Gabriel – Physical Therapy

Shortly after his birth, Gabriel’s parents started to notice he wasn’t thriving like a child his age should. His doctors recommended seeing a neurologist and starting an early intervention program to get him on track.

Gabriel started Early Intervention with Via of the Lehigh Valley. He enjoyed working with his physical therapist, Maria, and his family was optimistic about his progress.

When he was only a few months old, Gabriel suffered a seizure and was rushed to the hospital. As his family crowded into the small emergency room, the doctor came in told them he had Lissencephaly, a rare brain disorder that causes significant developmental delays.

Gabriel came home and kept working with Maria every week. “Early intervention with Via of the Lehigh Valley means a great deal to our family,” says Gabriel’s mother. “They give us hope for Gabriel when we don’t think we can go any further and don’t know where to turn next.”

Maria helps Gabriel’s family learn how to work with him on everyday activities as simple as going to the grocery store, or as complex as going away for vacation.

“Without Via, Gabriel would not be where he is today, developmentally. He is doing more than doctors ever thought he would, and we have Via Early Intervention and Maria to thank for it.”


Kamrin – Occupational Therapy 
Prior to her birth, Kamrin was diagnosed with Down syndrome and duodenal atresia, a full blockage of the small intestine that prevented passage of food from the stomach through the digestive track. After many trips to Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and surgery to fix the blockage and put in a feeding tube, she came home two weeks after she was born.

When Kamrin was about six weeks old, her family started working with Kathy, an occupational therapist from Via’s Early Intervention program. With Kathy’s guidance and input from their pediatrician, Kamrin’s family was able to wean her off of the feeding tube in less than five months.

Today, Kamrin loves to eat, and enjoys a wide variety of table foods. When she began talking, she would often greet Kathy with “eat,” and her first words and signs were mostly related to eating

 


Zachariah – Speech Therapy
Zachariah was born seven weeks premature and spent a month in the NICU before going home. By the time he was seven months old, it was apparent that Zachariah was delayed in development and required occupational therapy. He completed occupational therapy, and but remained delayed in his ability to verbally communicate. Zachariah was almost two years old when he began speech therapy through Via. At that time, he was barely saying words, and he was unable to effectively express his wants and needs.

After a new months of speech therapy, Zachariah began putting two words together, then three.  By the time he was discharged, after seven months, he spoke in complete sentences, and used “please” and “thank you” consistently.

Now, Zachariah carries on simple conversations about what he is doing, what he wants, and what he ate at mealtimes. His family says that they are thankful that he was able to receive speech therapy at such a young age, and that he progressed so quickly while receiving services.


Roman – Physical and Occupational Therapy

“Early intervention has been shown to result in the child needing fewer special education and other habilitative services later in life.”
Source: U.S. Department of Education

When Via arrived in Roman’s life, there was very little this 4-month old boy with a brain injury could accomplish.  His days were spent lying on his back either having seizures or recovering from the seizure’s nasty effects.

A physical therapist from Via worked countless sessions with Roman.  His family hoped he would be able to walk one day, something his doctors couldn’t promise.  In a three-year period, Roman’s physical therapist took him from from sitting, to crawling, to standing and finally to walking.

One of Via’s occupational therapists worked equally hard with Roman, helping him to hold his hands open so he would be able to pick up and hold his toys.

Roman is now five years old, finishing up his second year of pre-school.  He has been seizure-free for 4 years, and he is doing better than doctors ever thought he would.  Some said he would never walk – and now he is running and jumping.  He is also able to hit a baseball off a tee, use pencils and crayons, turn pages in his own books, feed himself, and play several sports and musical instruments.

A physical therapist from Via worked countless sessions with Roman.  His family hoped he would be able to walk one day, something his doctors couldn’t promise.  In a three-year period, Roman’s physical therapist took him from from sitting, to crawling, to standing and finally to walking.

One of Via’s occupational therapists worked equally hard with Roman, helping him to hold his hands open so he would be able to pick up and hold his toys.

Roman is now five years old, finishing up his second year of pre-school.  He has been seizure-free for 4 years, and he is doing better than doctors ever thought he would.  Some said he would never walk – and now he is running and jumping.  He is also able to hit a baseball off a tee, use pencils and crayons, turn pages in his own books, feed himself, and play several sports and musical instruments.


Gracie – Speech Therapy
Two-year old Gracie and her older brother’s arguing seemed to be just a part of family life – but actually, Gracie was having extreme difficulty communicating and was frustrated in her interactions with those who loved her most.

After an evaluation by Via’s Early Intervention program, it was discovered that Gracie’s speech development was slower than most children her age. This discovery helped her family understand that Gracie’s behaviors – which often included biting and pushing – were a result of her frustration from not being able to communicate her feelings using speech.

Ever since Via began working with Gracie and her family on a weekly basis, her mother noticed a dramatic change. Gracie’s speech improved, and she learned how to tell her family what she needs and wants. Gracie’s mother enjoys watching her learn through play. The steps Gracie has made in communicating with her family have made all the difference their relationship


 

 

For more information, contact:
Suzanne Curry, Early Intervention Supports Coordinator                                                        s.curry@vianet.org | 610-317-8000 x452

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