Initially, Evelyn was skeptical when Early Intervention (EI) was recommended for her son Samuel. EI are the services and supports that help babies and toddlers with developmental delays or disabilities learn and grow. Samuel was diagnosed with a congenital heart defect at birth, which Evelyn explained can lead to a myriad of developmental delays and other issues. When he was two months old, the doctors at Lurie Children’s Hospital signed Samuel up for EI and recommended JCFS Chicago Integrated Pediatric Therapies.
Evelyn expressed her reluctancy when Samuel first started to work with Jennie Marble, the director of Integrated Pediatric Therapies (IPT). “My son is so medically complex that I had him in a bubble,” Evelyn shared. “But as time went on, I realized what a blessing this was. It wasn’t just therapy for him, it was therapy for me.”
“Birth to three years old is a critical period for brain development,” says Jennie. “Starting early intervention can significantly change a child’s developmental path and increase their success in both school and life.”
It’s been two years since Samuel started EI, and now his younger sister Lillian also receives services. Evelyn described how her mindset has changed since Jennie advised her how to shift her thinking and communicate with her kids. “I do the therapeutic exercises I was taught by Jennie (and IPT occupational therapist Marci Kreiner), and it’s helped me adapt as a parent. I have seen so much growth in Lillian developmentally, and she is slowly getting on track. I am so thankful.”
Samuel and Lillian have continued working with IPT throughout the pandemic, shifting to teletherapy. Evelyn said the IPT clinicians helped her every step of the way. “It was a difficult transition, but that pushed me even more because now I am the one doing hands-on therapy with my children.”
Evelyn now describes herself as a huge advocate of therapy and Early Intervention. To parents who may also be relucent or skeptical about EI, Evelyn says, “It can only help. As parents we always want what’s best for our kids and getting them that help is what is best for them.”
If you are interested in Early Intervention services for your child, contact Integrated Pediatric Therapies at 847.412.4379 or IPI@JCFS.org