Timothy’s birth was a whirlwind! When I developed severe pre-eclampsia, I was rushed to the hospital where he was born by Caesarean section six weeks early. Despite his premature birth, however, Timothy thrived and surprised all the doctors. He could roll over both ways by six weeks of age, started creeping on hands and knees at four and a half months old, and has never slowed done since!
At six months, Timothy went in for his routine immunizations. The next day, Timothy was screaming and we noticed a large rash around his injection site. The day after that, we found a large amount of blood in his diaper. Doctors told us he was just having a “normal” reaction to the vaccine, but my husband and I both felt like something was seriously wrong.
After his immunizations, Timothy stopped babbling completely. He hardly made any noises at all and did not experiment with sounds as he previously did. We asked the doctor about it, and he told us to “wait and see” what happens. Timothy was so ahead in other areas (standing and balancing by six months) that the doctor laughed when we said we thought something was wrong. We waited four months and nothing changed. We didn’t know what to do – we knew something was wrong but we couldn’t get anyone to take us seriously…until we met Donna and scheduled an evaluation.
I cannot exaggerate how wonderful Timothy’s evaluation was. I had spent every day with Timothy up to this point, but I feel like I learned so much about him in those several hours. The evaluation wasn’t an appointment for us, it was an event. Donna looked at every aspect of Timothy’s development and she told us what it meant. We walked away from the evaluation which a much deeper understanding of Timothy, and that alone meant the world to us.
Through her evaluation, Donna confirmed that Timothy was extremely ahead in some areas. Actually, his overall development was ahead by about a month. While he was months ahead in some areas of development, he was also quite delayed in other areas. Donna evaluated Timothy’s language as that of a 4-month-old even though he was 10 months at the time of the evaluation. In addition, she helped us find some hidden problems we had never seen before. In the evaluation, she showed us how Timothy’s left eye crosses when he converges on an object. We had been with our son every day for the past 10 months, but we never noticed it. It took a trained eye and someone who truly cares about our son for us to see his strengths and weaknesses as they are (actually, were).
Probably the most important aspect of the evaluation to us was that Donna listened. She took us seriously. From the beginning of the evaluation to the very end, we felt that Donna cared about Timothy. Like us, she wants the very best for him, and she told us exactly what we could do right now to help him. Donna didn’t tell us to “wait and see”, she told us to get started right away…and what a difference it’s made!
The day before we saw Donna, we had seen a traditional speech therapist who wanted to start therapy in three weeks. The therapist’s “goal” was to have him babbling by the end of six months of therapy. During those three weeks, we consistently did the program Donna gave us. When we saw the speech therapist again after those three weeks, she could not believe how much Timothy’s language had improved! His language had improved by 3 months in only 3 weeks time. She said she had never, ever seen such an amazing transformation in such a short time. That was certainly motivation for us to continue Donna’s program.
It’s been 2 months now since we’ve seen Donna, and we cannot believe the remarkable changes we’ve seen in Timothy. The boy who the doctor said “was one of the quietest babies he’d seen” went from babbling to saying single words within a month. A few days ago, he pointed to a word and read it out loud. I could try to write the joy and pride that was in my heart at that moment, but it’s indescribable. My son who had the speech of a four-month-old is now reading words at less than a year old. He still has some unresolved problems, but we know how to fix them and we’re seeing improvements every day.
Donna has been here every step of the way for us – she designed a program unique for Timothy, to help develop Timothy’s strengths and improve on his weaknesses. She’s been available for questions, support, and just to share in his accomplishments. We are so glad that we got an evaluation with Donna sooner rather than later…who knows where Timothy would be without the program Donna developed for us. We’ll love Timothy regardless of his abilities, but we don’t want to see him struggle with issues unnecessarily. Now we know that there’s never any reason to “wait and see” – it’s possible to help your child right now.