Our History

For more than 65 years, The Treatment and Learning Centers (TLC) has provided services to meet the needs of our community. From our modest beginning in 1950 as a therapeutic center to serve children and adults suffering from the impact of polio, today our “family of services” provides a wide range of programs to assist those we serve and their families.

In 1995, TLC founded the Katherine Thomas School (KTS). KTS provides a high-quality education for students, preschool through high school. Our students are able to thrive in a school setting that supports their individual needs. The dream of KTS was made possible by a generous donation by its namesake, Katherine Thomas.

Today, TLC continues to expand our wide range of services to meet the ever-expanding special needs of children, adolescents, and adults in our community. Each year, our staff of over 200 committed individuals serves the needs of over 2,000 individuals in our programs.

Historical Timeline


Mr. Robert Shaw helped TLC begin providing therapeutic services to children and adults suffering from the impact of polio. TLC began in 1950 as The Easter Seal Treatment Center of the Montgomery Society for Crippled Children and Adults in Rockville, Maryland. Located in the basement of Twinbrook Baptist Church, early services included speech, physical, occupational and swim therapy, often for survivors of polio, as well as a therapeutic summer camp and a preschool program.


The year 1958-59 brought a newly dedicated center at 1000 Twinbrook Parkway serving patients across the lifespan, with significant funding by benefactors so that “no one will be turned away for their inability to pay for services.”


TLC established the first private audiology clinic in Montgomery County for individuals with hearing loss resulting from disease, trauma, injury or aging. Services included comprehensive hearing testing, interpretation and counseling; hearing aid evaluations, fittings and repair and aural rehabilitation.


TLC was awarded state and county grants through the Developmental Disabilities Administration (DDA) to begin rehabilitative services for adults through The Community Head Injury and Reintegration Program, the first day and vocational program for adults in Montgomery County, later known as the Outcomes Neuro Rehab Center and eventually The Outcomes Service.


TLC was selected to operate the county government’s first modular child care center at what was then called Shady Grove Life Sciences Park. Providing a child care service was viewed by TLC leadership as important to support working families in the community as well as an opportunity to provide another early intervention service in addition to the preschool for children with speech and language disabilities.


TLC established a testing and tutoring service that utilized a team approach to determine the root of a child’s learning difficulties. The program offered comprehensive evaluations, psychoeducational testing and specialized tutoring instruction with multisensory teaching methods that allowed a TLC team to assess the whole child and identify why they were experiencing learning difficulties.


The Katherine Thomas School was founded to provide an appropriate education for students with language and learning disabilities who needed a school setting that addressed their individual needs. The dream of KTS was made possible by its most generous namesake, who left TLC our single largest bequest to date of $3.4 million. KTS began with 33 students in the elementary grades.


TLC launched a successful capital campaign to expand its facility for the school, with a groundbreaking ceremony in 1998 for a $2.9 million new school wing completed in the summer of 1999, doubling the size of the original building.


KTS graduated its first three fifth grade students and expanded into middle school grades in 1999.


TLC celebrated 50 years of serving the community.


TLC launched the Realizing Every Student’s Dream Campaign for a new high school, which began in 2005.


The first two KTS High School graduates received their diplomas. In 2009, the KTS High School celebrated the first full graduating class of 31 students.


TLC celebrated its 60th Anniversary, raising over $100,000 at the 60th Anniversary Celebration to improve lives and expand possibilities for individuals with special needs.


TLC continues to expand the wide range of services to meet the ever-expanding special needs of adults and children. With over 200 staff members at three locations, we serve more than 2,000 individuals each year.