Rosalynn was born on November 29th, 2016 following a healthy pregnancy and birth. It was during a doctor’s appointment at Riverside Pediatrics that concerns related to her smaller than expected head circumference was identified. Rosalynn was referred to Children’s Mercy Hospital where she was seen by Neurology and diagnosed with Microcephaly and partial deletion of the 18th chromosome. Kari and Chris, Rosalynn’s parents, were referred to First Steps after the initial diagnosis and started the program right away. Rosalynn had issues with decreased strength and muscle tone throughout her body, food sensitivity and communication skills. Through First Steps, Rosalynn has been participating in therapy with Liz Ambrose (Speech Language Pathologist), Jason Kindle (Physical Therapist) and Sonya Mertgen (Occupational Therapist). She has also started a new nutrition program.
While working with the First Steps program, the family was also referred to Early Head Start (EHS). Ashley Washington, EHS Home Visitor, has been able to use many techniques to work with Rosalynn in different areas of development. Together they have worked on infant massage, introduction of sign language and picture magnets to help with communication and they have introduced new foods with different textures to work on her food sensitivity.
First Steps, EHS and the family have worked in collaboration to set goals and ensure success and growth for Rosalynn. Her physical development has grown tremendously. When she was first enrolled she was only walking on her knees and now, with the help of therapy, she is walking independently and dancing all the time. Ashley stated that “Rosalynn is eager to explore her environment. She is now able to make eye contact and is very engaged during activities.” Rosalynn is now socializing, laughing, babbling and has learned her name. Kari and Chris stated “First Steps and Early Head Start have made it easier on us as parents to help Rosalynn and guide her daily. They have taught us a lot.”