By Tonya J Wheeler
Averyana is an active 14-month-old little girl with an infectious smile. At 15 weeks pregnant, Averyana’s mother Brittany’s blood test indicated a concern for neural tube defect, and at 18 weeks was then confirmed on ultrasound. Averyana was born full-term and weighed six pounds. She was in the NICU for 3 weeks, went home, then had three consecutive hospitalizations in the first two months of her life.
Brittany then heard of the Missouri First Steps Program through the hospital. Right away Averyana started receiving Physical Therapy services with Amy through MO First Steps. Early Interventionists visit Averyana in her home weekly and the family also attends the spina bifida clinic for support.
Brittany stated, “Averyana is the happiest one year old. She is very determined and energetic. When MO First Steps first came into our lives Averyana was only a couple months old and we were not sure what to expect. Amy and the MO First Steps program has always reassured us that anything is possible. With the help of her adaptive equipment she can get around and be more independent and is seeing improvements every day.”
Amy stated, “She has done wonderfully with learning to use all her adaptive equipment at a very young age. She is learning to propel herself in her Zip Zac, which is like a Bumbo on wheels. She can maneuver it through her house and is working on propelling it outdoors. She has a Froggy which she lays on her belly and is learning to use her arms to propel. She has an infectious smile and a no quit attitude. Averyana and her parents have shown that even being isolated for a few months and having to adjust to virtual therapy didn’t stop them.”
Missouri First Steps services are provided through an Early Intervention Team model for babies and toddlers age birth to three years. Children can qualify for First Steps if they have a diagnosed medical condition associated with developmental delays, or a significant delay in one or more areas of development. Services are provided in the child’s natural environment, where an early interventionist works directly with the child and family to address the family’s concern with their child’s participation in daily routines. For more information, call 866-583-2392.