Many of us have a favorite childhood pastime of running freely at the park while enjoying an ice cream cone or hot dog. While some may simply recall these memories with fondness, they may not realize that even these simple tasks can seem like an insurmountable challenge to children born with developmental disabilities.
An example of a child who faced this challenge is a little girl named Mae. Born prematurely at 29 weeks, Mae exhibited developmental delays because of drug exposure in the womb and a lack of prenatal care. When she was one-month old, Mae’s foster mother brought her to the Warren Center Early Childhood Intervention (ECI) due to difficulty feeding and poor motor skills. Before receiving occupational and speech therapy through The Warren Center, Mae often lost formula during feeding due to her reflux and weak oral motor muscles. Occupational therapists at the Warren Center worked with Mae to strengthen the muscles needed for feeding. Within two months, Mae developed the ability to drink from a bottle without losing fluids.
In addition to oral motor skills, occupational therapy helped gain the ability to push herself up, kneel, stand and now walk. Her speech therapist worked on Mae’s ability to produce words and now she has the confidence to request her favorite treats – hot dogs and ice cream. We are also happy to report that Mae’s foster family is now her forever family through adoption. Thanks to your support, Mae can partake of the joy of childhood pastimes for years to come.