Brody was born a preemie, being four weeks early. He was delayed in meeting most of his developmental milestones. When our family moved to Preble County four years ago, when Brody was one, our pediatrician referred us to the HELP ME GROW program. Kristen Gardner, Help Me Grow Service Coordinator and Becky Hampton, PCBDD Early Intervention Developmental Specialist assessed, qualified and worked with Brody in our home from age one until he transitioned to preschool at age three through the Early Intervention program.
Within this time period, at age two, Brody was diagnosed with Apraxia, a motor speech disorder. In short, Brody knows what the wants to say but there is a breakdown between his brain and the parts of his mouth (lips, jaw, tongue) that prevents him from verbalizing his words. In addition he received a cerebral palsy diagnosis, which visually affects his hands and fingers. Although he knows some American Sign Language (ASL), it’s a difficult task to perform movements in his hands for him to effectively use it for others to understand.
Becky and Kristen have been super friendly since day one and bend over backwards to help our family. It’s such a relief and very comforting knowing that at all of Brody’s school IEP meetings, we have Becky (now Body’s preschool SSA) there as a knowledgeable resource and support.
We have participated in the SOYA program since inception. Being new to the county at the time and not knowing any other special needs families, this program was just what I needed! I’ve been able to create many friendships with other families experiencing similar situations as we. Brody not only got extra help with the gross motor skills he lacked but also social skills. Each time that he participates, he gets stronger!
What means the most to our family is the PCBDD helps persons with disabilities regardless of income level, type of insurance, etc. With their assistance through Critical Needs Grant funding, we have been able to send Brody to speech camp each summer and get additional speech therapy sessions that our insurance wouldn’t cover.
We are forever grateful for what he PCBDD had done to help Brody on his journey to one day be able to speak!
Mike and Kristen Fasnacht