May 1, 2014
Breanna was born a healthy, full term baby or so her parents thought. After three days the doctors suspected there was a problem and she was flown to Johns Hopkins Hospital where they discovered she had a heart defect that was not detected by ultrasounds. For the next year she was in and out of the hospital.
Medications and intubation to help her breathe saved her life, but they have long term affects too. In a routine surgery to place tubes in Breanna’s ears doctors discovered she was deaf. Her mom, Jessica, was scared because she did not know how to help her daughter until a friend told her about Easter Seals’ children’s therapy program.
“She is a fighter. She almost died several times. When I first found out Breanna was deaf there were a lot of emotions. It didn’t sink in at the time. It is starting to affect us more now since we can see the differences between other 3-year-olds and Breanna. It makes us sad,” Jessica says. “Going to Easter Seals was the best decision we’ve ever made. We’ve really seen her grow and take off.”
At Easter Seals, Breanna receives physical therapy to help her gain confidence to walk independently; Speech Therapy to help with her speech delay and help her transition from a feeding tube to feeding herself consistently; and Occupational Therapy to help her eye-hand coordination. Since Breanna started therapy just a few months ago she has been making more sounds, is using two hands to explore toys, will soon be getting a walker and is handling different spoons and a toothbrush better, which are all steps towards meeting her long term goals.
“Breanna’s progress is excellent. The therapists have given me better ideas of how to help her. They are great to work with. They are so compassionate, outgoing and caring, and they make therapy fun for kids. As a parent, I can see what the therapists are doing, but Breanna is just having fun.” Jessica says. ”I’ve seen so much improvement in such a short time.”
May is Better Hearing and Speech Month
Although more than 5 million children in the United States have a speech, language, and hearing disorder, parents are often uninformed and unsure about what to do when they suspect their child may be affected. Easter Seals team of ASHA certified speech language pathologists can provide the answers you seek. If you have a concern about a child’s speech, contact Easter Seals for a full evaluation. Easter Seals licensed Speech-Language Pathologists are available to provide services to children of all ages in our locations in Delaware and the Eastern Shore of Maryland.
Easter Seals offers a range of services, including children’s therapies, assistive technology, recreational camping, day programs for adults with physical or intellectual disabilities and respite services for caregivers. To learn more about how Easter Seals helps children and adults with disabilities, call 1-800-677-3800 or visit www.de.easterseals.com.