• Sam’s Story

The help we have gotten from ECI has been immeasurable.  During our son’s well baby check up, his pediatrician asked how Sam was doing with his language.  I explained that Sam was not talking yet, so our doctor referred us to ECI.  It was very concerning to know that we had a child who may need assistance learning how to talk or even communicate.

When I initially talked with the Early Intervention Specialist she explained in full detail exactly what the program could not only offer our son, but to our whole family.  We set up a time for the ECI professionals to come to our house to evaluate Sam.  The staff walked us through the whole evaluation and explained everything they were doing.  At the end of the evaluation we were told that Sam qualified for Speech Therapy services.

Since our Speech Therapist, Ms. B., has been coming to our home once a week we have seen tremendous improvement with Sam.  Ms. B has been a great support for Sam’s learning and has provided our family with a sense of security and confidence that he will talk.  Ms. B’s knowledge of Speech and Language has encouraged our son to make leaps and bounds with his language skills.  Every week I am pleased and happy to report that we get closer to where he should be developmentally.

I don’t know where my son would be had ECI not been able to provide this critical service not only to Sam, but to our family.  It has been wonderful to see Sam continue to progress and be able to communicate with our family.

  • Mark’s Story

When Joan was pregnant with her third child, Mark, she had no idea that he would be born with complications.  Mark was born full term in July 2005 and immediately needed heart surgery.  After a few weeks, the family took home a medically fragile baby and a lot of unfamiliar medical equipment.  “We were overwhelmed, exhausted, and traumatized at what had transpired,” Joan remembers.

Over the next three years, the family received services from LifePath Systems Early Intervention (ECI)Services.  “ECI helped our entire family in so many ways!” Joan said.  “They made me feel comfortable taking care of Mark” and provided her with the confidences she needed to work with and enjoy her son.

Mark was born with a cleft lip and palette.  At 6 months old, he was diagnosed with a rare genetic syndrome called CHARGE.  Mark is also legally deaf and blind, and he was connected to a feeding pump for about four years.  ECI staff worked with him on development, speech, occupational therapy, physical therapy, vision and hearing services, orientation and mobility, and social work services.

Mark now walks without assistance and knows about 70 signs the he uses to communicate.  “He hums songs, plays music on the piano, laughs all of the time and is one of the happiest children I know,” his mother said.  “Mark is a very intelligent child,” she added, but everything must be taught to him since he cannot see or hear well and cannot learn by observing others.

“ECI taught me to bond with Mark, which was very crucial first step,” Joan explained.  “They taught me how to teach my child, and they taught my other children how to interact with their brother.”  They also helped her prepare Mark to start school at age 3 and establish a communication system before he went to school.

When ECI explained what they could offer our family at a reasonable cost, it was a blessing!” Joan said.  She also said that she is still happily married today because ECI helped the family deal with their grief together.  “I will never forget where we were before we met ECI and how much support they provided us to get us to such a confident, comfortable place when we transitioned away from them.”

  • Lizzie’s Story

If anyone were to ask me when have I ever experienced the highest and the lowest point in my life, I would answer the day that our little girl was born.  Life has thrown us a curve ball when minutes after the arrival of our baby, the pediatrician informed us that additional tests were needed.  It was the longest 24 hours of my life.

The test results returned the following day and our daughter was diagnosed with Down Syndrome.  Our immediate thought was how do we take care of her.

That day was a blur of visits from specialists, pediatricians, ob/gyn, cardiologist, social worker, lactation nurses, etc.  We had a lot of questions and just did not know where or how to begin. That was also the day that our family got to know the term “special needs”.  That was also the day that our family begin the journey to learn about our little girl’s disability, limitations and to begin new hopes, expectations, and dreams for our precious little girl.

A week later at the pediatrician’s office we were introduced to the ECI program.  Shortly after that we received our first visit from our ECI staff.

The ECI program has helped our family tremendously.  We had gotten Occupational Therapy services for our daughter and as she grew, Speech Therapy services were added.  When our daughter was not growing as well as she should we got services from a Registered Dietitian.  When our daughter turned 2, being the anxious mother that I am, I began to ask questions about what happens when she turns 3.  The ECI staff talked to me about our local school district and arranged for a visit to a PPCD classroom and to meet with the teachers.  At every step of the way during the entire 3 years of my daughter’s life, ECI was there for our family.  We had gotten to know about support groups, respite care, seminars/workshops, and recreational activities.  From our family, thank you so much to the wonderful, supportive, patient staff of the ECI program for your care during our daughter’s formative years.

First STEPS

“Glad to mention that your techniques and advice have been helping us a lot!  I do appreciate you for all you do!”—family

“Thank you .  It was a tough ride but I made it through it all.  You helped me out a lot.  Thank you again!”—family

“Your Service Coordinator is a rock star!  I really think I would have had to remove these children if the Service Coordinator hadn’t been involved.  She has been amazing at maintaining contact with this family and the Mom has really connected with her.  It’s made a huge difference!”—CPS worker

“It’s amazing to have people we know we can count on to help families.  You never let us down!”—CPS worker

“It’s been really hard having CPS in our lives, but we got to have you come out and help us and that has been great.  It has made this all so much easier and I feel so much better about being a good parent!”—family