At first, local mother Brooke Hamilton-Neufeld assumed her son Max was just a late crawler. Max was still not crawling by one year, so Brooke became concerned as most children her son’s age would at least start walking and moving around. Brooke went to the Children’s Village website for its online referral. The self-referral team, which includes a physical therapist, nurse, and other staff, all evaluated Max and referred him to early intervention services.
Starting Max’s early intervention was physical therapist Laura who came to his home for four to five months. As Max got older, he struggled with gross motor skills such as alternating feet when walking, hopping up and down, and balancing on one foot. He was also terrified of heights; this made climbing stairs very nerve-wracking for him. So Brooke and Max began seeing Children’s Village occupational therapist Sue, who they fondly address as “Miss Sue.” Sue worked with the family every week for 10 months. More importantly, “Miss Sue” made therapy fun for Max. Brooke says that Sue would incorporate Max’s interests into the therapy. That way, he would improve his fine and gross motor abilities and stay engaged. To build Max’s core muscles, Sue had him go through obstacles courses that included various exercises. Although Max enjoyed these activities, he had to learn how to overcome his fears. When Sue put him on the swing, Max learned to adapt to moving objects. Climbing a ladder helped Max adjust to unstable things and the heights he’s always dreaded. Because Max liked knowing what to expect next, Sue implemented structure in her therapy and created schedules for him. For instance, Sue would have Brooke and Max take turns choosing activities. “Having Max feel empowered by providing him a schedule was really helpful,” says Brooke.
Thanks to his family’s and Miss Sue’s support and guidance, Max is now a five-year-old who can stand on one foot, hop, hold a pen properly, as well as cut with scissors. Brooke will never forget Children’s Village and the kindness to her. She appreciates how welcoming the staff is; welcoming her family when they arrive and allowing Max to check himself in. Sometimes, the Village childcare watch Brooke’s two year old son Miles while she and Max attend therapy sessions with “Miss Sue.” As Max prepares to complete one more year of preschool, his family still keep connected with Children’s Village for Occupational Therapy. Max is growing up great and has fond memories of his time with Miss Sue at Children’s Village.