“I learn something new every time we come to therapy. This facility has given us the confidence, skills and support we need as parents working with Julie.”
-Dana, Julie’s mom
Three days after coming home from the hospital, Dana learned that Julie, born 3 ½ weeks early had Down syndrome. Dana did not have a high level of awareness about Down syndrome, so she set out to learn as much as she could. She knew there would be many challenges ahead, but believed in her heart that Julie would be able to learn. Julie began speech-language, occupational and physical therapies at Heartspring in July 2003 when she was three years old after receiving therapy from another agency since she was nine weeks old. As is typical for children with Down syndrome, Julie displayed speech-language delays, low muscle tone and poor fine motor skills. Now six years old, Julie is very much a visual learner. During speech therapy she utilizes a picture system and storybooks to improve her communication skills. Sign-language supplements Julie’s vocabulary of around 225 words, which makes Dana extremely proud. Helping her mom in the kitchen, singing her favorite Barney songs and dancing along with Elmo are some of Julie’s favorite activities. Julie, with her sparkling eyes and infectious smile, has completed therapy on a weekly basis since she was nine weeks old with rare complaint.