“CTC takes a family approach. They know that in order for a child to thrive, the whole family has to thrive.”
Five-year old Nate was a micro-preemie, born at 23 weeks and weighing just a little over one pound. He remained in the NICU for four months after his birth, and was on oxygen for an additional month after his parents, Brenda and James, brought him home.
“From the very start, he was our tiny little box of dynamite!” says Brenda. “So much energy packed into such a little guy. We heard about CTC from another parent in the NICU, and enrolled him in the Early Supports for Infants and Toddlers (ESIT) program when he was six months old. The quality of care at CTC and the personal relationships we’ve developed with therapists have been such an instrumental part of our life.”
Nate was diagnosed with autism in 2019, “which helped give us a better idea of what we wanted to work on in therapy,” Brenda says. “CTC was right there with us, reassuring us along the way. He has auditory and sensory issues, food aversions, and apraxia [a motor speech disorder that makes it hard to speak]. He’s still in diapers. But he’s saying full sentences now, and has made huge gains in impulse control. He’s learning how to calm himself when he gets frustrated. It’s wonderful to watch him use the skills he’s learning.”
His occupational therapist, Alli, is proud of Nate’s accomplishments. “It’s been amazing to see Nate thrive, and a big part of that is because his parents are such an active and integral part of the therapy services. This family truly brings a smile to my face each week!”
Nate turned three and had to exit the ESIT program just as the pandemic hit. While services for children over age three have traditionally been hard to access, the pandemic complicated the challenge. “We were fortunate that CTC offers services for kids older than three, but we had to fight our insurance company for a full year before they would grant OT and PT services for Nate, even though both services had been approved” says Brenda. “We were lucky because we had the time and resources to file complaints, but not every parent has that. The costs of raising a child with special needs can devastate a family.”
As Nate continues to thrive, Brenda wants to devote more time and energy into encouraging other families to stick together and help one another out. “CTC is great at directing families to other resources that are available in the community. And connections with other families are just as important. I want other families to know they’re not alone, that there are resources and support. It’s OK to feel like you don’t have it together. You’ve got our support!”