Hello, my name is Lori Eyth. I am a mother of three young children, one of whom uses Children's Rehabilitative Services a lot.
Our Daughter Mary, who is now four years old, was born with Down Syndrome. Seven weeks into her life she was diagnosed with a condition called 'failure to thrive'. We immediately starting seeing a team from the feeding and growth clinic at Children's Hospital. Mary was about nine months old when the occupational therapist from feeding and growth suggested we see a physical therapist from the Rehabilitative Department at Children's. This was our first introduction to rehabilitation. I am so thankful for that because Mary is a stronger, brighter and healthier child because of the rehabilitation services she receives from Children's Hospital & Medical Center.
We started in July of 2003 with Physical Therapy from Penny Warren. She is wonderful and we love her. She really understands it is not just about treating the child but also showing the parents what to do at home, and treating the whole family. We were with Penny until Mary was 26 months old and was finally able to walk. It was then time for us to be released. So, we had received services for about 16 months.
In September of 2006, we finished with Mary's speech class at another facility in town. But we wanted additional speech therapy for Mary so we called the Rehabilitative Services Department at Children's and got Mary signed up with a speech therapist named Mary Cash. We have been very pleased with her speech teacher. Mary gets to work on speech one-on-one, once a week for 50 minutes per session. We feel our daughter Mary has done a great job meeting her goals and staying on task, especially for her age and disability. We have been receiving speech services for almost a year now.
Then, about halfway through 2006, we thought it would be helpful if Mary could receive additional occupational therapy to help her learn things like buttoning, unbuttoning, snapping, writing and other fine motor skills. We started occupational therapy in December of 2006 with Karen and we think she is wonderful. She is firm but loving which is what Mary needs. Developing fine motor skills can be very difficult for children with Down Syndrome.
Next, in May of this year, Mary needed physical therapy services again to recover from knee surgery that she had in April.
We have been very happy with the services we have received from the Rehabilitative Services Department at Children's Hospital. They involve the parents whenever possible so we can go home and work with our child. It is not about coming once a week and expecting the therapist to fix our child, but learning what they are teaching so we can use it in our everyday life and help make Mary's life easier. Mary's team of therapists at Children's Rehabilitative Services Department are very professional, yet very loving, especially since they're dealing with a child who has a disability, which sometimes makes it more difficult than dealing with a child who is typically developing. They also set challenging yet attainable goals then move on to new ones.
So, thank you to Rhonda, Penny, Mary and Karen for all of their services over the years to help improve the quality of Mary's life. She will forever be a better person because they have touched her heart and we pray she has done the same for them. Again, thank you!