Learning that your child has developmental delay or disability can be a stressful experience. Parents may feel frustrated, anxious, sad, or helpless. This can both impact the well-being of the family and further affect the development of the special needs child.
Early intervention helps build a nurturing and supportive environment for the entire family. Family-directed services are meant to help family members understand the special needs of their child and how to enhance his or her development.
Missouri First Steps families share their stories about how the early intervention services have enriched their lives.
Our JourneyOur journey with First Steps was Fantastic! At first, Brooklyn wasn’t walking, talking, or doing things she was supposed to be doing at her age. Without First Steps Brooklyn would not be where she is today. I am so thankful for First Steps and the things they did for her and us as a family. Brooklyn today, now walks, she talks more, and everything else that a 3-year-old can do! It’s amazing. – Robert & Misty Wilder
ThrivingOur son was in the First Steps program. He was born blind. We started making our IFSP when he was one month old and had our first visit with his Orientation & Mobility Specialist when he was two months old. Our First Steps Coordinator was very helpful with connecting us to the appropriate services for our son. They provided us with a very knowledgeable and skilled Orientation & Mobility specialist that helped our son become the thriving independent individual he is today. She also taught us skills we would need as a family to raise a blind child. Without the First Steps program our son would not be what he is now. He thrived because of the individuals who helped us starting at birth. – Jonie Wilson
GratefulWhen our 3rd son experienced complicated medical and neurological problems during infancy that affected his development, our pediatrician referred us to First Steps. For nearly 3 years, my son received therapy from knowledgeable and caring physical, occupational, and speech therapists. The support that we received was immeasurable. When he reached a goal or milestone, we all celebrated together, knowing that reaching that goal had truly been a team effort. Having a child who has any type of special needs or developmental delays can be overwhelming to a parent, whether it is your first child, or your fourth child. There are some things that you are never completely prepared for. But First Steps provides support that makes those first few years with your child less overwhelming. First Steps didn’t just help my son reach goals and milestones; it helped me understand his strengths and weaknesses, and it helped prepare both of us for the transition into pre-school. I will always be grateful for the services we received from First Steps and my son’s first therapists will always hold a very special place in my heart. – Elizabeth Fox
ProgressOur son was not talking at all before he began working with his first steps ST. By the time he left the program he could say sentences that are 3-4 words! Sentences! He also received OT and ABA THERAPY. Those didn’t come until later but have been extremely life changing bc we finally started to learn the tools and skills we needed to help him progress. We have even continued on with his ABA therapist bc they have been so influential in his progress! – Katie Bennett
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