About Us

Our Mission

is to empower children and their families in our community to live healthy lives. We use therapeutic play that is built on individual strengths and weaknesses to enhance development while also setting up their environment to foster success.

The name Connected KIDZ comes from the concept of Connected Parenting (Karyn Purvis and David Cross) and the Neurodevelopmental Parenting Approach (FASCETS). In Connected Parenting, developing healthy relationships is the focus of overall wellness for all, but especially children from trauma. Connecting behaviors back to unique brain differences is the basis for the Neurodevelopmental Approach. Fostering connection between parent and child begins with recognizing that not every brain experiences the world the same way.

The "Z" in KIDZ comes from our beloved daughter Isabel who we called "Izzy". Her life lessons carry over into how we live and relate to other special needs children and their families.


We, Leslie and Jimmy Jurado, met in 1995 while attending Winthrop University. Leslie received a B.S. in Biology and Jimmy a B.S. in Business-Marketing. Leslie graduated from the Medical University of South Carolina in 2000 with a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Sciences in Occupational Therapy and began working in pediatrics. We were married later that year.

In May 2002, we welcomed our first child Isabel. When Isabel (Izzy) was 3 years old, she was diagnosed with a rare, neurodegenerative disease called Sanfilippo Syndrome or MPSIII. This began our journey as special needs parents. Izzy's diagnosis brought developmental delays, years of extreme hyperactivity and sleep disorder, and eventually loss of all motor skills.

Medical equipment, home modifications and difficult behaviors became our life, not just challenges to guide other parents through professionally.

Izzy’s battle with Sanfilippo Syndrome ended with her death in 2017 at age 14 but her legacy lives on through us.

Two of our four children came to us through adoption. We have a heart for vulnerable children and have knowledge of the impact of trauma from adoption and foster care. We recognize the unique challenges that children from trauma can face and are eager to walk this journey with other families in our community.

We understand the struggles and joys of parenting both severe disability and more subtle invisible disabilities. It is our desire to partner with caregivers to empower them with tools, knowledge, and community to foster emotional and physical development in their child.

"As special needs parents we do not have the power to make life "fair" but we do have the power to make life joyful" ~ Anonymous

"I thought I'd teach my child about the world. Turns out I'm teaching the world about her" ~ Anonymous.

"Once you choose hope, everything is possible" ~ Christopher Reeve