|GoBabyGo! Program (10/10/2016)|
2017 Easter Seals CAI Volleyball Challenge Ambassador - Journey
“1-2-3: GO!” is a chant often heard in three-year-old Journey’s house as she and her six-year-old brother race around the house in their ride-on cars. For some parents this may sound peculiar, but for Journey’s parents, Patrice and Rich, they are witnessing a bonding moment between siblings.
When Journey was born at 28 weeks, they knew they had a journey ahead of them - the inspiration for her name. It was not until Journey was nine months old and had a seizure that they realized their journey would not be the one they expected. When Journey was diagnosed with a rare brain disorder, her parents were concerned about the unknown, but then they found Easterseals, a team of therapists, and the GoBabyGo! program and knew they were not alone.
“It was terrifying at the beginning, but once we had a diagnosis we hit the ground running to find ways to help her and make her life easier,” Patrice says. “You can tell the therapists love what they do and it shows in the way they care about the people they work with. They are a part of our family. They help Journey be the best she can be. They help make big goals and help her reach them.”
When Journey started receiving therapy services at 11 months, she was working on better head control, sitting up, making more sounds, swallowing, and grasping items. When Journey was two, Easterseals therapists incorporated a modified, ride-on car into her therapy goals. Originally developed with Cole Galloway, an engineer from the University of Delaware, the “GoBabyGo!” cars are used in Easterseals therapy sessions and on loan to families to encourage mobility and independence. In Journey’s situation, it forged an irreplaceable bond with her brother.
“I broke down crying when I first saw the GoBabyGo! car. They thought of everything and modified it just for her,” Patrice says. “Journey loved it! The fact that her brother had one too made it even better. So they raced around the house together! It put her on the same level as her brother. She was a big girl doing it all on her own. It completely changed the dynamics of our kids. Every time she is on the same level as her brother, she comes alive!”
Journey is now three and has passed numerous milestones with the help of speech, physical and occupational therapies. She is now working on sitting up on her own for longer periods of time, crawling and walking with a walker, which helps her keep up with her brother.
“We celebrate what she can do. Concentrate on your child and what makes them better. Easterseals therapists help get Journey excited about what she can do,” Patrice says. “It was so wonderful to have people that understand and can point us in the right direction. Easterseals is in our corner.”
Journey and her family are the ambassador family for the 2017 /Easterseals CAI Volleyball Challenge, which will take place on February 24-26, 2017 at its NEW LOCATION, William Penn High School, 713 E. Basin Rd., New Castle, DE. The Volleyball Challenge is a three-day event, which brings the community together to raise critically needed dollars to serve children and adults with disabilities.
A trusted provider of children’s therapy services for more than 65 years, Easterseals specializes in treating children ages birth through eighteen years with a variety of challenges, including developmental delay, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, a speech and language delay, feeding and swallowing difficulties and others. Easterseals specializes in meeting the needs of children and their families through creative, playful activities that go beyond traditional services. To learn more about how Easterseals helps children and adults with disabilities, call 1-800-677-3800 or visit www.de.easterseals.com.
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