We want to thank you for all the help that you gave our family, especially for our son Ryan Coria.
You have an excellent program with so much information, and activities for both kids and parents. My son learned so much thanks to you.
We also want to thank Mrs. Martha Scott for all the dedication and perseverance for our son.
I would like this program to be offered for a longer span of time for each child, and that you can reach more homes. So many families need it.
Thank you so much for everything. Keep pressing forward.
Marta Torres and Omar Coria
Through this letter I want to thank you for the difference that Kids On The Move makes.
Through Martha and Barbara these three years I learned to accomplish my goals and have patience with the information that Martha brought me.
I am grateful for the information about health. It is a security to know as parents that my son Kevin Samuel is benefiting. With the new ideas that Martha brought each week, he learned how to count, the colors, the geometric shapes, puzzles, etc. and I, Roxana, learned to dedicate quality time, even if it was 10 minutes. It made me happy to see how he advanced. Thanks for the attention at home. It was also motivation for my husband to read with my son. The meetings were motivating with everything they did. Each theme was a huge help for our family and the importance for fathers to participate with the kids – I learned all that. And now I see my son has developed faster than other kids his age.
I am grateful to God for this program. Thank you for the help and the opportunities you gave me. God bless you.
Silvia Roxana Rubio de Chicas
Our experience at Kids On The Move has been very enjoyable. We have learned a little more about how to help Liam with his needs.
The in-kind activities helped us pass time together even though his hyperactivity does not permit us to play with him for prolonged amounts of time. Little by little we have learned how to maintain his interest.
Our family educator Martha always is willing to help us with questions we have had. Also she has lent us activities and left us homework, even goals that have helped us in our development as parents and as a family. We have liked working with goals to accomplish this. For us, the most important part has been Liam’s development.
Liam has advanced a lot since we entered the program. We have worked hard on his language. When we began, he practically did not say more than 5 words. Today his vocabulary has extended to more than 50 words.
They have taught us how to help Liam be able to concentrate in an activity for longer periods of time and how to get him interested in other toys or new things.
I highly recommend Kids On The Move. On top of all the help from the visits and activities for the kids and families twice a month, they respect our opinions and listen to our voices as parents.
Veronica Sarai Pinto Morales
Thank you Kids On The Move. During the past 36 months that we were in the program, GianLuca responded so well to each stage that he was in. Thanks to the information given by my Family Educator, GianLuca was able to develop adequately in every area. For example, when he was starting to roll over, he did it without any problems. He started to walk and crawl according to his developmental milestones. He was able to wean off the bottle before a year old, and it was a huge success to be able to sleep in his own bed without a problem. Potty training was much better with the tips that Martha gave me and he was able to do it without too much work. His language is very advanced for his age, I believe, because some people tell me and ask me why he is so advanced. He can recognize basic colors as well as geometric shapes. He shows interest in puzzles as well as coloring but his favorite part is making towers with blocks. His gross and fine motor skills are advancing with age. He can climb up and down, run and jump without any problems. With his fine motor he can trace lines, color and cut on the lines.
Going to the activities gave him more confidence and security to play with other kids and stay in nursery without suffering. Now that he is finishing the program, he is now ready to continue in some kind of preschool and continue nurturing his knowledge and abilities. Again, thank you for everything and I hope that the program grows and gives this opportunity to more families.
The Mata Davila Family
I was a first-time mom at 22 years old, and as all moms have worries, we always look for help and occasionally follow incorrect advice. Most times nothing bad happens, but like most moms, we have to sort through all the questions that come up daily about changes our kids go through and their development. I am grateful for the blessing it has been to have Kiara R. healthy and without disabilities. While looking for activities for her, they recommended this program and I did not doubt in signing her up so she could reenforce her abilities. But we received so much more than that. We found a person (Martha Scott), who I thank so much for her help and confidence, always informing us and helping us with our needs, searching for community resources within my reach and listening to our family problems. Thank you so much, seriously. This program provides so much information that as parents we ought to know and put to use. It is a lot of new and preventive information. This program is based on the development of children and how to help them with their needs, processing changes. It was a great support to know that as parents we are doing a good job, learning much more about how to change habits and myths. We are more informed and can make our children better people, helping them grow and us as parents by making family goals. This program supports children’s development. The activities that the program provides helps us as a family to be more united and participate more with our children. Thanks to those who made it possible for this type of program to exist, and to those who do their best daily to help us achieve the best for our kids and ourselves as parents.
Cynthia Lizeth Llanes Luna
To whom it may concern:
Hi, I would like to talk a little bit of the KOTM program and how helped my child that was in the program. The home visits were very helpful because they gave me ideas and suggestions in how to be involved and help my children in their development. It also helped me with skills and having fun activities for them and also how to be focused and to be interested in the activities. Some of the activities were: drawing, coloring, numbers and shapes. I had a difficult time to help my child be focused in activities but with the suggestions I got from my Family Educator, I was able to help my child.
I got ideas in how to provide quality time individually with all my children and also as a family. Fifteen minutes with each but productive and enjoying the time with them.
Parent committee was very useful to parents for all different topics about health, safety, children activities, family activities, but after all, spending time with our children, being involved with them as parents and understand how important it is for our children’s lives our participation as parents. It also showed me that having communication, respect, understanding and much love to them. We are trying to be good parents and good examples to them; to have patience and teach them consequences.
I had the opportunity to know of this program because I had two children that were in the program. My last son Osvaldo who just turned 3 years old and exited the program had the opportunity to be in it.
To me this is one of the best programs because it helped me to learn how children development and how to help them continue learning things. It also taught me how to provide safety and support.
I had two good Family Educators Carla and Martha Scott, both were knowledgeable and taught me how to help my children in different ways of learning. They were available all the time to help me out.
My home visit were always punctual and supplied plenty of information. Sometimes I needed different information and Carla & Martha always gave me to me. Your program was very useful to me and will be very beneficial to new families. Take advantage of it!
Our lives became easier, due to the fact that children don’t come with instructions.
Thank you very much Kids On The Move.
Claudia Luz Velez-Ruiz
The Rivera-Hernandez Family’s Story
How difficult it has been to me to write this letter. There are so many feelings and wonderful memories that are part of our life history. IT has been 5 years and 4 months of unforgettable. I do not know how to express all my gratitude for all the tools, information and advice given in a timely manner, trustworthy guidance, help to support my duaghters in their mental, physical and emotional development.
Having security of when I needed some sort of information 6 medical referral; they always had the best option for my family. The best orientation, due to the fact that we came from different culture and traditions, I always had the best guide to provide better education and support to help my daughters in their development.
A few days ago, I was for the last time in this beautiful building, clean, safe. I did learn a lot in every activity/classes how to be better parents; it was very difficult for me to leave because I knew it was the last time being here and at that occasion I did like the topic and thought this program should be until the child turns 18 years old; because in the same way we support our children in their first years, is not easy to be good parents, and we always need guidance from a safe and knowledgeable program to keep giving us positive information to guide our children.
There are so many things I would like to say, but it is difficult to me to write it down in a piece a paper. I would like to say THANK YOU for everything. Keep giving the support to more families to be better parents and give the strength to our children.
Thank you@ I love this program. My son looks forward to his home visits every week. I think your employees are amazing, well trained, and very knowledgeable when it comes to any questions I may have. I have learned so much and the best part is that I’m learning with my son! This program has given me so many techniques to grow as a parent. I love the classes that ar eoffered, and try to go to as many as I can. I cannot wait to attend the baby buck auction! Keep up the good work! Thanks again Early Head Start!
Love Always, Mandi Bergeron and Oscar
Aedan & Sanani’s Story
We have twin boys. Their names are Aedan & Sanani Ryan. Tom Vauhghn has helped us in so many ways. We didn’t even know where to start. KOTM has been a blessing sent to us! You’ve taught us how to teach our toddlers, how to be great parents, great listeners, a great family, etc! Tom is so very kind and patient, he truly is someone to value as an employee and as a friend. We really appreciate all the love, care, friendliness, and education KOTM has provided us. I would recommend Tom to any family that has a challenge, because Tom is a go-getter and loves children. He is patient, kind, knows his stuff, and plays with the children. Thank you so much!! We will miss you Tom!
Through this letter, I want to let you know my satisfaction about (Early Head Start’s) Home Based program services. Since my daughter Abigail was enrolled in the program, she has shown improvement in her social, emotional, cognitive and physical development. Play school activities have also helped her a lot as well.
In-kind activities are very good to implement them at home.
During the time Abigail was in the program, she became more independent, learned the shapes, how to cut paper and to have more interest in books.
Abigail’s goal was Positive Discipline with Limits and she has improved about an 80%. The information I got from my Family Educator helped me a lot to implement limits, specifically I learned how to implement time-out.
I want to thank the Family Educators Katherine, Virginia and Martha for all the knowledge and support they gave me. I want to also thank all the staff in the program that made this progress possible.
I am very grateful with all staff that made the Store possible during Parent Committee because it made it possible for us to save money in our home.
Thank you to all and to every single person at Kids On The Move from the Director of the program to the clean-up team.
Thank you for being concerned about our children and to provide a better life and future.
Through this letter, I want to thank all of the staff members of the KOTM program for their work and performance for/with children, the help they give them in their early stages. I have seen the progress of my daughter Grecia. If it weren’t for the program, I wouldn’t have thought to work/teach my child anything. I would have waited till she had to go to kindergarten. I consider your work to be excellent, my best wishes and continue to have success. Very grateful, Dora Bustillos.
Jemis Hassard was born prematurely at 24 weeks in April 2013. She was automatically put into the program when people came to evaluate her. Alicia, Jemis’ mother, has felt incredibly grateful for the Kids On The Move program in her life. She has seen many improvements in her daughter through them working with her in occupational therapy, physical therapy, and developmental specialists. Not only do these therapists teach the kids, but they also teach the parents some helpful things they can do to help their kids continue to progress. Alicia has learned lots of tips on how to get Jemis to eat, walk, build confidence, and how to interact with her. Alicia says “Kids On The Move is just like family. They have been super open for us to text or call them when having issues. “ She describes them as a second eye for their child. “You don’t expect to have a baby at 24 weeks, or to be behind in things. But the people are always supportive and always have advice. Having this program is great because you know your child will succeed and meet the milestones they are working towards. “ Thanks to Kids On The Move Jemis has been able to progress in so many ways.
Reese started with Kids on the Move when she was 18 months old in November 2012. Reese was born with Williams Syndrome which is a genetic disorder where the child is learning delayed and too friendly to a fault as they are not scared of strangers. While Reese was born with Williams Syndrome it wasn’t until her family took her to see a Pediatric Cardiologist for Reese’s heart murmur that they were directed to Kids On the Move. Kids on The Move worked with Reese’s family’s income making the program an affordable cost. Reece was in the outbound service where therapists came to Reese’s home once or twice a week for about 45 minutes to work with her. The organization helped Reese with basic skills such as stacking blocks and sorting. Reese was afraid of walking on uneven surfaces such as grass, to help with this Kids on The Move introduced Reese to Courage Reins which involves riding horses. After going through Courage Reins Reese was able to face her fear and walk on grass, gravel, etc. The therapy can look a lot like play, but it’s directed play to help them learn. The family was really able to connect with some of the therapists and saw how much the therapists loved the kids and what they’re doing.
While at the WIC office, Kristina Hone found a flyer about Kids On The Move. She began the program 10 months ago while she was still pregnant with her beautiful little girl Elaina. They began to participate in the Early Head Start and Early Intervention program with occupational therapy and physical therapy. 2 months later they added on speech therapy services. Kristina has seen many benefits from Kids On The Move. Elaina’s motor skills and movement have increased. She is now able to walk and move around because of these wonderful services this organization has provided. Kids On The move has become a part of Elaina’s family, and are there to help with any of their needs. They feel a great comfort to see her development and know that she is working with wonderful people.
Nyla came to Kids On The Move in September of 2011 when she and her family were referred to Kids On The Move at the hospital. Nyla has received physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy which has helped her through her stages of development rolling over, sitting up, and walking. Nyla’s family has appreciated everything they’ve learned and what Kids On The Move has done for them because it has allowed them to network with other families in the same situation.
Maximus came to Kids On The Move when he was a month old and has been with the program since. Maximus and his family found out about Kids On The Move when he was a month old, from a nurse who came to check on him. Since then, Maximus has had physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech therapy, all helping to monitor and encourage his growth and development. After working with therapists to eat, roll over and crawl, Maximus is at a developmental level now where he no longer needs physical therapy. Maximus continues occupational therapy and working with a speech & feeding specialist until he ages-out in October.
Krew and his family found out about Kids On The Move after spending time in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit when he was born. Krew began receiving services in December and since that time he has had occupational therapy, along with visits for physical therapy, massages, and hearing checks.
The occupational therapy for Krew has helped him to learn how to eat, both from a bottle and now solid foods. It has helped him to learn how to sit up and to crawl and continues to be a useful way to assess his development. By having weight checks to help monitor Krew’s growth and nutrition, he is now growing like he should be.
Davey and Maggie’s Stories
Davey and Maggie Killpack have been receiving services within a month of each of the birth of their children due to a diagnosis of spina bifida. Davey, the eldest, started in July of 2008 and Maggie in July of 2012. When Millie the mom was pregnant, she met with specialists at Primary Children’s Hospital. They told Millie about Kids On The Move and explained that her kids would qualify for their services. Millie also had some friends with kids in the organization that helped Millie get to know what the programs were about. Services were provided for Davey until the age of three while Maggie is currently receiving services. Her parents are really excited for Millie to start her next therapy, horse therapy Courage Reins! Both Davey and Maggie have received physical therapy, occupational therapy, feeding therapy, and hippotherapy. Davey was able to participate in play groups and Kindermusik. The two kids have received the care and attention from many providers that have continually celebrated success with their family as each kid has continued to develop. Brita, Davey and Maggie’s mom said, “Since Kids on the Move has been with us since our children’s birth, we see how they have effected every aspect of their growth. From feeding to crawling, they’ve been an integral part to our children’s success”.
Avery has been coming to Kids On The Move since she was about 6 months old. A friend who works at Kids On The Move referred her mother here when she was showing delays in her gross motor skills and weaknesses on her left side. Avery has now graduated from her physical therapy and is now walking, when initially she was having a hard time just crawling. Kids On The Move is now introducing sign language to help Avery communicate. Avery and her mother love her therapist and really appreciate what Kids On The Move has been able to do for them. Kids On The Move works with Avery and her parents to teach them different things to practice that can help her to progress.
Wyatt is 2 ½ years old. At seven months old, doctors discovered that he suffered a prenatal stroke causing hemiplegia. His right side of his body has been affected and does not respond or work as well as his left side. His stroke has also affected the learning and speech parts of his brain.
He was immediately referred to the Baby Watch and Kids On The Move’s Early Intervention Program. Through home visits, Wyatt is showing a vast improvement with the help of a gross motor physical therapist, an occupational therapist and a developmental specialist. When therapy first started, Wyatt could not even roll over. Now, 2 years later, he is able to do everything other children his age do—just in his own way, as he is still working to use his right hand.
Wyatt’s mother says, “Early Intervention gives me hope and helps me know how to help my little son so that he can be on track with other kids his age.” Wyatt is adored by his big brother, Colton, and big sister, Presley, and of course by his parents. He is a joy in his family and they are so grateful for how the Kids on the Move program has impacted their family.
Jack started the program about a year ago. His pediatrician referred him to Kids On The Move. He met with a Developmental Specialist and immediately started feeding classes, which he had two sessions of. Due to his speech delay he participated in occupational, speech, and horse riding therapy.
Jack’s vocabulary has increased immensely. His progress began from using one word to 100 words in one year. His family feels that KOTM has provided a means to continue helping him by the experience and skills they have gained through this program.
Bennett was born with Down syndrome. His family learned about Kids On The Move through the hospital and their doctor’s office. He was introduced to the program when he was about a month old.
He worked with a speech therapist for two months until he could start nursing. At seven months old he started physical therapy. Being that he was born with no muscle tone, now 21 months old, Bennett can walk almost independently. He is learning sign language and is beginning to grasp the concept of puzzles. The progress he is making with his developmental skills has been very evident.
His mother shared that KOTM has provided an environment where her son could develop his social skills and be comfortable expressing himself. She also said KOTM has helped her be able to talk with other parents with similar situations. KOTM has provided the skill set she needs to continue helping her child. Gratitude does not sufficiently express how she feels about this program and the impact it has left on her family. “I feel so lucky to have this program available to my children. I have direct numbers to people who can answer my questions or concerns. They put their whole heart into what they do. It’s all about the kids and their needs.”
Xavier Bringhurst was born twelve weeks early and spent his first four months in the NICU. During his time spent in the NICU, a gastronomy tube was placed. Due to the G-tube being placed he developed an oral aversion.
While still in the hospital, Xavier’s parents were informed of a program provided by Kids on the Move that would help him in areas of his development. Xavier began participating in Early Intervention, in June of 2012. He started receiving services such as occupational and physical therapy.
Over the past two years, Xavier has noticeably had the greatest improvement while receiving occupational therapy. His oral aversion made it difficult for him to eat. With continual therapy, KOTM has provided ways for him to overcome his fear of food and accustom himself to eating.
Callie started with Early Head Start last Sept at 2 1/2. I felt she was talking a little late for her age saying a lot of one words but not 3 or more words together. I started looking to see where I could get her evaluated & find some help. My neighbor had used the program and loved it. So we started the process and they decided that Early Head Start was the best for her and that we would just watch to see how she does and if she needed to be reevaluated at some point. Well, Callie did so great with the help of our very helpful & so caring Family Educator E
rin. She came each week and had new ideas how to get Callie to learn new things and follow directions. We made goals for Callie & as a family as well that were so helpful. This program really gave me the tools to be able to communicate with Callie and help her learn everyday. She has now graduated and is doing so much better at listening, following directions & she doesn’t throw tantrums as often since we can communicate better. I am just so grateful I found this service.
– Becky Madigan
Tilly is a sweet young girl who loves to smile and play, she also has Cerebral Palsy. Having Cerebral Palsy has stunted her development in many areas such as eating, sitting, walking, and language. Tilly and her family were referred to Kids On The Move by her doctors and the University of Utah Hospital when she was six months of age.
Since joining the Kids On The Move program Tilly has begun to experience tremendous growth. She is growing socially as well as physically and her family is growing with her by using the skills they have been taught by KOTM. Her therapists have helped her learn basic living skills. They have performed exercises with the child such as walking with aids to support her muscles as she grows.
Before participating with KOTM Tilly was unable to sit or stand on her own and had difficulty eating. Thanks to the dedication of KOTM she is now able to sit and walk with help of certain devices and can eat on her own. Some of the skills taught to her were things such as simple sign language and how to roll over, but, simple skills like these have helped Tilly slowly progress. Thanks to KOTM Tilly and her family are more hopeful now that they have learned how to help her grow even with her impairment.
Molly Ford was born ten weeks early and had several complications at birth. Upon birth it was discovered that Molly had an obstruction in her bowels. It was removed but over a period of twelve days she had developed an infection and became septic. Due to these events she was not receiving enough oxygen to her brain and also experienced an Anoxic Brain Injury. These unfortunate events caused a delay in many areas of development. Through past experiences her family had been introduced to Kids On The Move and decided to enroll Molly in their program.
Upon entering the program Molly received several therapy treatments. Physical therapy helped her develop control of the left side of her body that had once been unresponsive. Cognitive therapy helped Molly understand certain language and gave her tools needed to communicate. Behavioral Therapy has given Molly the opportunity to develop better social skills.
Though Molly had difficult circumstances and a rough start at life, she and her family now have a greater hope than they once had. She has a chance at happiness and can do things she loves, like dancing, listening to music, or just being around people. Through these trials their family has grown together and has become a “more cohesive unit.” They now realize that “every step is cause for celebration” and with the help of KOTM they have seen Molly progress, and her progress has given them a reason to hope.
Ian was diagnosed with a bilateral cleft lip and palate before he was born. The cleft palate made it difficult for Ian to communicate, eat normal foods, and knowing where to place his tongue to sound out words. For a while the cleft was causing issues with Ian’s hearing, which made it so he couldn’t imitate sounds properly. Through surgeries, his palate could be reconstructed. Therapy could train him so he could more easily eat and learn how to move his tongue to say words.
Ian’s pediatrician suggested Kids On The Move. Ian’s mom attended a therapy session, and Ian began working with KOTM at 18 months and worked with speech and occupational therapists. Therapy involved the family as a whole, not just Ian.
He now communicates and eats normal foods. He is two and a half years old and will soon be graduating to the local school district’s program.
Ian’s parents Sheldon and Emily said, “In the beginning, we felt like we were drowning. We could not see beyond the current struggles. Ian’s progress has changed our entire outlook and has re-instilled hope. If you are in a similar situation, do not search for answers on the Internet, because when we did, the results were so negative that it made us feel worse. Kids On The Move we would recommend to anyone! They have helped Ian progress so much and have been a support to our family. Lastly, hang in there, it takes a lot of time and effort, but it’s worth it!”
Quinn Reid was clearly not progressing like other children her age at about 18 months. She was verbally and receptively behind. Her gross and fine motor skills were delayed as well.
Through friends who had children with similar disabilities, the Reid family found out about Kids On The Move, and Quinn began receiving services at 24 months old. The service coordinator came every other week and brought the help they needed. She was able to receive help from a speech and occupational therapist, learning box, and sensory and structure classes.
Quinn began with hardly any attention span, limited verbal skills, and limited social skills. Almost one year later Quinn is using words in occasional two and three word sentences, she understands one or two step instructions, her attention span has increased, and she will engage in playtime situations with increased eye contact.
Quinn’s mother, Karen, said: “I am more than grateful for the help I have had over the past year for Quinn. I know she would not be where she is without the help she has received. Each person that has worked with her has helped her progress in individual ways. Kids on the Move has taught me how to teach Quinn now that we are ending the program. I know how to continue helping her. This was the best decision I could have made for the well-being of my child. She is where she is now because of the help she has received.”
At two years old, Chelsea still made no attempts at anything resembling speech. Gayleen, a speech therapist, began meeting with the Mechams. She immediately perceived actions (for example: Chelsea drinking from a cup with the rim resting on the tongue rather than the bottom lip) and suggested Global Developmental Appraxia as a cause. Finally, the Mechams had a name for Chelsea’s problem.
Chelsea began to learn ways to sign and communicate wants and needs. This lowered the Mecham’s frustration levels greatly. At two and a half years old, she began the Courage Reins program which incorporated therapeutic horseback riding. By three years, Chelsea was able to walk, almost run, and could speak a few words. Her fine motor skills have improved as well, so her ability to sign and have it understood is improving daily.
Betsy (the physical therapist), Gayleen (the speech pathologist), and Heather (the developmental specialist) were all instrumental in Chelsea’s success.
After two years with KOTM, Chelsea graduated to the local school district’s program. Mary said “It was extraordinarily helpful to receive these services, and even more beneficial that they were free. My husband and I would have done everything possible to pay for the therapy that Chelsea needed, but would have been in debt the rest of our lives trying to pay it off… Though it may sound cliché, it really has made a difference for our family.”
“It is hard as a parent when it seems like no one else understands the difficulty of day to day life. Until I entered the community of parents with this program, I didn’t have that. The parents of other special needs kids know what it is like to have people constantly criticizing you, your child, and your parenting because of your child’s progress or lack thereof. They knew what it was like to spend hours and hours of each day doing therapy with your child, and having literally no time for yourself, even to use the restroom. They knew what it was like to work for years trying to get your baby to call you Mommy, and you never getting to hear their sweet voice. They also know how to be truly proud of your child’s accomplishments, which seem small to everyone else, but to us mean the world.
“I love Chelsea for exactly who she is… Kids On The Move has helped me to learn many things, like how to help my child walk, communicate, and eat; things that parents take for granted that their children will accomplish on their own.
“But it has also helped me to realize that my child is not defined by what she can or cannot do. Every child is worth the same, and deserves the best life possible for them.
“I want to thank Kids On The Move for helping my child along the path to her greatest potential. Without this program, my family would be struggling so much more, and be much further behind where we are now. I will forever be grateful for all the progress that Chelsea has made because of the time and effort this program has invested in this one child, who means everything to me. Thank you!
Alexia was diagnosed with Spina Bifida at her mother’s 18 week ultrasound. They had fetal surgery at 24 weeks pregnant to put her spinal cord back in and close the opening on her back. Without the surgery she would have been paralyzed from the waist down and needed a brain surgery to put in a shunt to remove excess fluid from her brain.
She is now walking with a little walker and no braces. Alexia has taken independent steps a few times and is on her way to beat the odds of walking independently too!
When Alexia was a small baby, her mom did a search on the internet for Early Intervention programs and found Kids On the Move. Alexia was evaluated for services at four months old. She started receiving therapy at six months. She has now received therapy for two years. She receives two physical therapy and two occupational visits each month. She also had speech therapy once a month for a few months. The Motor Group Therapy is also one time each week.
Her mother says, “We were given a lot of skills to use at home by our therapists that have helped us to strengthen our daughter and help her reach milestones. We have had a lot of emotional support as well as being a special needs parent can be difficult at times. Our occupational therapist has gone above and beyond and comes extra times during the month when we have needed more help with special circumstances. We have been really happy with our services.”
When Reese was 18-months old her pediatrician found that she had a heart murmur and referred her to a cardiologist. He recognized that Reese had Williams syndrome which often includes developmental and speech delays. Her pediatrician recommended they get help from Kids On The Move.
Reese has received home, occupational, and speech therapy. She also gets to attend Kinder Music and horse therapy which she really loves.
During therapy visits Gary, her therapist, worked with Reese on a variety of fine motor skills. The therapist was tremendously positive with her and they were both very excited when she succeeded in these activities. He was great at giving clear specific instructions such as, “okay, now put the red block on.” She enjoyed playing with the tiny discs so much that she cried when it was time to put them away.
Reese’s communication is getting better too. She is able to tell you when she is tired of doing something. She would say “done” when she had enough of doing a certain activity. It is pretty funny! Her therapist patiently encourages her to do just three more, helping to expand her attention span.
Reese is nearly three years old and will age-out this month. This means that she will begin going to preschool with the school district very shortly.
Kenner is close to two years old now but was just eleven months old when he first started at Kids On The Move. At first he received physical and vision therapy, but later he received occupational therapy.
On April first he was diagnosed with West Syndrome (infantile spasms) which caused epileptic-like spasms which can cause developmental delay or even regressed development. Kenner was also diagnosed with Potocki-Schaffer Syndrome (the eleventh chromosome is missing ten genes). Michelle, Kenner’s mother, heard from a doctor about Kids On The Move’s program. After receiving these services, there were great results.
Before Kenner had received services he wouldn’t roll over; now he can do that and he also sits up on his own.
Kids On The Move suggested many other doctors and organizations in the community who could offer even more help. Kids On The Move not only gives therapy but also access to other resources. Thus it acts as one central stop for tools and resources, offering hope by teaching parents great tools to be successful.
Matthew was born January 10, 2009, six weeks premature with an uncommon syndrome called Goldenhar. This is a congenital problem connected to head and spinal deformities. From an early age Matthew has undergone many surgeries to correct some physical deformities. His mother, Raquel, was first introduced to Kids On The Move from a therapist in the NICU at the Utah Valley Regional Hospital, who suggested seeking their help.
When only a few months old, Matthew qualified for Kids On The Move and started receiving therapy. They were always supportive and on top of the therapy provided, would also check up on him after surgery, always providing help and support in any way they could. Matthew was able to get speech therapy, occupational therapy, and a developmental specialist, as well as physical therapy to help his motor skills.
Matthew is a big talker now; he is able to clearly express himself along with displaying improvement with his motor skills. Raquel says the biggest help Kids On The Move gave was the specific training they gave her to help him beyond their involvement. He graduated from their program just after turning three years old.
Amaru, Inti, and Jairo’s Story
Amaru, Inti and Jairo are brothers. Each of them have had speech delays. Amaru has also had a history of ear infections and at around age two he began having seizures. The doctor recommended he get tubes in his ears. Around the same time the seizures stopped. His parents were concerned about his lack of speaking and other delays that could come from the seizures. The doctor referred them to Kids On The Move. Amaru graduated out and is doing well in first grade now.
Inti began services also because of speech delays. They later found out that he has separation anxiety and that he is border-line autistic. He and his family have learned how to sign and Inti’s speech has greatly improved. Through the great, sincere relationship with Jerry and Linda, he is doing much better with his separation anxiety.
Jairo is the youngest boy in their family. While Inti was working with his speech therapist, she noticed that Jairo would smile, but would never laugh, even when he was tickled. She realized he too needed therapy. He began going to Kids On The Move at only 11-months old. His mom was still nursing him then and was really concerned about him being okay without her. She sat in the room and observed the first few days that Jairo was in class. He did very well! When she brought him he would let go of her hand and wave and tell her, “Bye, bye” then run off to his activities. Jairo is learning both English and Spanish at Early Head Start.
Their mom, has found that keeping the same schedule that Jairo has in preschool helps at home too. Jairo does such a good job of doing what he is supposed to when she calls him for snacks or nap time. She said, “The things we have learned from Kids On The Move have been the biggest blessing. The best thing was learning to be patient.”
Kamp was diagnosed with autism at age two. At fifteen months old he wasn’t responding to noise or his name. His mother, Beth, worried that he was deaf. A hearing specialist ruled that out. Later he visited a children’s psychologist in Salt Lake City, who diagnosed him with severe autism, and they were referred to Kids On The Move.
Kids On The Move therapists put him on a sensory diet with things to regulate the nervous system. His therapist also helped him cope with anxiety. An autism specialist gave Kamp’s mother the needed tools and advice to be successful in helping her son. An ABA therapist organized a social play group to help Kamp learn how to interact with other children. He also received speech therapy.
Kamp was in Kids On The Move from age two to three when he graduated. He is now seven years old. Beth says that Kids On The Move and other resources like it are “super essential starting out on that journey.”
Programs such as these offer the parents necessary training so that they don’t become overwhelmed.
Lisa, Zander’s mother, noticed that he was not where he should be developmentally. Zander could only say a few words. At eighteen months old, he stopped speaking and wouldn’t even say the words he had been using earlier. His doctors put tubes in his ears, but that didn’t help. He was an extremely picky eater and had social and behavioral problems such as big tantrums.
After seeing a psychologist he was diagnosed with Pervasive Developmental Disorder. PDD-NOS is a diagnosis given to children who have social, behavioral, and motor skill developmental delays like that of autistic children but do not meet all the same checklist criteria as an autism diagnosis.
His mother heard about Kids On The Move through a neighbor who had a one-year-old who was also receiving therapy. In fall of 2013, at age two, Zander qualified for Early Intervention and Ashley, a therapist from Kids On The Move, came out to assist the family and get them integrated into the organization. Six months into therapy, there was a milestone jump in his progress. He went from being able to say only five words to saying 50 words and putting together two-word sentences.
Kids On The Move helped him to eat more and also begin to express himself. Zander has come a long way and is still improving.
The help that was given was an answer to the family’s prayers.
Mckai was born with Autism. When Mckai was eighteen months old his parents noticed a few differences in him. Mckai made less eye contact than others and seemed to be in his “own world” most of the time. He was doing only certain activities while being less social than usual. These signs prompted his parents to seek help and their pediatrician recommended they visit Kids On The Move.
Since participating with KOTM, Mckai and his family have made large strides in both his development and the ability to nurture and care for his specific needs. He is receiving cognitive therapy, developmental therapy, and physical therapy. Due to his efforts and those of his family and therapists he is now seeing great improvement in eye contact, cognitive skills, and the ability to interact with other people. He has also begun to expand his mind and is learning new activities that he was once opposed to such as playing with his toys.
Mckai turns three in May, and at that time he will graduate from the KOTM program and their services. He has made great progress while at KOTM and his family has learned the tools needed to make his life better. Through therapeutic training his family has also become a stronger unit as they’ve learned to “understand how to be part of Mckais’ world.” Mckai has grown along with his family and has a bright future ahead of him.
I can’t say enough good about Kids On The Move. It has been great. My grandson has enjoyed all activities. The teachers really meet his needs. The teachers really care just as if they were their own children.
The children are taken very good care of. Diaper changes, being fed properly, and being taught skills so they will be ready for Head Start program. The library is the most up to date with stuff to give little people a real chance to be read to and learn. Sharlene is really good to us. She saves books for us that she thinks we may be interested in.
The family educators have been very helpful to us; giving us ways to teach my grandson.
Canyon looks forward to school each day and misses it when it isn’t a school day.
We love this little grandson so much and want the best for him. And we feel that Kids On The Move have helped a lot with him, raising a baby in our 60’s is challenging. His dad and mom are not fit to care for him so we stepped in to help him and raise him. And Kids On The Move people have been a big help to us.
Thanks so much,
Dennis & Karen Snow
Grandparents of Canyon Snow
My daughter, Emily, participated in Early Head Start through Kids on the Move for about two years. During this time, she excelled by leaps & bounds, surprising us at times by how fast she learned.
Our family educator, Tiffany Millar, walked us through each step of Emily’s development, identifying normal & more advanced things Emily did. Tiffany helped us address Emily’s behaviors, offering insights behind her behaviors and suggestions of things to try. Many of the activities done during visits provided us with creative things to do with Emily on our own as well. Because of the program, we were able to identify and work toward goals, meeting our family goal & striving but not quite completing out child goal.
I liked that having Tiffany in our home provided Emily with an adult to Interact and bond with other than me. Emily always looked forward to home visits, anxiously watching for “Tiffy” to arrive. It prepared her for having a teacher in preschool to listen to and follow directions from, as opposed to going from just being with parents and having to learn that in addition to getting along with other children. During our time in EHS, Emily’s father & I separated. I felt blessed to have Tiffany involved consistently in Emily’s life—it was a constant she could count on each week.
Attending Parent Committees & Discovery Groups gave us much needed socialization with other kids & parents, topics of interest to learn about, and prepared me to be more involved with Emily’s education. Emily has since completed her first year of Head Start in which I was the Parent Committee President. I was able to draw on my experiences from attending the meetings at KOTM and carry my knowledge over to MHS for our monthly Parent Committee Meetings & it all culminated in organizing & running a successful year end carnival. I also served on a committee with community members grading MHS in several areas & led an end of year meeting polling other Parent Committee Presidency members from other centers. I also volunteered many hours in the classroom & at home with Em. I fully believe that without our time in KOTM, I would never have even participated, much less been President. Emily impressed her Head Start teachers with how smart she is & how much she already knew. She scored as advanced in most of the areas they tested. Without having EHS in her life prior, I don’t think she would have done as well.
Kids On The Move has come to my home for three years. I sought help from them when I was pregnant with my second child to have all the right nutrition facts and help they had to offer. They made my pregnancy so much easier, my son was born tongue-tied and had delayed speech due to that. I met with case worker Martha Scott once a week and did activities to help improve my son’s speech. Three years later he’s talking up a storm. I couldn’t be more happy with my services from Kids On The Move. They are terrific people, who are so helpful and I don’t know what I would have done without them and their resources to help me. Thank you KOTM and Martha!! We love you!!!
Sonia, mother of three, is struggling to talk about the fact that her family is graduating from the Early Head Start program. She says it is the “end of a beautiful period of learning for me and my family.” Sonia says that she and husband Bertin now have the tools to guide their children more patiently, lovingly, and intelligently. “This program has united us as a family and opened paths of communication between us, “says Sonia.
Sonia cites the physical and intellectual development of her daughter Aixa as the primary purpose of entering the program. She was worried about Aixa’s ability to be self-sufficient and confident. She’s not worried about those things anymore. “I’m pretty sure we achieved that and a lot more,” says Sonia “We are sure that her mind is now prepared to learn much more than she now knows. She’s sure of herself, and fiercely self-sufficient. She’s socially active in any type of situation, and she has good manners.”
According to Sonia, none of this would have been possible without the guidance of their Family Educator Martha, whose words of encouragement and firm and friendly temperament empowered Sonia to apply the practices she was learning in everyday life. “There are not sufficient words to thank Martha for each word, and each counsel of each visit.” Aixa will miss watching out the window every week to be the first to greet Martha.
But Aixa was not the only one to benefit from Early Head Start services. Because Early Head Start involves all parents in the governance of the program, Sonia was able to participate in decision making and leadership opportunities. She says that participating in Parent Committee and Policy Council increased her self-esteem and helped her realize that she was capable of accomplishing a lot more than just housework. She says that Kids on the Move “didn’t treat me just like another person in the program, but from the very first moment they make you an important part of the decision making process.”
Sonia would like to thank everyone that has had anything to do with their marvelous experience in Kids on the Move.
Aubrei is your typical five year old in many ways, a kid that’s everywhere and not really focused on anything. But for a little girl with autism, she’s come a long way says Jalee, Aubrei’s mom.
Aubrei’s family lives in southern Utah, where there are not a lot of resources for kids with autism. There were programs for children aged one to three years, “but we were left hanging for kids over three,” states Jalee. It was then that Jalee attended a conference on autism and discovered the Autism Center at Kids On The Move.
Now, two years into the program, Aubrei works with her therapists, Brittanie and Ari every week, and loves her sensory classes. The key was getting her to connect. “The main change in Aubrei is eye contact,” says mom, Jalee. “She is so much better at attending – being able to accomplish a task. Her follow through has more than doubled.”
At first, Jalee and her husband, Mark, were amazed at how hard the Kids On The Move program pushed her. And she comes out as happy as can be. “We realized that these are things that we could work on at home,” Jalee remarks, “So we are working toward that and rearranging some things.”
The ABA class offered by Kids On The Move helped Aubrei work on her sensory issues and social engagement. “We feel great about doing that for her. As parents, we appreciate the ABA class and what it offers,” Jalee says. “Especially the fact that it’s in a realistic setting and at a realistic cost.”
The family enjoys the outdoors, going boating and camping every summer. But for Aubrei, water and swimming are number one. “We want to help her be her best little self, to have a happy life and to fit in,” Jalee states. “We really look forward to watching her grow as a little girl.”
Brandon & Elizabeth’s Story
Patricia knows how to pitch a baseball. And she can shoot a basketball, too. With children that play sports, these are just a few of the skills you pick up when you’re a single mom. But perhaps her proudest achievement is just being a good parent to her kids, three-year old Brandon, and one-year old Elizabeth.
When Patricia was looking for parenting information, she went online and found the help she needed on the Kids On The Move website. The Early Head Start program seemed perfect for her— a chance to really learn the basics.
“As a teen mom, I didn’t feel comfortable on my own,” says Patricia. “Kids On The Move took me in. And I knew it was a good choice because my son, Brandon, who’s three now, really bonded with the other children.”
With two kids in the program, the family received in-home services every week and was able to go the Kids On The Move center a couple times a month. They worked with a family educator who offered advice and helped Patricia set goals. In fact, with encouragement, she decided to go back to school and has the hope of finishing soon.
“It’s great to know that someone is there to help. And everyone at Kids On The Move was very willing,” Patricia recalls. “Because of the support from the program, I know my kids and I can have a better future.”
Bryce was about 20 months old when he was diagnosed with autism. But he’s always been fortunate to have someone looking out for him: his twin sister. And if you ask mom, April, sis is such a strong personality, she’s become both his best friend and his caretaker.
When Bryce was three years old, his mom got in touch with Kids On The Move through the Autism Speaks website, and enrolled him in the Autism Center. Several times a week, Bryce goes to the ABA classes at the facility and works with his therapists, Ari, Matt, Brittanie and Kimberly. The three-hour classes are in a group setting for social and play opportunities, and help Bryce work on his sensory integration. “I love that Bryce is really into me, but the classes help him become more independent,” says April, “which is totally different than being prompt dependent. He’s much better at self-help and more responsive.”
April attends the parent university where she has access to a lot of resources, including the parent support group. She can talk with Bryce’s teachers after class, goes on field trips and really gets into the experience. “They are into what parents need,” she states.
April observes that Bryce works hard with his therapists and has this really focused face. “He is really adaptable, which is amazing for an autistic kid,” she remarks. “I just hope that we find something for Bryce – that he’s good at and that fits within society.”
The blessing for Bryce is that he has his twin sister to interact with, to chase around and to play with. The entire family is active and enjoys going to the park and swimming. “Bryce is a really sweet kid and is great with sharing… very innocent,” say April. “I just want him to find his thing.”
Ciara & Taegan’s Story
Glenn & Holli are the parents of Ciara and Taegan. The Werkau family has been part of the EHS program since January, 2010. Ciara was 13 months back then and Holli was only a few weeks into her pregnancy with Taegan. It was also around this time when the family started to experience some changes. Glenn had been struggling for a few months with finding a job. A great job opening was offered to him in the oil rigging business in Philadelphia. The family was grateful for this opportunity, but also recognized the sacrifices that it required. Although this job would require Glenn to move away from his family, both him and Holli recognized that taking the job was the best decision for the family at the time. Glenn’s hard work allowed Holli to become a stay-at-home mom. She was able to spend more time with Ciara and it also provided the financial means to prepare for the new baby.
Having Holli be a full time mom has encouraged Ciara to learn and develop to her fullest potential. Ciara is a brilliant 22-month old girl. She loves books and has an incredibly extensive vocabulary. Lately, one of her favorite books is “Brown Bear, Brown Bear.” She can and point to and repeat the name of ALL OF THE ANIMALS in the book! One of Ciara’s goals while being in the EHS program has been to strengthen fine motor skills. Holli has motivated her to achieve and exceed all of her goals. When she was enrolled in the program, Ciara could stack about four blocks. She is now able to stack up to 12 blocks!
The Werkaus recently welcomed the newest member of their family. Taegan was born on August 18th. Her arrival was awaited with excitement, but also with concern. During Holli’s second trimester, a spot was identified on the baby’s heart. The doctor told the family that this could be a sign of the baby having Down Syndrome. The family became concerned by the news, but Holli decided to be proactive. She decided to learn more about the disorder and discussed with her family educator about the variety of services and programs available in the community. Taegan arrived as a healthy baby girl, putting her parents’ worries to a rest. Her test results showed no developmental delays and she is now thriving and growing as expected.
It has been difficult for Holli to care for her daughters while Glenn has been away, but she has remained positive and done an exceptional job. Glenn has kept in touch with his girls by talking to them often and coming home to visit. Although Glenn’s job has brought many blessings to the family, they recognize that having the family together is more important. Reuniting the family is now a priority and Holli and Glenn are currently making arrangements to either move to Pennsylvania or find a job for Glenn in Utah.
Glenn & Holli are exemplary parents and EHS values their participation and dedication to the program.
Cruise’s story begins August 7, 2007. We were so excited to be new parents and even more excited to welcome this little boy into our family. After 6 hours of natural childbirth, Cruise Dawson Ybarra was born 7 lbs 14 oz. and 19 inches long: perfect.
Cruise was a very observant baby. He looked at everything, but only occasionally made eye contact or looked at our mouths when we spoke. He laughed when people cried, laughed when dogs barked, and had a constant need for movement. Before he could crawl, we would have to put him in a carrier if we wanted to get anything done. When he got too heavy, we’d lay him on a blanket and drag him around the house. If he wasn’t moving, he’d cry and scream for hours on end. The day he started to crawl was probably one of the best days of his life; he got to explore and move around wherever and whenever he wanted.
From early on we noticed Cruise’s sensitivities. If there were a lot of people talking in one room, he’d painfully cry, so we knew to remove him from certain over-stimulating situations. But despite all these intense needs, we still didn’t realize that most babies were not like this. After all, he was our first.
Once Cruise began to walk a week shy of 10 months, he not only walked, but ran, climbed and jumped! Physically he was above average. He was always a good boy; he slept through the night and took long naps, and generally was obedient. He was a joy to have around despite having to keep an eye on him every second for fear that he’d do something crazy, like climb up and jump off of a bookshelf.
Cruise began to say words, but never kept them. He’d learn a word, say it for a week or two, and then lose it; never to say it again. He began to grow more and more frustrated at the fact that we never knew what he wanted. He couldn’t communicate and we couldn’t understand. This began extreme tantrums and meltdowns and we just didn’t know what to do.
Around his second birthday, we decided to put him in a toddler bed since he was climbing out of his crib. Since then, Cruise hasn’t slept through the night consistently. We didn’t know why, and we couldn’t ask him why. We took him to get a 15 minute evaluation with a Speech Language Pathologist at that time. She said he was about 6 months behind, but not to worry too much. She gave us information on some sign we could teach him to help him communicate, and said that if his speech didn’t make any progress in 6 months, to bring him back for a full evaluation.
Six months came and went and it was now January 2010. By this time our second son, Jett, had been born and my husband had been laid off. Over the 6 months, Cruise couldn’t focus long enough to learn and understand signs. He hadn’t made any progress. We went back for a complete evaluation this time with a different SLP. Cruise couldn’t sit for longer than seconds. The minute we entered the room, he was climbing all over the place, getting into everything, and never responding to questions, let alone his name. After working with him for less than an hour, the SLP told me that Cruise may have something called Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), which would explain why he needed to always be moving and was sensitive to loud noises. She referred us to an Occupational Therapist, telling us that if those sensory needs were addressed first, he would have better success at speech.
Cruise began OT in January of 2010 with Angela. During the first visit, a Sensory Profile was done showing that he indeed had major sensory needs and sensitivities outside what is typical. We also were introduced to PECS and it was suggested that if the sign wasn’t working, that PECS would help Cruise communicate his wants and needs.
That day I went home and took pictures of a large majority of things he asked for on a regular basis. I printed them out, laminated them, bought a magnetic board, and had his PECS board up and running that weekend. It was an instant success and Cruise knew exactly what to do with all those pictures.
Towards the end of January, we started things with Kids on the Move. Things didn’t get really up and running until March, but once things got started, Cruise was able to make some great progress and I was given so many great ideas and skills. I just don’t know what we would’ve done without KOTM. We were provided with classes that helped us understand Cruise’s special needs and gave us the tools we needed to help him be successful.
During this time, Cruise continued to go to private OT, but because of the great success that was being made, he stopped in May. We had learned what calmed Cruise down (like deep pressure and heavy work), and found great ways for Cruise to meet his vestibular and proprioceptive needs (climbing at the local indoor rock climbing facility, open gym at a gymnastics arena, etc.). We were thrilled at all the progress he was making.
Close to his 3rd birthday was when ‘autism’ was mentioned. I think deep down inside I knew that Cruise was autistic, but I didn’t really want to come to terms with it. His care provider at KOTM supplied wonderful information on Autism and suggested some resources. I researched and researched and researched, and made my peace with the fact that “yes, my son has Autism.” It was at this point that I was filled with an undying determination to do everything possible to ensure my son’s success and happiness in life, despite our lack of income.
We started a Gluten-Free diet, and it seemed to work wonders. He began making sustained eye contact, his speech was picking up more and more, and he was overall content. However, the last week of Early Intervention came and Cruise all of a sudden digressed. He was melting down constantly, screaming most of the day, and had begun hurting himself and others. Everything that used to soothe him didn’t work anymore, and once again, I felt helpless. What would I do without KOTM?
We returned to private OT and started again; learning what Cruise needed and what we could do to help him. I cried every night; I just wished I knew what Cruise was feeling, how he saw the world around him, and what he needed. We enrolled him in a therapeutic horse-riding class with hopes that his love for animals would help his speech and self-soothing skills. My husband was still jobless and our savings account was quickly turning into nothing. I was overwhelmed, exhausted, and more socially distant than ever. I wrote KOTM a venting e-mail, and they replied with sincere understanding and a desire to help.
I knew that the KOTM Autism Center was the right thing for Cruise. No matter what, I was going to find the money. I called up my parents and asked if they could pay Cruise’s tuition; they were more than willing to help us out. I was so relieved and excited. Despite Cruise’s qualification for public special-ed preschool, the only goals that had been included in his IEP were for speech. I was upset because no behavioral, sensory, fine motor or social goals were set. I knew KOTM would fill the giant gaps that had been left.
The first day of preschool came. Cruise blossomed immediately, right before my eyes. Even after just two weeks, Cruise has been making social attempts outside of class, his receptive and expressive language is progressing at an incredible rate, his eye contact is more frequent, and all he wants to do is go to school. KOTM’s Autism Center is where he not only can be himself, but it is also a place where he is taught according to how he learns.
The teachers at the Autism Center are some of the brightest and most talented therapists I have ever met. Their passion for what they do is obvious through the lesson plans they prepare, their interactions with the children, and their sensitivity to each individual child. Each child is seen as an individual with unique needs; the teachers identify those needs, create goals with the parent, and make things happen. To me, they are miracle workers. I am amazed at their dedication and love for what they do.
All I can really say is, despite the days I sit with my head in my hands, trying to regain courage and sanity, I am not worried any more. After the first day at the Autism Center, I came home and told my husband, “I think Cruise is going to be okay.” And since we began, I have the opportunity to sit and watch my son in every day situations with the constant, relieving thought, “Cruise is going to be okay.”
Dakoda is known as “Little Man” but he’s had a big impact on everyone in his three years. He was just 1 lb. 2 oz. when he was born at Provo Hospital and spent 5-3/4 months in the NICU. The hospital referred Dakoda’s mom, Kristy, to Kids On The Move and at 18 months old, he began in the Early Head Start program.
For Dakoda to make incredible progress, it took an entire team of support. Mark, his occupational therapist, got him moving and instantly earned Dakoda’s love and trust. As did Paul and Gary, his other therapists, and Karen, their social worker.
“Dakoda loves all the programs. In the winter, we really enjoyed the motor class,” Kristy said, “Kinder Music with Jessica is wonderful. And we’ll continue to go to the discovery groups at Kids On The Move.”
Kristy has been impressed with progress her “Little Man” has made since he started the program. At one point, Dakoda wasn’t sitting up, crawling or eating solid food. But with his mom’s support and that of the Kids On The Move team, he is now sitting up on his own and eating some table food. Imagine her surprise when she recently found him at the top of the stairs looking totally innocent.
“Dakoda is very playful and he likes toys and games,” mentions Kristy, “And he loves his 11 year-old sister. We’re excited, too, because he has another sister on the way.”
By all accounts, Dakoda is still a little man. “He’s wearing 12-month clothes,” says Kristy.” But in three to four months, she anticipates that he will be walking on his own. And they’re leaning sign language together, with Dakoda already picking up “drink” and “milk.”
Kristy believes that someday Dakoda will be able to look back and say thank you to all those who helped him live a productive and happy life.
Destiny & Mickey’s Story
Margie absolutely loves the Early Head Start program and the services she receives for her daughter, Destiny, and son, Mickey. For six years, the family has been involved with Kids On The Move and working with Heather, their family educator.
“Consistency is what the kids respond to,” says mom, Margie, “and Heather has been with us the entire six years. They love when she comes over and the one-on-one counseling really helps me understand my kids’ growth.”
Initially, Destiny was in the Early Intervention program to receive help with her disability. Occupational and physical therapist worked with her movement, to get her from crawling to walking. Also, sensory toys were introduced to develop fine motor skills.
Many other useful items are provided essentially free-of-charge. Throughout the year, Kids On The Move receives donated items for which Margie likes to use her ‘baby bucks.’ Just by being in the Early Head Start program, the family earns money that they can then trade in.
“We love to camp and fish, and Destiny and Mickey will play in the water,” Margie comments. “I see great things in the future for my kids.”
When Ellie turned two, we noticed her verbal skills were not increasing. She could speak two to three words and could not pick up new words. She did not want to be around anyone other than immediate family. It was difficult to engage her socially.
We told our doctor about some of the problems we saw in Ellie and he referred us to Kids On The Move. When Ellie turned 3 she was no longer eligible for KOTM. As the months went by Ellie began to face new challenges and difficulties and we did not know how best to help her. We were informed that KOTM was starting a new Autism program that would extend services to children Ellie’s age. We wasted no time getting connected. After a thorough evaluation, which allowed us to see Ellie’s strengths and weaknesses, an individual plan was developed to help Ellie through her challenges and to continue to move her forward. We knew the Autism Center was the right program for us because they did not have a cookie cutter approach to their program. They were not trying to stuff Ellie into some pre-existing steps. Their program was to help Ellie as a person. They cared about our child more than anything else.
As a result of their intervention, Ellie’s transformation has been nothing short of incredible. Her language and social skills have increased to the point where some people can’t even tell she has ever had problems in these areas.
We are so grateful to the work of the KOTM Autism Center and thank God for their work.
When a friend referred Faith to the child care center at Kids On The Move, she was impressed. She saw that children were interacting with others “in a good way” and learning about interesting things. So, for a few mornings each week, she decided to enroll her son, Elliot, in the program.
“The low student-to-teacher ratio was great,” Faith says, “And the quality of the facilities is really good. They know that Elliot has food allergies and are careful to address it at the care center.”
At home, Elliot’s family does the typical stuff – watches movies and plays games. And they really enjoy the outdoors. For a fun loving 3-1/2 year old like Elliot, the active play at the Kids On The Move child care center was perfect. He likes running around outside and the ball playing area is a favorite.
“By talking with LaRayne and the other teachers at the center, I learn about Elliot’s day,” states Faith, “It was good to know that the kids are not just sitting around watching videos all day.”
Arlene Colman noticed that her second son, Fawkes wasn’t speaking at 18 months old. In fact, he had lost a few words. Even without an official diagnosis, she believed that her son was on the autism spectrum. So, with her doctor’s referral, Arlene reached out to Kids On The Move and placed Fawkes in the Early Intervention program at age two.
“Before Kids On The Move, I watched Fawkes… he didn’t like to play with anything and he didn’t even get along with his brothers,” says Arlene.
“As a parent, it feels like you’ve been dropped in the ocean. Having a son with autism means you don’t know where to turn until you discover that lifeline. At Kids On The Move, you can get the help you need. Now, Fawkes interacts more and even likes to hold his brothers’ hands.”
Fawkes and his younger brother, Kian, are enrolled in the Kids On The Move childcare center, while oldest brother, Xavier, attends the sibling shops once a month. The boys enjoy the great outdoor play area and Arlene loves the consistency of having the same providers working there.
“It shows they have a good child care center because they are not always changing people. We’ve known LaRayne for years,” Arlene comments, “They also have a good reward system. It’s almost better than what I do at home.”
“I see that Fawkes cares more. He knows the people and everyone knows him, by name. At age six, he’s happier than he’s ever been and more aware of the world around him.”
Jace’s mom and dad believe that addressing Jace’s autism early in his life has made a difference and has made the future hopeful. In fact, they can see him attending a regular school, doing really well and having his delays be indistinguishable from his peers.
When mom, Angela, found out about the Early Intervention program at Kids On The Move from a neighbor, she discovered not just good support for her son, but good support for herself.
“Aubrey is one of the early intervention specialists there and she immediately gave me her cell phone number, “ Angela remembers, “She said, ‘call any time, really’ and when I do have a question or concern, I know they really care.”
Before he started the program, Jace had a regression in his speech at two years old. Charmaine, his speech therapist, knew exactly what he needed. In the six months at Kids On The Move, he has expanded his language. Jace also enjoys time with Mark, his occupational therapist, who works with him during floor time and provides other autistic therapy.
“The people at Kids On The Move set goals for Jace,” says Angela, “ I’ve been really happy with everyone that works with him… he’s really made a lot of progress. And recently, we enrolled him in the KOTM Autism Center to get ready for pre-school.”
With three kids in the family, there was a time when Jace had difficulty engaging with his siblings. Now, Jace wants to be in the same room, around people and other kids. He loves to play with his dad. He enjoys being outside on the trampoline and on the swings. He is much more aware of what’s going on around him and “is not just in his own world.”
What three-year old wouldn’t want a dog? For JD, this was to be a very special dog, one trained in seizure alert; one part member of the family and one part service dog. And best of all, JD’s dog gets to fly home with him. On the plane. From Ohio.
When JD was two, he was nonverbal and his parents, Bobbie and Jeremy, didn’t think too much about it. A little later, when he began echoing only what they said, they realized that something else was going on. With a family doctor’s referral and research they did on their own, the family contacted Kids On The Move to address JD’s speech delay and more.
“JD used to have terrible tantrums that sometimes lasted two to three hours, “says mom, Bobbie. “At Kids On The Move, we learned how to help him get out some of his anxiety. When we incorporated those things at home, JD’s tantrums dropped eighty percent.”
From age two until age three, JD and his parents worked with Kimber to address his overall behavior, Mark for occupational therapy and Alyssa with speech. The family also found that some “quirky” things seemed to help him calm down. Weights strapped onto JD for a short time gave him extra sensory input. His social interaction and communication were among the biggest changes.
“For a time, only his dad could touch him,” Bobbie recalls, “ and he completely ignored his little sister… she had to make him interact. Now he’s more and more social. JD has jumped leaps and bounds through Kids On The Move.”
Since then, he’s moved into KOTM’s Autism Center to keep the routine through summer before moving into the school system. But what JD is really looking forward to is getting his dog soon. He knows it’s a big dog, too. Autism service dogs are matched with the family and to get JD’s dog, the family will have to fly to Ohio. It will be JD’s first time on an airplane and his mom hopes they will make it without any issues.
“Changes in his routine are a disruption for JD, but Kids On The Move has really helped us help him,” states Bobbie, “We all got the same training at the same time.”
Jordan and Jazmin
This is my last year with Kids On The Move. I am very sad to leave the Early Head Start program because it has not only been a guide to my daughters, but also for me. Kids On The Move started coming to my home when I was pregnant with my youngest daughter, Jordan, and my other daughter, Jazmin, was only 2 years old.
Before I became involved with the Early Head Start program, I did not know how to meet the emotional needs of my family. The classes and visits helped me get more involved in the lives of my children and helped me become a better mother. My daughters are right on track with their emotional, psychological, and physical development because Kids On The Move gave me the power to help them. Our family educator, Barbara, has helped me better understand my daughters through love and patience. I could see the great improvement in the lives of my younger daughters. Jazmin even taught Jordan the things she learned after each visit. Now that Jordan is in the Early Head Start program, even my husband is surprised at how she can count and how much she loves being read to.
The family goals we made have brought our family closer together. Because we have a mentor who understands and helps us, Barbara was able to teach us self-reliance. The self-reliance we have learned has helped through rough times. We have grown together as a family. Thank you for all the help you have given us.
Elsa and Family
Kenny’s speech came slowly. His grandparents, Mark and Tilly, who had been raising him, noticed it right away. Their doctor saw Kenny and confirmed there were no problems with his hearing but there was a speech delay. So at 1-1/2 years old, Kenny entered the early intervention program at Kids On The Move.
“We love Linda,” says Mark, “because she had a concern for Kenny’s well-being and a passion for what she did. She was awesome.”
Linda was Kenny’s speech therapist and introduced him to several types of games while she diagnosed his delay. She brought matching puzzles—which Kenny loved, and had him practice vocabulary—which he didn’t. Along the way, Kenny started figuring out the importance of speaking.
Kenny also worked with Mark, his occupational therapist, who noticed a big change in Mark and Tilly, too.
“We became more aware of how to help Kenny,” Mark states. “Before we didn’t know what was wrong or right. The therapy helped us as much as it did him.”
Kenny graduated from the program in April and entered into the school system. He’s still working on his speech and sometimes takes short cuts, say his grandparents. They believe his experience with early intervention was very valuable and that his future is going to be a lot better.
“He is full of life and is going to do well,” they report. “We can’t thank Kids On The Move enough.”
Kylee was diagnosed with autism at age two, at about the time that her father was diagnosed with DRPLA, a neurodegenerative disease that causes involuntary movements and deterioration of intellectual function. The challenges for mom, Traci, were almost insurmountable.
Discovering the KOTM Autism Center for Kylee was a very positive and emotional experience. “As a single mom with not much income, I want to do what’s best for Kylee,” says Traci. “The biggest change is that she is much more aware of us and of what’s around her.”
The interaction with other children at Kids On The Move is beneficial for Kylee. She starts every day out happy and makes progress with her social interaction, motor and cognitive skills. But it’s difficult for Traci to manage the three hour classes and her other responsibilities. Plus, money is tight, even with a fundraiser that helped a bit with the cost. “Right now, I’m hopeful about getting on the scholarship program, Traci states, “because it’s tough to work a full-time job when Kylee needs to go to therapy all the time.”
For now, the family plans to keep Kylee going to the ABA classes where she is doing so well. “I wish I could see into the classes through a mirrored glass,” Traci says, “So that I could get more insight into what they are doing. I want to learn what to do at home, too.”
Traci admits that it’s difficult to always know what Kylee needs and wants. “I just want to take care of her. I look forward to Kylee learning to talk and really communicating with us.”
“The best thing about Kids On The Move is that they give you plenty of ideas,” says Lindi, mom to Tyler, Lincoln and Melody. “You get to make a great connection with the other parents and volunteers while the kids interact with other kids. And the activities… we all love them.”
Lindi knew about the benefits of Early Intervention and had Tyler in the program when he was younger. So when Lincoln had some speech delays, she got help from Kids On The Move to set goals for him.
“Lincoln is a pretty smart kid and was developing longer sentences, “Lindi states, “but he was hard to understand. His words were incomplete. We worked with him to solve some issues through speech therapy. He’s very talkative and now I can understand him.”
At first, the family had in-home visits but Lindi found it more beneficial to go the Kids On The Move center. The kids love the play groups, toys and crafts, and mom gets to work with a family educator. “It doesn’t cost us any money to get some help and it’s been enjoyable for Lincoln. He’s reading books now,” says Lindi.
“Six years ago my oldest son, Parker, passed away. He was in the Early Intervention program for about nine months before he died. Everyone at Kids On The Move stood by our family and helped us be more calm about it.”
Logan is a very active and curious kid who just happens to have a speech delay. Not that you’d know it, since he’s attended the Autism Center at Kids On The Move. In fact, where he once only repeated what he heard, he now talks non-stop in his own words. “And we love it,” says mom, Selma.
Logan’s speech delay was identified when he was three years old. Through a friend’s referral, the family contacted Kids On The Move and Logan has been working with therapists Ari, Megan and Brittanie for about a year. “We love taking him there,” says his mom, Selma. “He loves it, too. We’ve been tracking his progress and he’s improved a ton.”
His father, Sam, enjoys taking Logan to the park, and having him play with all the kids and exploring what things do and how they work. For a family that does everything together, Logan’s newfound words are an exciting experience for every one. And it’s given Logan’s parents hope that he will someday be at the level for his age and attend regular classes.
With what they’ve taken away from the Autism Center, Selma and Sam have incorporated many fundamental practices in their home. “We’ve learned how to talk to him on his level,” Selma remarks, “and don’t use ‘can’t’ or ‘no’ whenever possible.”
When Logan’s parents learned of his speech delay, they were relieved that it wasn’t something more serious. Yet they still had no idea what would happen in the future. “Was it going to be forever?” Selma questioned. “It was so hard before but Kids On The Move has given us hope and made us much happier as a family. It’s great to be able to communicate with your child.”
Lucas was born addicted to several drugs and alcohol, and the first challenge of his tiny life was to go through withdrawal. With a strong and supportive family, it was just one of the many challenges he overcame.
His parents, Linda and Jonathon, adopted Lucas and welcomed him into their family and into a home that already had seven children. Soon, they noticed that Lucas was delayed in some areas. He didn’t walk until 18 months and then after, he had no equilibrium and was running into walls. He didn’t talk but screamed plenty, and only calming pressure helped.
“We knew something else was going on,” Linda states. “We just didn’t know how to deal with it. We thought it might be Asperger’s (it wasn’t). We kept asking ‘what can we do.’ Kids On The Move was completely prepared to help us with Lucas.”
Their physician, Dr. Abrams, had knowledge of the Early Intervention program and referred the family. With Lucas’ weak immune system, he wasn’t able to be in an environment with lots of people. It would make him too sick. So Kids On The Move came to him. Paul, Tiffany, and Lizzie were his therapists and helped him with motor skills and his speech. They introduced sign language, which the family still continues. It was amazing to see the progress. Before he was three years old, Lucas taught himself to count to twenty, knew colors and shapes, and could say the alphabet. His parents thought he was the smartest kid for his age that they had ever met.
“Linda Stanton did just about everything for our family,” says Lucas’ mom. “And Karen, our social worker, really came through for me. With all that help, Kids On The Move gave me hope.”
At home, the family created an outdoor play area with several donations from their local Home Depot. There are things to climb on, swings, a ball pit with a chalkboard, and a trampoline. When Lucas is doing well, he plays and plays with his brothers and sisters. Hide-and-seek and basketball are two of his favorites. And he love bubbles all the time.
“It seems like ever since I’ve had him, I’ve been fighting for Lucas,” Linda remarks. “Kids On The Move has been helpful… I was able to see what Lucas really needed. He has graduated from the program and is now in the school system, but he still goes to occupational therapy. And we’re very excited because soon we will be adopting Lucas’ sister.”
From the time of birth, Lucy proved to be different than Sarah’s previous two deliveries. Lucy was rushed to the NICCU right after birth. In the first two years of her life, Lucy was sent to Primary Children’s Hospital dozens of times and visited several different specialists. “She just wasn’t ready to be born,” the doctors would say as her mother questioned why Lucy wasn’t gaining weight and was choking frequently. As time went on, Sarah knew her daughter’s behavior wasn’t solely due to a premature birth. Lucy did not roll over or make sounds like other babies. At the age of 16 months, Lucy was diagnosed with Sotos syndrome, a rare genetic disorder. Although this news was difficult to take, Sarah expressed relief, “Sotos is not the definition of my daughter, but I now have a network and some ideas about where we may be heading.”
At four months old, Lucy got involved with Kids On The Move. She jumped into occupational therapy (Chris Pratt), physical therapy (Mark Jones), and speech therapy (Elizabeth Hecht) at-home visits. Once diagnosed with Sotos, specialists stressed the importance of Lucy receiving all three therapies; Lucy’s mother was very grateful her daughter’s treatment was already in full swing.
Chris, Mark, and Lizzy have played important roles in Lucy’s development. “Chris has been our guide and our friend, I cannot imagine going through these past two years without her,” Sarah says. Chris has been instrumental in Lucy’s young life. She has always been a great support for the Samuelson family. Lucy’s sister, Grace, recently told her mom, “Mom, Chris has seen us messy and tired and hungry and fighting and EVERYTHING! And she still loves us! She is probably our truest friend.” Sarah agrees with her daughter.
Lucy immediately fell in love with Mark during their first visit. The connection Lucy and Mark have creates an unlimited learning environment. She works really hard for Mark, bringing forth outstanding results. “She walked earlier than many other children,” Sarah states. “He has taught me how to help her build her core, strengthen her muscles, and increase her endurance. She literally gets a workout everyday!”
Speech Therapist, Lizzy, uses positive reinforcement when Lucy accomplishes difficult tasks. Children with Sotos tend to have more significant delays with speech; Sarah appreciates Lizzy’s guidance through this struggle. “I am amazed at the way she can coax all three of my children to help Lucy learn. I try so hard to model Lizzy’s teachings after each visit,” said Sarah.
Sarah attributes much of Lucy’s success to the therapy she has received at Kids On The Move. Some of Lucy’s big accomplishments include gaining weight, rolling over, sitting up, crawling, walking, and beginning to form words. Kids On The Move has empowered the Samuelson family, “the training I have received from Kids On The Move has helped me be able to perform each therapy for Lucy.”
Lucy’s mom expresses her final remarks, “What a blessing it is to have a therapist who comes to our home, who understands our dynamics, and who helps us! I am grateful I don’t have to make arrangements for my other children and go somewhere other than my home to receive Lucy’s treatment. We are so blessed to live in an area where these services are a part of our community.”
Sage is the happiest little girl you’ll meet. But as a baby, she wasn’t hitting some of the milestones her mom, Emily, had observed in Sage’s older siblings.
“I was a little scared,” Emily states. “At 10 months olds, Sage didn’t do ‘mama’ or ‘dada.’ And I could tell by her facial expressions that she wasn’t following what was going on around her—she wasn’t really aware.”
“I didn’t realize it then, but she was doing lots of parallel play with her siblings. And I think that because they kind of enabled it, it hindered the real play.”
Emily had heard of Kids On The Move from a friend and when Sage was 16 months, her mom enrolled her in the Early Intervention program. At a certain point, Sage was not progressing on the autism spectrum. But with help from therapy, her response was positive.
“Michelle, Paul and Alyssa were like mini ‘mom’ counselors,” says Emily. “They helped me be strong and to celebrate Sage’s accomplishments.”
The family received most services in-home but often went to the Kids On The Move center to join in some of Sage’s favorites, like the Kinder Music program. It helped her to understand a schedule. And they continued with their own activities at home, enjoying movie nights, riding bikes and playing at the park.
Later this year, Sage will graduate from the program. The family is looking at the services provided in their school district before filling in the gap with the Autism Center at Kids On The Move.
“My hope is that Sage goes on to have a beautiful life,” Emily proudly beams. “What I learned is that it’s okay to be different. More so, it’s okay to be the mother of a child that is different. The point is to enjoy life with them in their own way.”
Samantha was born on July 28, 2009 in Seattle, Washington, with a rare developmental brain disorder known as Joubert Syndrome, which is an underdevelopment of the part of the brain that helps control muscle tone, coordination, vision, breathing, and other important functions.
From birth to 6 months Samantha received intervention services from the Boyer Children’s Clinic in Seattle. Our family moved to Utah in February of this year, and 6 month old Samantha immediately began receiving services at Kids On The Move. A representative at Kids On The Move handled the transfer of care and the necessary records from Seattle, and therapists were ready to get started with Samantha almost immediately upon our arrival.
Samantha receives vision therapy from the School of the Deaf and Blind, a service set up by Kids on the Move. She also meets with physical and occupational therapists at our home on a bi-weekly basis.
Our interactions with Samantha’s various therapists have been VERY helpful. We have noticed her gaining range of motion in her arms and legs, gained ability to roll onto her side, seen her grab for toys several times, and started to taste foods orally. We are learning from the therapists how to help Samantha ourselves at home. They leave us with tasks to implement into her daily routine, which enables us to maximize the benefits of the therapy sessions well after the visit is over. Kids On The Move is making all the difference in Samantha’s life.
Everyone at Kids On The Move knows Skyler. He’s a recent graduate of nearby Timpanogos High School. He’s the great kid who volunteered in the library. And at 18 years old, he’s one of our newest (and youngest) employees.
Years ago, when he was just 18 months old, Skyler was discovered to be on the autism spectrum and was enrolled in the Early Intervention program at Kids On The Move. He’s been part of our family ever since.
“I initially had Skyler’s hearing tested. He responded to Barney the dinosaur but not to banging pots and pans,” says his mom, Becky. “He wasn’t communicating and had a hard time socially. I knew to have him tested for autism, too. And that’s when I heard about the Early Intervention program at Kids On The Move.”
“That was huge for me. I didn’t want to believe there was anything wrong. But I had parents around me going through the same emotions—eventually I ran the Kids On The Move parent support group.”
Back then, the family worked with Eileen, who went on to become the executive director at Kids On The Move. She was the family’s advocate and made it very comfortable for Skyler. He loved the routine. Many others also made an impact on Skyler: Brenda, Gaby, Rose and Holly. Skyler’s mom remembers him loving the gross motor skills room and the ball pit, back when Early Intervention was in the small part of the building. Even older brother, Cade, took part, attending the sibling classes.
“Skyler used to fight me about most things, most of the time,” recalls Becky. “Although, he’d do anything for a frozen pea or Cheetos. The best thing for our family is that we learned patience and compassion. Skyler’s siblings have a hard time believing Skyler is different. To them, it’s normal.”
There was a time when Becky felt like Skyler might not go to school. But in spring of 2011 he graduated high school. He volunteered at the Kids On The Move library, helping Sharlene, and did so well, it turned into a paid job. College classes may also be in his future.
“Sharlene has been wonderful to work with, and she’s truly his advocate,” Becky states. “Skyler feels responsible and he even has his own key to the library. With the right motivation, I see Skyler doing big things.”
“We’ve been really, really lucky. I feel like we owe them everything. To this day, I go to Kids On The Move for help and have made referrals to the program. There are many opportunities to take advantage of, but most of all they have helped me get to know my own child.”
Like many parents, Tabitha believes her kids are getting too big, too fast. She enjoys them so much when they are little. She also wants to know she and husband, Tony, are raising the kids well. For that and more, they turned to Kids On The Move for help.
Tabitha learned about the Early Head Start program some time ago from a pregnancy resource center. Ever since, the family has been involved with Kids On The Move and she has relied on Tiffany, as their in-home family educator, for prenatal help.
“All the people at Kids On The Move are happy—I can tell they enjoy their jobs,” Tabitha says. “They also host the parent committee meeting to talk about things with other parents. It’s one of the ways I can find out information and to know we’re right on track.”
Through the program, Tabitha’s four children (daughter Tehya, seven years old; son Tash, four years; and daughter Taeryn, 29 months; daughter Trinity 7 months) have all displayed more confidence, and the family really works together. As often as they can, they attend family night and the discovery group.
“Kids On The Move really helps us be okay with how our kids are doing,” states Tabitha. “While they play in the ball room or go outside, it’s nice for us to be around other adults and just listen. It has given me ideas about parenting and about things to eat at home, including new menu items.”
“I always want to make sure the kids are caught up or are ahead in school. And whatever they want to do, we will support them. Kids On The Move has given me all the confidence in the world.”
Worry crept into Steve and Debbie Burke’s minds when their son, Taylor, was not showing development progression like other children Taylor’s age. At eighteen months old, Taylor struggled to drink from a cup, bite certain foods, talk, and interact with people. Debbie casually expressed her concerns to a close friend. Debbie’s friend recommended the Burkes get involved with Kids On The Move in order to help Taylor progress. At Taylor’s eighteen month appointment, the doctor referred him to Kids On The Move.
Steve and Debbie were astonished when KOTM evaluated their son and found that he had some severe delays, qualifying for services. Kids On The Move started Taylor with a developmental specialist who visited their home often. After a couple months, Taylor started attending a structured play group twice a week, had an occupational therapist visit their home, and also had a speech therapist conduct visits. They were amazed at how the occupational therapist was able to teach Taylor how to meet his sensory needs and even how to calm himself. The play group was a very important addition to Taylor’s treatment, “We were so excited for this since Taylor is an only child. The play group was a safe environment for him to get social interactions with other children. It was also good for me, as a mom, to see that I was not alone,” Debbie states.
Despite Taylor being on the autism spectrum, he is full of energy, curiosity, and love. Taylor brings joy to all those he comes in contact with. Debbie explains what KOTM has done for her little family, “While working with the different specialists at KOTM, we were able to see that Taylor just needed to be taught in different ways. We feel like we have been given the tools and support needed to raise our son. With the guidance we have received, we can help Taylor enter into this world.”
Tyson has been involved with Kids on the Move since he was about 1 month old. Tyson was born with Hemimegalencephaly, a rare brain condition that occurs 1 in 1,000,000. His left brain developed and grew too much when he was in the womb, and it is also abnormal along with being large. Because of this, Tyson was having 40-60 seizures a day. He continued to have seizures despite medication adjustments and additions. At 3-1/2 months old, Tyson had brain surgery, a hemispherotomy, to disconnect the left hemisphere with the right hemisphere to control the seizures. Tyson has right-sided weakness and has a hard time with motor skills on his right side…but the good news is that he has now been seizure free for 1-1/2 years. Today, because of Kids on the Move and the services we have received, Tyson is doing amazingly well. He currently scoots on his bum everywhere, knows 5-10 signs he uses to communicate, eats like a champ and is the happiest little boy ever. We have received visits from Mark, Betsy, Crystal and Gayleen [from Kids On The Move] and we also go to the motor class on Wednesdays. Tyson loves the motor class. He especially loves singing time. We look forward to this time every week. All the therapists have pushed Tyson and have helped him become who he is today, and I know with the continued help and effort, Tyson will go far. This is an amazing organization and I am grateful for everything everybody does to help Tyson succeed. Thank you!
~Brande, Tyson’s Mom
My son, Wyatt, just turned one year old. At seven months we found out that he suffered a prenatal stroke causing hemiplegia. The right side of his body has been affected and does not respond or work as well as his left side. His stroke has also affected the learning and speech parts of his brain.
We immediately were referred to the Baby Watch Early Intervention Program and have since been able to get help through a gross motor physical therapist (Nicole Poland) and an occupational therapist (Gary Robinson). These therapists come to my home and assist me with Wyatt’s development. With their help, Wyatt is vastly improving. When we first started therapy, Wyatt could not even roll over. Now, six months later, he is almost sitting up all by himself, is very close to crawling, and is working on standing on his own. These tasks seemed nearly impossible just a few short months ago.
Early Intervention gives me hope and helps me know how to help my little son so that he can hopefully get on track with other kids his age. Wyatt is adored by his big brother, Colton, his big sister, Presley, and of course by his parents. He is a joy in our family and we are so grateful for how the Kids on the Move program has impacted our family.
-Kati Marsing, Wyatt’s mother
Krysda has an amazing family and many challenges. She and husband Alan are raising five wonderful kids, three of which have a moderate to high-functioning form of autism. In Oregon, they were involved in a program that helped 8-year old Moziah and 7-year old Esaias. But moving to Utah had them searching for an early intervention program for 14-month old Xayvion (who’s now a happy 5-year old).
“Shortly after we arrived, we got a referral to Kids On The Move,” says Krysda. “Xayvion has severe hypotonia and vision problems… he didn’t see for almost a year. We enrolled in both Early Intervention and Early Head Start to get the help we needed. We couldn’t have done it without them.”
Then, Krysda and Alan had twins who also had delays in some areas. Wylona, their only daughter, moved through program while twin brother, Mayzen, who has severe autism, was slower to progress. Therapists Gary and Todd set up weekly in-home visits to work with the two happy 9-month olds. In addition, Shawna, and then Charity, came out to set monthly goals. It was a complete team effort to help the growing family.
“I really appreciate Heather, our family educator,” Krysda states, “ for setting goals for the twins. She works on development that I repeat during the week and then I do ‘in kind hours’ which earns money for the program. It’s my way of giving back.”
Perhaps the most amazing progress has been in Krysda, herself. Social anxiety had completely overwhelmed her and for almost ten years, she hadn’t ventured outside. With counseling from Karen, a social worker, she gained the courage to work on her own issues. She pursued an education program for expectant moms and now attends the Institute of Human Arts.
“My boys are playing with the neighbor kids and learning to socialize,” Krysda says proudly. “And we try to do one big outing a month. We went to Chuck E. Cheese and it was a big deal. My goal is take a family vacation, perhaps a camping trip in a secluded place.”
“I have to consider the emotional ability, not the financial ability. I always wanted to play with the kids and now when we go outside I feel so free. I gave my kids their mom back.”