Since I became a parent, I’ve developed a passion for connecting families in our area with resources that will benefit their young children. My husband and I have been blessed with three beautiful daughters and never would have imagined the story we would be able to share through our own personal experience.
From early on, we knew that our child wasn’t hitting developmental milestones like our niece who was just 13 days younger. We watched as our niece first rolled, then crawled, and finally walked long before our daughter was sitting confidently on her own. It was an obvious distinction and my mommy “red flag” shot straight up. Yet, we heard from friends and family how we shouldn’t worry, that each child develops differently and at their own pace. I heard them, but my gut was telling me something wasn’t right.
Having a background as an educator, I knew how important it was to acknowledge there was a potential problem and start interventions quickly. My husband and I reached out to our pediatrician. We were referred to a developmental pediatrician who specializes in understanding developmental concerns in childhood. He/she recognized there was a delay in our daughter’s gross motor skills called hypotonia and that some intervention would be beneficial. Through that doctor’s office, we were connected with Help Me Grow’s Early Intervention program to help guide us through the unknowns and navigate a process that was new and foreign.
At the time, we were completely overwhelmed and felt pulled in several different directions. The feeling that there was an organization ready and right there to help, made our uncertainties less intimidating.
After the initial referral was made, the call from Help Me Grow came within 48 hours. We set up a day and time for our daughter to be evaluated and so the journey began. Help Me Grow’s professionals walked alongside my husband and me, making sure our daughter was hitting the developmental goals we had put in place together as a team. They came to our home and provided therapies and also offered play groups with other families that we could attend with our daughter. Through those play groups and therapies, my husband and I, but most importantly, our daughter, had an opportunity to grow, learn and navigate a different way of learning new skills. We felt loved and accepted along with being understood.
To say that I found many new friends is an understatement. Our Help Me Grow team became like family and I became an advocate for them…sharing my story with friends and connecting others with the organization so they, too, could benefit from the services we were graciously provided. I now work for Help Me Grow connecting families with the services they offer. My husband and I feel blessed to have been referred to Help Me Grow’s Early Intervention program. We are grateful that we followed up with the referral, went through the process, and watched our child flourish because of the amazing care she received.
If your heart is concerned about your little one, or maybe you know someone who would resonate with our story, I encourage you to act now and don’t wait. Making a referral is easy and quick. You can go to helpmegrow.org and start your journey just as we did ours. There, you can learn more about Early Intervention, listen to other families’ stories, and complete a short referral form to get connected to your local program in Ohio. (Michigan parents can go to 1800earlyon.org to make a referral).