When Jessica and 18-month old Aaron started attending our socialization groups, Aaron rarely spoke. Our child specialists also noticed that he made little eye contact and did not respond when called by name.
After discussing their observations with Jessica, they soon referred Aaron to the Early Intervention Program, a public program through the City of New York, for extra help with his development. Because LSA contracts with the city to provide Early Intervention Services, Jessica was able to have Aaron’s services coordinated here, in a setting where she already felt at home.
“I was reassured about the entire process after meeting with an LSA service coordinator assigned to my child’s case,” she said. “The director of the EIP was also reassuring – Nydia Torres met with me and my child and addressed all of my concerns.”
Over the course of the next year, Aaron received therapy through our Early Intervention Program and participated in the play groups in our Parenting and Child Development Program.
She described her experience with LSA:
“Through the play group I got ideas of what I could do at home to help his fine motor skills, his language, and so forth. It really helped him being around other children. He would enjoy it and I would enjoy it, too. You get to meet other parents who might be going through a situation similar to yours or who can help you find out about other resources in the neighborhood.
“Aaron entered early intervention with PDD – Pervasive Developmental Disorder, the Autism Spectrum. I was also told by other professionals outside of EI that they suspected he had ADD and ODD – Oppositional Defiant Disorder.
“At the time, when I was first in Early Intervention, I didn’t know about early childhood development, I didn’t know about his diagnosis – I didn’t know about any of those things. The therapists helped me to understand his diagnosis, how to help him, how to better adapt to his needs.
“My team was always there for me and my family, especially when no one else was there and when no one else understood. They were there when I needed someone to talk to, to listen and provide advice, making recommendations when I was uncertain. They helped me to make informed decisions for my family’s needs. They were my support.
“With the intensive therapy Aaron has had and the program I had set up with him – he’s almost like a brand new child. He got so much help and it benefited him so much that he doesn’t even have a diagnosis at this time.”
Thanks to the therapy sessions, Aaron improved dramatically. Today Aaron is in his first year of kindergarten and thriving. And Jessica has the confidence to support Aaron in years to come. “I am now a better advocate for my child,” she said. “I bloomed as a parent.”
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