Jericho and his family receive services from our EI department. We are thrilled they were willing to share their story with us!
How did your child become a client? Did a physician, friend or your school recommend you contact us? We called our old service coordinator who got us set up with an evaluation. Further medical visits were recommended at our evaluation, and Jericho was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy. He’s growing up in a body that can’t move.
What were the challenges you were experiencing with your child before you began services at the Achievement Center? As an infant, he didn’t cry like he should, didn’t notice himself in a mirror, and wasn’t reaching for toys. Jericho’s older siblings had received care from the Achievement Center, so we knew about EI and what might be of concern.
What were you feeling as a parent/caregiver when you began services at the agency? It was a comfort knowing that the Achievement Center could help. Jericho is medically fragile and it was such a comfort to know that all of our therapists would be very careful not to bring germs to the home. They plan their days and our appointments accordingly. The therapists wear masks and gowns to protect my child when necessary in case they have possibly been exposed to an illness. They either plan to come first thing in the morning or plan to change their clothes before our visit.
How long did your child receive services? What progress did you child make throughout services? Jericho just turned two, and has been receiving services from the Achievement Center since he was three months old. Our therapists helped us to get needed adaptive equipment for Jericho, and recently helped us to get a new orthosis which helps with head support during play and socializing. He has even been able to do some sitting with the help of his new orthosis! He is a smart, two year old boy who is stuck in a body that can’t move like other two year olds do. I was worried that he would get bored and get discouraged, and might give up. Our team taught our family how to play with Jericho, and how to set up toys so that he can play on his own sometimes, too. They helped to hang toys from fishing line and have helped to make a PVC play gym. Jericho now pushes and spins toys, and even turns pages of books. He can also throw toys. He is starting to say a handful of words and he uses some pictures for making choices. He has a communication board which has really helped him to express himself. He is happier now that he can make choices regarding what he wants. He understands and he just “gets it” when new activities are presented. Our therapists use great teamwork along with our family to create solutions and to help him play.
How have the services impacted your life today? Each time I feel like I’m out of ideas for how to help Jericho to play and interact, our team comes up with more ideas. Our therapists are constantly thinking of new ways to help Jericho to play like a two year old.
If you are concerned about your child’s development, contact the Achievement Center today – 814-459-2755.