Thank you to our Western region and Camden's family for providing the story below! Camden receives his EI services in Montgomery county through the PACE program at the Montgomery Board of Developmental Disabilities. Note: The story has been slightly condensed.
"Camden was born in April 2018 and was incredibly welcomed by his dad and I and his 5 brothers and sisters. He completed our family and what a perfect completion he was! Early on, I noticed some “differences” in him (not holding his head up real well, not rolling over, not crawling, and not eating well) compared to what was considered normal and compared to my other kids; but I know that comparison is a bad habit and every child will hit milestones on their own time, so I just let it go.
We had attended his nine-month checkup and his pediatrician recommended Help Me Grow. She suggested I reach out and see if he would qualify for Early Intervention services. Thankfully, he did.
A little before his first birthday, he was assigned a developmental specialist (DS) and a physical therapist (PT) through the Parent and Child Enrichment Program (PACE) to initially come out to get a feel for what was going on and what would be needed. Eventually, that led to an occupational therapist (OT), and then further on a speech therapist as well as he was not saying anything but a small amount of babbling.
We began noticing some things such as: sensory issues, regressing a bit on some already learned skills, he did not enjoy being in social settings or with new people, no imitation or pretend play, being completely non-verbal and some repetitive actions. It was suggested in October 2019 that he get evaluated for Autism. In February 2020, we obtained an official Autism diagnosis.
Once we had that and knew what was going on, even more services were available to us. In March 2020, he started with the Play Project which is geared towards kids on the Autism Spectrum and we got introduced to yet another person to care for our family and soon we will look to his transition into preschool. This was all done in Camden’s safe space- his home. He was able to be at ease in a familiar environment which was so good for him.
Camden has made tremendous progress since being in the PACE program. Each one of us has been taught so many things and given opportunities that would not have been available to us without the program, or even if they would have been, I would have never found them. Even recently, with all that has been going on we have not been able to physically meet with anyone for therapy, but we have been able to do so virtually and Camden has grown so much! He even started imitating and used some sign language, something he refused to do any other time! Without a doubt in my mind, I believe that his support team and the program, has changed our lives for the better.
Every second of the process, we knew were not alone. We had the full support of each and every member of Camden’s Early Intervention team. Anytime I had a question or concern, they would either give me the answer or guide me along to get the answer. I never felt like I was left to figure anything out by myself and I know his team genuinely cares about him, his needs, and our family. We have been met with nothing but kindness and support from the second I made that first phone call. I cannot say enough good things about this program and the people involved in it. With the amazing progress we have seen in Camden since starting, we are looking even more forward to what is to come!"
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