Eliot was referred to the Milwaukee County Birth to Three Program in November 2013 when he was just three and a half months old. While Eliot was getting fitted for a helmet due to his plagiocephaly, or the flattening of one side of the skull, his specialists commented to his parents on his extreme low muscle tone. Eliot’s parents, in consultation with his pediatrician, made the referral to the Birth to Three Program. Following Eliot’s evaluation at St. Francis Children’s Center, he began receiving intervention services from a physical therapist. His family learned that he had global developmental delays, meaning he had delays in at least two areas of development. While they finally had a diagnosis, his family never really received clear answers as to what caused his delays. When Eliot first started therapy, he had no head control and had extreme low tone. He also had a flat head because of a preference of laying on one side over the other. As he got older, it also became clear that he had speech delays and limited means of communication.

After his initial physical therapy services, Eliot began attending SFCC in our Young Toddlers classroom where he worked with a special education teacher, a speech therapist and an occupational therapist. While his parents were somewhat reluctant at first to have him in a social setting due to his many needs, they soon were overjoyed at the progress and growth Eliot displayed in this new social environment. During Eliot’s time in the program, his team was immediately impressed by his determination and warmed by his wonderful, bubbly personality. He soon gained head control, started sitting up and standing up, and he began walking. Eliot also learned sign language in his Toddler East classroom, which helped him communicate with his family, teachers, therapists and classmates. Today Eliot uses a communication device to further assist him in communicating with those around him.

Eliot graduated from the Birth to Three Program in 2016, but we recently reconnected with the family when his younger sister Allison was referred to the Birth to Three Program. Allison will receive speech therapy from the same therapist who worked with Eliot. In reconnecting with the family, Eliot’s parents eagerly talked about Eliot and reported the progress he has made. Eliot’s parents describe him as a very polite and endearing young boy. People enjoy being around him because he is sweet and has a great sense of humor. He loves the iPad, can double click on things, likes playing with the shape sorter, and loves the swings.They also reflected on their own experiences with the program and his team. They shared a story of when Eliot’s therapy team texted them a picture of the first time Eliot stood up in therapy… they’ll never forget that day. Mom spoke of how resourceful the team was and the familial bond they felt with Eliot’s entire team. They were also grateful that the team suggested braces for Eliot, told them about the Katie Beckett program, and how the whole team was so supportive of the family and Eliot.

We are delighted to see the progress that Eliot has made, and we can’t wait to see his sister also grow through the
Birth to Three Program!

Written by Molly Wohlfeil, published Fall of 2017.

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