Trey and Tatum are brothers. They love to play, talk and be near each other. Trey is almost one and Tatum is two and a half years old. Trey has Down syndrome, and Tatum does not. But according to their mom, Renee, Trey and Tatum are more alike than they are different.
Renee and her husband Brandon learned that Trey had Down syndrome quickly after he was born. Admittedly, their knowledge of the syndrome was “archaic”. The Down Syndrome Society of Wichita sent a parent representative to talk to Renee and Brandon, and during that time their shock and fear of the unknown turned to love and hope. They found out that children with Down syndrome can learn to do all of the things other children do, from a parent who has been in their shoes.
Trey began therapy at Heartspring Pediatric Services when he was four months old. Renee had talked to other parents whose children received services at Heartspring and decided she wanted to explore one-on-one therapy. Trey began seeing physical therapist Cheryl Jabara and speech therapist Audrey Hummel. Trey has been working hard on rolling, sitting, and weight bearing with Cheryl. Renee could not believe how quickly he progressed once starting therapy. “Trey started sitting up at the exact same age Tatum did,” she said.
"We are currently working on developing transition skills along with crawling and even getting him on the treadmill to start some pre-ambulation skills," said Cheryl.
Feeding had also been difficult for Trey. With help from Audrey, Trey is now eating baby food, big people food, and drinking from a straw. Trey is also working on communicating his wants and needs through imitation and sign language. "Trey is so much fun to work with in therapy,” said Audrey. “He is very attentive and interactive and enjoys all of our activities."
Audrey praises Renee and Brandon for their hard work. “His parents have been very proactive in getting him involved in early intervention with speech-language therapy,” she said. Cheryl agrees, "Trey has a wonderful support system at home. His parents have done a lot of homework with him to get him where he is today, along with a big brother that encourages Trey through his work."
Audrey also works with Renee and Brandon to give guidance and provide milestones to watch for and ideas of how to enhance his expressive and receptive language skills development along with his vocal/speech sound productions.
Throughout this last year Renee has learned several things about her children. Things she worried about with Tatum she does not worry about with Trey. She is confident that he will meet all the milestones with the team he has at Heartspring.
At Heartspring Trey is gently pushed to grow and develop. “With Trey everything is exciting, because nothing is a given,” said Renee.