It is hard to put into words the benefit our child has received from attending Helping Hand’s preschool and therapies. Our journey began when Charlie was just 8 months old, and he just wasn’t meeting his developmental milestones like we thought he should. His delays became more apparent around his first birthday when he still wasn’t talking; he wasn’t even babbling like most babies. After a long and emotional ‘battle’ with various pediatricians, we were able to get a referral for evaluations. Charlie was diagnosed with global developmental delays, and we began ‘shopping’ for the right setting for Charlie and for our family. We knew a regular daycare could not provide Charlie with all of the therapy and care he would need, but we had no idea where to turn for developmental care. We first looked at Helping Hand for convenience – our older son attended school nearby. Little did we know this convenience would be one of the biggest blessings in our child’s life!
When Charlie first started attending Helping Hand, he was 18 months old and only speaking 2 words. If he learned a new word, he ‘lost’ one of the previously used words. His behavior meltdowns were becoming much more frequent and he was starting to become aggressive with us and hurting himself. We later learned that the aggression and self-injurious behaviors were from his difficulties processing various sensory stimuli and his frustrations with not being able to communicate. As his communication improved and we learned how to help him during sensory overload moments, his behavior improved. Within the first year of his attending Helping Hand, he was able to tell me he loved me for the first time. Helping Hand did that for us! The devotion and care his speech therapist, occupational therapists, early childhood specialist, and classroom teachers gave to us is invaluable.
Charlie has continued to make gains in language and fine motor skills – so much so that we were able to enroll him in a mainstream preschool last fall. We have continued to enroll Charlie in outpatient services at Helping Hand because we feel so blessed by the wonderful care he has received there. I am forever grateful to the wonderful staff at Helping Hand for helping my little boy find himself.