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Elijah's Story

Elijah 1

How did you discover that your child had special needs? 

Elijah’s parents originally found out that he possibly had Down Syndrome through genetic testing completed during Mom’s pregnancy. During the anatomy scan at 20 weeks gestation, Elijah showed thickness in his neck, which is another genetic marker for those diagnosed with Down Syndrome. When he was born in March 2019, it was confirmed that he had Down Syndrome. He was born a month early and had to spend time in the NICU due to immature lung development, fluid in his lungs, feeding issues, jaundice, and blood sugar issues. Fortunately, Elijah quickly started to improve and was able to come home after only a week in the NICU!

How did you learn about Easterseals Early Intervention?

Elijah was referred to BabyNet by the NICU. Mom has a really good friend whose children received early intervention from Easterseals and she encouraged Mom to determine if she thought Easterseals would be a good fit for Elijah. Once Elijah qualified for BabyNet services, Mom chose to receive services with Easterseals.

How do you feel your child is doing now in comparison to when they first started their Early Intervention journey? What are they able to do now that they were not able to do before?

Elijah started receiving early intervention services two months ago. He also recently started physical therapy and occupational therapy in the home. Before receiving early intervention and therapy services, Elijah was not able to reach out and grab things. Elijah also did not have many gross motor skills prior to receiving services. Now, he is rolling back to belly and he’s attempting to sit up right by himself. Elijah can also reach and grab toys during play! Elijah has blossomed into a happy and energetic little guy!

What kinds of support have been most helpful to you and why?

Early intervention and therapy have been very helpful for the family to be able to know where he needs to grow in his development and how to help him do that. The family is a part of several support groups on Facebook for families with a child diagnosed with Down Syndrome. The family can go to this group with questions and concerns and get answers from people that know first-hand what Elijah’s family is experiencing. As mentioned before, Mom has a good friend whose children received early intervention with Easterseals; therefore, she is able to go to her for support when needed.

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