Zion's progresses with support from entire family.

Linette and her family were referred to Sherwood by Providence Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) when Zion, her 9th child, was born prematurely with Down Syndrome.

At just 6 weeks old Zion had his first evaluation with a Sherwood Occupational Therapist. Now, a happy and thriving, 2 year old, Zion is a shining example of the success of Early Intervention services, having received a combination of Occupational, Motor and Speech Therapy.  

Early on, Mom received a tip from the parent of a son with Down Syndrom who is now in his twenties, “He told me to treat him like any other child.”  She did just that, believing he could do anything her other children could do. When he couldn’t, then she would step in, using the things she learned from his therapy sessions, and help him. Mom said she was anticipating him not being potty trained until he was a lot older, she decided to take her friends advice and potty train him the same way she did her other children, and as a result, he was potty trained at 14 months. 

When Zion was 15 months, he presented with delays in both his receptive language skills (what he understands) and his expressive language skills (what he is able to say). In just four months of speech therapy, Mom stated he had begun to understand and to learn some signs; he had also said “Mama & Dada”. When the family successfully adopts the Sherwood Parent-Coaching model and practices activities and skills at home, it provides more a successful path to reaching those developmental milestones. He’s been able to grow his receptive and expressive language skills through imitation and learning of sign language. 
“I’ve been encouraged by the employees I’ve met at Sherwood, by their expertise and easy going manner. They are my advocates and super flexible. The insight on what I should be looking for and why, has helped me.” added Linette.  

Zion now understands some instructions and during this therapy session, with little assistance, was able to climb on the trampoline and use stepping motions in lieu of jumping.  They will work on jumping on the trampoline to music and use a ride on toy. 

Mom’s proudest moment so far has been to see Zion finally able to drink out of something other than a bottle, like a straw and open cup.

Most recently, Mom shared that she noticed that Zion wasn’t tracking falling objects. She attempted to slow down the process by dropping a lighter, slower moving, piece of tissue paper.  It appeared that he still wasn’t tracking the up and down movement so they moved to a flashlight. With patience and repetition, now, when he holds the flashlight, he will track the light up to the ceiling and down to the floor. Mom proudly told us that he’s very mechanically inclined and has a longer attention span with puzzles, and love music and dancing. He has an amazing ability to concentrate on a task and methodically placed puzzle pieces on pegs, then smiled and clapped when he was done. 

Zion’s therapist proudly stated, “We wouldn’t see this overall progress if it weren’t for the family participation.” The entire family, including all his brothers and sisters, are active in his therapy sessions and the daily activities that promote continued successful development. 

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