "When Stop it Doesn't Work" parents and teachers often describe children with neurological disorders as impulsive, immature, inattentive, disorganized and craving predictability. While bright, the children often appear to be clueless about everyday situations, conversations, and social conventions. Common behavior management techniques usually do not work with neurological disorders and require different treatments. We believe it is our responsibility to help teachers, as well as parents.
Category Human Services, General/Other Parenting Education
Population Served People/Families with of People with Disabilities, Adults
Short-Term Success Participants purchase publications during and after conferences and thank the conference speakers. More requests received for speaking.
Long-Term Success More referrals from educators. More requests received for speaking.
Program Success Monitored By Good attendance at conferences.
Examples of Program Success More requests for publications and e-newsletters.
Frequently, children with these disorders have difficulty interacting with their peers. The Joshua Center is offering opportunities for these kids to have fun hands-on activities with 6 kids their age. Each session addresses one social skill objective and all lessons are aligned with the National School Counselor Association Standards. 
Our Long Term Goal is to help the kids to:
  • develop self-esteem
  • improve relationships
  • foster good communication skills
Our Short Term Goal is:
  • Make a friend. Most of these kids do not have friends before attending our Social Skills classes. If children have an opportunity to experience the world with they will have experiences to make choices and learn from those successes and mistakes.

The groups are led by local teachers and school counselors. In 2007 we started classes at the Joshua Center. We also have classes in Blue Springs. We have designed our own Me and My World Social Skills Board Games and Curriculum which we are promoting nationally and internationally. In November of 2011 we started our young adult group for high school seniors through age 25 and in 2019 we will be offering a young adult program at the Pleasant Valley location. 
Category Human Services, General/Other Services for Individuals with Disabilities
Population Served Children Only (5 - 14 years), People/Families with of People with Disabilities
Short-Term Success Positive interactions among participants.
Long-Term Success Parents, teachers and children will communicate social skills improvements and successes.
Program Success Monitored By Communication from parents and teachers. The Social Skills Facilitators meet after each session to review and make suggestions for improvement for next sessions.
Examples of Program Success The children seem to enjoy coming.
Daily parents call with a crisis situation, a question or they just need to talk to someone who "gets it". When their child is seeing one of the therapists our Office Manager is there to listen. We are there to support them. That's what is really unique about us - the village. They can call the Joshua Center at 816-763-7605. 
Category Human Services, General/Other Children & Youth Services
Population Served People/Families of People with Health Conditions
Short-Term Success
  • Phone Support: The Joshua Center promotes flexibility and compassion by encouraging parents to call anytime M-F 9am-5pm at 816-763-7605.
  • Email Support: Questions can also be directed through email and often times, someone will call or email them even on the weekend or holidays.
  • Office Support: The waiting room at the Joshua Center provides a safe, inclusive setting for parents to talk, share and exchange ideas with each other and the Office Manager who has a child with the disorders.
Long-Term Success Parents report appreciation of staff and programs.
Program Success Monitored By Continued participation in therapy, social skills classes, and support groups.
Examples of Program Success
"Camp was the most "normal" experience my son has ever had in years. Yes, years! He rarely goes anywhere without me to be the buffer between him and the world. To allow these kids to be free for an entire week is the greatest gift anyone could give them. For one glorious week they are free to tic, run, play, laugh, and make friends. But more than that, for one amazing week the are free from glares, judgment, condescension, and bullying. This is something that I, as a parent, couldn't give him. My son summed up his camp experience for me when he said, "That was the most fun I've ever had in my whole life! And, mom, they said I was a GOOD kid!" The gift that will last a life time. Thank you Becky, Mike and everyone else involved for everything you did to mak camp happen."
--A Happy Mom
Description After spending a lot of time developing game cards for Speak Up (school tragedies), Community Safety (stranger, traffic, sports), Fire Safety (Home and School Fire Drills), we developed a Safety Program that can be used in schools and after school program. 
Category Youth Development, General/Other Youth Citizenship
Population Served K-12 (5-19 years)
Short-Term Success The kids love learning from the experts. When these kids are give the chance to practice some of their skills they are much more prepared.
Long-Term Success Our research shows how much these kids needed to know how to protect themselves. With all the tragedies in the world today children need the correct answers and skills to make good choices.
Program Success Monitored By Parent and camper input. The kids loved it and the parents were very appreciative their kids now have some great skills to help them stay safe in lots of situations.
Examples of Program Success The kids learn specific safety life skills from community experts. The piloted program in 2014 was so successful we offered it again in 2015. They learned how to put on a life jacket and swim to safety. They learned how to be safe while home alone. They learned how quickly fire can destroy a life. They learned water, cooking and medication safety and loved the CPR training.
Description We have participated in a young adult research project on autism with KU. We have two new research projects scheduled with KU on autism and Tourette starting in the summer with KU.
Category Diseases, Disorders & Medical Disciplines, General/Other Diseases & Disorders
Population Served Adults
Program is linked to organization's mssion Yes
Program Frequently Assessed Yes
Short-Term Success the things we learn in each class help us to prepare new classes to help them succeed.
Long-Term Success The more research we do to help these kids and young adults the more successful they are.
Program Success Monitored By Communicating with the kids and parents so we can create new programs. It takes a village.
Examples of Program Success The best thing so far is the fact we realize we have to do more - maybe even entrepreneurship.
CEO Comments
You know we are doing something right when we receive at least 10 new inquiries about the Joshua Center per day and at least 5 new kids register for social skills per week. Watching parents and families get the much needed support is the joy of my life. Having everything available at one center is absolutely the best thing for these children. It takes a village to raise these children and I am very proud we are able to provide that village.
Our camp at the Rotary Club Youth Camp is the number one thing to change the lives of these children. For once they have found a place to be truly accepted and an opportunity to make a friend for life.
The Joshua Center participates in the Annual Camps For Kids Campaign, a donor match program. Raising the $15,000 for the 2015 Campaign was very hard since most of our families are strapped financially with enormous expenses of raising a child with a neurological disorder but we did it. Camp is the one thing that changes the lives of these children. We are honored to be a participant in this wonderful project and hope we can get more donors.
Our Social Skills and Life Skills programs have been well received so much that we are starting new programs. This tells our community how important these programs are for these kids. 
Our therapists are experts and local schools and pediatricians love having a place to refer to that "gets it".
We have expanded to the suite next door so we can offer more programs and workshops for parents and teachers. 
Executive Director/CEO
Executive Director Ms. Sarah Oliver
Term Start Jan 2016
Sarah Oliver is the daughter of Becky Ottinger, Founder, and sister of Josh Oliver.
  • She has been the Office Manager since 2004.
  • She continues to take the Joshua Center forward and is not only dedicated, but passionate about helping kids and young adults.
Former CEOs
Ms. Debra BoxJan 2001 - Dec 2001
Senior Staff
Title Office Manager
Experience/Biography Sarah has extensive experience working in commerical financial corporations. As a mother of child with the disorders she shares mutual experiences with other parents.
Paid Full-Time Staff 3
Paid Contractors 2
Volunteers 100
Retention Rate 100%
Staff Diversity (Ethnicity)
African American/Black 2
Caucasian 12
Plans & Policies
Organization Has a Fundraising Plan Under Development
Organization Has a Strategic Plan Under Development
Management Succession Plan Under Development
Organization Policy and Procedures Yes
Nondiscrimination Policy Yes
Whistleblower Policy No
Document Destruction Policy Yes
We continue to collaborate with KU, Children's Mercy, local doctors and school professionals.  
  • Council for Exceptional Children
  • Non-Profit Connect
  • Tourette Association of America
  • American Camp Association
  • We continue to collaborate with local school districts to help teachers; mental health professionals; medical professionals; Community Health Charities; and local autism professionals.
  • We collaborate with Kansas University with referrals.
  • We collaborate with Children's Mercy Hospital with referrals and research.
  • We collaborate with the Thompson Center in Columbia with referrals and research.
External Assessment and Accreditations
American Camping Association (ACA) - Accreditation2003
Government Licenses
Is your organization licensed by the government? No
CEO Comments Our current board is very committed to helping children with neurological disorders through our unique programs and services. They are more involved than ever and are committed to improving our current fundraising activities. The board is equally made up of a group of parents, business and medical professionals that have come together with the same goal - to help children living with Tourette Syndrome, High Functioning Autism and Obsessive Compulsive disorders. We now have more businessmen than before which is proving to be very helpful to the executive director. These members give not only their time, but their energy as well. Most of them either have a child with the disorders, or know of someone who does. We are actively seeking individuals from the business community to become board members and/or involved in events throughout the year to market the Joshua Center's wonderful programs and services. Our goal for the Joshua Center continues to be self-sufficiency. Currently we are developing a Strategic Plan to move the Joshua Center forward.
Board Chair
Board Chair Mr. Marty Walter
Company Affiliation Central States Telecom
Term Jan 2017 to Dec 2022
Board Co-Chair
Board Co-Chair Mr. Jack Southwick
Term Nov 2017 to Nov 2022
Board Members
Mr. Darin Bugbee1861 Wealth Advisors
Mr. Chris McHughSeigfreid Bingham, PC
Mrs. Becky OttingerJoshua Center
Mr. Jack Southwick MSWSocial Work/Author
Ms. Cathy SpidleRay-Pec Special Education Teacher
Mr. Chris TillerySeigfreid Bingham, PC
Mr. Marty WalterCentral States Telecom
Board Demographics - Ethnicity
African American/Black 0
Asian American/Pacific Islander 0
Caucasian 7
Hispanic/Latino 0
Native American/American Indian 0
Board Demographics - Gender
Male 5
Female 2
Unspecified 0
Board Term Lengths 1
Board Term Limits 0
Board Meeting Attendance % 100%
Written Board Selection Criteria? Yes
Written Conflict of Interest Policy? Yes
Percentage Making Monetary Contributions 100%
Percentage Making In-Kind Contributions 100%
Constituency Includes Client Representation Yes
Number of Full Board Meetings Annually 5
Standing Committees
Community Outreach / Community Relations
Development / Fund Development / Fund Raising / Grant Writing / Major Gifts
CEO Comments Our current board is committed to help us move forward with the increased demands for our services. The board is equally made up of a group of parents and business professionals that have come together with the same hope - to help children living with Tourette Syndrome, Obsessive Compulsive Disorder, High Functioning Autism and ADHD. We now have more businessmen than before which is proving to be very helpful to the executive director. These members give not only their time, but their energy as well. Most of them either have a child with the disorders, or know of someone who does. Letters were sent to strategic businesses in the community requesting board members. Our goal for the Joshua Center is to continue to work towards financial self-sufficiency and to expand our programs and services to meet the needs of children and families with neurological disorders.
Fiscal Year Start Jan 01, 2019
Fiscal Year End Dec 31, 2019
Projected Revenue $325,000
Projected Expenses $325,000
Spending Policy Income Only
Audit Documents
IRS Letter of Exemption
Foundation Comments
  • FY 2017, 2016, 2015: Financial data reported using IRS Form 990.  
  • Revenue from foundations/corporations may include individual contributions.
Detailed Financials
Expense Allocation
Fiscal Year201720162015
Program Expense$202,072$197,918$231,394
Administration Expense$52,346$44,678$58,077
Fundraising Expense$8,581$12,192$19,710
Payments to Affiliates------
Total Revenue/Total Expenses1.020.970.97
Program Expense/Total Expenses77%78%75%
Fundraising Expense/Contributed Revenue------
Assets and Liabilities
Fiscal Year201720162015
Total Assets$10,489$8,290$15,934
Current Assets$5,724$4,938$9,986
Long-Term Liabilities$24,975$24,975$25,475
Current Liabilities$661$3,616$1,969
Total Net Assets($15,147)($20,301)($11,510)
Short-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Current Ratio: Current Assets/Current Liabilities8.661.375.07
Long-Term Solvency
Fiscal Year201720162015
Long-Term Liabilities/Total Assets238%301%160%
Top Funding Sources
Fiscal Year201720162015
Top Funding Source & Dollar AmountAramark Global Business Services $6,616 $5,000Anonymous $20,993
Second Highest Funding Source & Dollar AmountRichard & Charlotte O'Rear Charitable Fund $5,500 --Anonymous $14,000
Third Highest Funding Source & Dollar Amount -- --Anonymous $11,728
Capital Campaign
Currently in a Capital Campaign? No
Organization Comments The Joshua Center is making strides in our ability to be financially self-sufficient. We are very optimistic that 2019 will be a good year. Our current Board of Directors is wonderful. We project that our expanded programs will generate more revenue due to the increased involvement by the Board and committees that are being formed. Having committed volunteers has helped tremendously. It is imperative we provide immediate feedback to individuals seeking our services through our website. One of our most successful programs (Social and Life Skills classes) continues to grow, contributing to our financial sustainability. We expect to add 50 additional students by June 2017.
Other Documents
Organization Name Joshua Center for Neurological Disorders
Address 400 E. Bannister Road, Suite A
Kansas City, MO 64131
Primary Phone (816) 763-7605
Contact Email
CEO/Executive Director Ms. Sarah Oliver
Board Chair Mr. Marty Walter
Board Chair Company Affiliation Central States Telecom
Year of Incorporation 1997
Former Names
Joshua Child and Family Development Center