Early Intervention Families Share Why Early Help Matters
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Early Intervention Families Share Why Early Help Matters

(light music) – I was 24 when I had my son, and so I didn’t know much
about children’s health. The doctor told me that
he had down syndrome. And they gave me this horrible list of all of the things
that might happen to him. This nurse, she said to me,
there are a lot of programs that are out there to help him. And specifically she
named Early Intervention. – When Roderick was born,
he came three months early, weighing one pound, nine ounces. He’s going to have lots and
lots of medical challenges; bleeds on the brain, he
may have cerebral palsy, he may have vision issues. They sent us to Early Intervention, so he had a physical therapist, he had an occupational
therapist, he had a teacher. – Because of the nature of my birth, Early Intervention was a necessity. You have this window from birth to three. The sooner you get ahold
of Early Intervention, the quicker that you’ll be able to get the assistance that
you need for your child. – Jordan attended school here,
right where I was working. He was jumping onto other children, he was bumping into a lot of furniture, and they said to me, we
can try Early Intervention. My husband, his reaction was, there’s nothing wrong
with him, he’s a baby. But I said, you know what,
I’m gonna do it anyway. His speech therapy was done in school, and so they would see him once in class and once in the clinic. Occupational therapy was done at home. I’m so thankful that the
therapists really worked with me and not just worked with him. – There are several
barriers that prevent parents from utilizing the Early
Intervention program. – One of them really is about stigma. They believe that my
children has a disability and people are gonna look
at my child differently. – A lack of knowledge, fear, distrust. A lot of them don’t trust the system, but we are gonna let the people know that this system works
because we experienced it. – To fathers who are worried
about making the step, your child may suffer as
a result of your pride. You wanna make the best decision possible, and if that means humbling yourself so that your child can get the
care that they need, do that. – The Early Intervention program itself cared about my family. I didn’t have to have all the answers. The therapists from the
Early Intervention program were there to help me teach him. The program gave us a sense of normalcy, and so Early Intervention also
gave us hope for the future. – He gets to first grade and they’re like, why isn’t Jordan in the
gifted and talented program? And I looked at them and I’m
like, gifted and talented? Even though my son gets services, that doesn’t mean he’s not smart, that doesn’t mean that he can’t excel. And sometimes as parents we think that if a child has a disability that they’re less, and it’s not true. They can soar, they can achieve, and I see that with my own son. – Programs of this
nature empower families. So don’t hesitate, pick up the phone, call 311, ask about Early Intervention.

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