Meet 11-month-old twins Liam & Bennett Payne who were born unexpectedly in December 2019 at 27 weeks. They were 13 weeks premature, and each weighed only 2lbs 3oz. Parents Lauren and Nick spent 139 days with the boys in the NICU. Once both boys were released, they were signed up for MO First Steps through the Center for Human Services.
First Steps has been crucial for the boy’s development and making sure they are reaching different milestones. The family said the boy’s First Steps main therapist Liz, is so attentive and has been wonderful to the twins. Liz was the first person to notice that Liam had a flat spot and ridge on his head. From there, he was diagnosed with craniosynostosis (fusing together of frontal plates which can cause a flat spot in the skull which is common in NICU babies). Due to Liz’s early detection, the family was able to get into the plastic surgeon early, and hopefully, Liam won’t have to wear his helmet for as long. The twins are also currently enrolled in Early Head Start center base programing at the Harris Center to help with their development and provide childcare for the family.
Lauren states, “In addition to CHS’s amazing services, it has been a blessing to have these resources locally. We don’t have to make as many trips back and forth to Columbia because we are able to get these services here, in our own home. We are so thankful to have these options and are looking forward to working with the CHS team as the boys continue to grow.” Watch CHS publications over the next two years for updates on the twins!
CHS Family and Child Development (FCD) consists of Missouri First Steps: System Point of Entry (SPOE) 6 & 9, Early Head Start, and Aquatics. First Steps is Missouri’s Early Intervention system for infants and toddlers, birth to age 3, who have delayed development or diagnosed conditions that are associated with developmental disabilities. Early Head Start is a comprehensive program, focused on providing a variety of services, through state and federal grant funding, for income-eligible pregnant women and families with infants and/or toddlers. Aquatics is offered in a heated pool at the Garlich Center. Water Walking, Water Aerobics and one-on-one sessions are offered to the community for a variety of disabilities. For more information call 660-826-4400.