Reaching new heights with Everlee!
At 8 months old, Everlee’s mom and doctor had concerns about her motor development because she was not yet rolling over. She was referred to Sherwood at that point for an evaluation. Sherwood’s Occupational Therapist began working with Everlee to strengthen her muscles by doing baby sit-ups and holding a crawling position. Her therapist encouraged her mom to practice those exercises alongside Everlee to help get her ready to move. At 14 months old, Everlee began to crawl! It wasn’t long after that she had mastered pulling herself up and on to the furniture and was cruising around.
During a speech evaluation when Everlee was 18 months old, it was determined that she was communicating at the level of a 9 month old. Everlee’s Speech Therapist has worked to use the things that Everlee loves most like Donald Duck, Daisy Duck and Mickey Mouse to motivate her to communicate. When Everlee first began Speech Therapy all of those characters sounded like, “duh-duh.” Now Everlee is able to differentiate Mickey Mouse from the others by saying, “muh-muh.” Everlee loves to sing and dance! She can request “Row Row Your Boat” or “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” through a combination of sign language and words.
At 2 years and 3 months old, Everlee is able to walk independently even on uneven surfaces and is even attempting to climb the ladder to her sister’s bunkbed. She currently has about 30 words and is eager to try new ones. Thanks to the tools and resources Everlee’s Speech and Occupational Therapists have equipped her mom with, she feels encouraged to continue to work on these skills with Everlee even when the therapists are not there!
At Sherwood, we see firsthand not only the happiness a job can bring someone with disabilities, but a sense independence and inclusion as well.
“Employment gives Jessica a sense of purpose and feeling grown-up. She feels like a legitimate, independent working adult… because she is. THIS is the tangible result of supported employment that is a win-win for everyone” says her mom Joy.
Kyron's mom Jessica says, “He wasn’t taking any unassisted moves before therapy. Now he’s walking and his confidence has grown!”
“It is so fun to see what new skills Kyron develops from visit to visit. It was so apparent that family members were diligent in following through with strategies and exercises that were left with them and this makes such a difference!” adds Marissa, Kyron’s therapist.
As Karlene practiced her new job tasks her confidence grew and soon could work without the help of her Employment Specialist, she could do it on her own. That’s what we call success at Sherwood, But Karlene didn’t stop achieving. She grew more independent and learned how to do additional tasks, Karlene’s manager at MOD took notice and added days to her schedule: Karlene recently earned a bonus check for her hard work.