Early Intervention is a remarkable thing.
Thanks to an early diagnosis, we embarked on a journey of various therapies for our daughter, Ryleigh, at six months old.
Right of the bat, I worked hard at my new “job”: absorbing information to aid in my daughter’s progress and to give her every opportunity to thrive.
At our first Physical Therapy visit, I was very hopeful to find some help and insight into the severity of her low muscle tone issues.
Would she learn to stand on her own someday?
A part of me was hoping for a magical “fix.”
At six months old, she was light years away from crawling…she could not even hold her head up on her own.
I was unaware on our first visit that the Physical Therapist, or (PT), that we were seeing for the initial evaluation would have such a tremendous impact on our lives.
We followed the instructions of our PT and kept at it diligently.
After a while, she actually began holding her head up – ALL BY HERSELF!
That may sound like small potatoes to most parents, but to us, it was momentous!
Strengthening her neck muscles led into working hard on the muscles in her arms and legs.
Over the next few months, our PT taught me about muscle memory, motor planning and allowed me to actively participate in the therapy sessions.
As months turned into years, our daughter grew and her skills greatly improved.
At two years old, she began to crawl and our PT celebrated this stunning triumph as much as we did.
Despite Ryleigh’s diagnosis and all of the obstacles in her way, our PT taught me from day one to NEVER place limits on her.
She never offered false hope; she saw the sheer determination and motivation in my precious little girl.
Seeing her take steps in it with assistance made my heart swell with pride.
We both had tears in our eyes on the day she walked several steps in it, in a row, unaided.
We loudly cheered and clapped for her and saw years of hard work paying off.
Doctors have told us she likely will never walk independently, and that thought is always on my mind.
We were exceptionally lucky to keep our first PT for four rewarding years.
She helped my child gain remarkable strength, and despite Ryleigh’s challenges, she never gave up on guiding her to reach her goals.
She helped her blossom, while simultaneously teaching me invaluable lessons that I will forever carry with me.
I cried when this extraordinary lady moved away.
To her, from the bottom of my heart, I owe the sincerest THANK YOU.
Thank you for starting us out on the right path and for never giving up on my child.
I will never give up on her, and it was a great pleasure working with a professional that shared in my conviction.
If a venue improved its changing facilities, would you be more likely to visit it with your disabled child?