Thursday, September 6, 2012

Hope's Last Day at Windfall

Here in Medina, Ohio we have an excellent program called Help Me Grow.  Hope has been enrolled since she was 6 months old.  She received physical and speech therapy at home for a long time.  We would have continued with her therapy at home, but it was suggested that she would be a good fit for their Early Intervention Program.  She started going to class on June 12th of this year and has done amazing.  All of her skills have improved, but especially her social skills.  She is willing to talk to people now...other than me.  She says 'hi' to strangers and smiles a whole lot more.  It has been the best experience I could have ever imagined.

Sadly, yesterday was her last day.  She can only attend until she is three years old.  She will turn three next Friday.  I will be in California all week and I really wanted to be there on her last day.  I needed to say 'goodbye' to everyone that has done so much for Hope and for my family.  They taught her so much and provided so much help for our family to help Hope develop.  They scheduled her IEP and attended with me and made sure Hope would get the services she needs in preschool.  They have been my champions, friends, teachers, and caregivers for almost three years.  It was bittersweet seeing everyone and knowing that Hope would not be seeing them every week.

Here are some pictures of the wonderful, amazing, talented, and caring people that have done so much:

Kathy Duncan is Hope's physical therapist and has been with us since Hope was 6 months old.  She is the best therapist and pushed Hope to do things I was scared to let her steps.  She also has two puppies from when our Labradoodle and Golden Retriever had babies.  She will always hold a very special place in our hearts.
John Lucic is the Occupational Therapist.  He has seen Hope since she was 6 months old as well.  He always brought good news when he came for evaluations.  Even though we didn't see him every week...Hope has always had good fine motor skills...John always had good news and always had great suggestions to help keep her developing.  He is also one of the genuinely nicest people.
We seemed to go through quite a few speech therapists.  Connie Hartman proved to be the best.  She could get Hope to talk more than anyone and the difference is remarkable.  Hope speaks in sentences and sings songs she learned in school.  I can't begin to explain how much she grew developmentally in such a short period of time.
Jennifer Howard is fantastic and such a caring teacher.  She is the Early Intervention teacher and works wonders.  I know she loves all the kids in her class and cares for their families as well.  She is the teacher that I want Hope to have every year in school.
There are no words for the way Hope and I feel about Cristal.  She is the assistant in class and is the most loving, caring, wonderful person.  She is the person that you know cares about your child when they are in school.  She genuinely loved Hope and I know that Hope feels the same way about her.  She is going to missed by all of us.
Dr. Jan is the Director of Early Intervention and one of the nicest women you could meet.  I am certain she is swamped with work, but she still takes the time to come to the classes and meet with the students.  She definitely loves her job and we are so glad Hope was accepted into the EI program.
Yesterday was bittersweet for so many reasons.  One of the nicest visits we had was with Dr. LaForme.  He is the Superintendent of the Board of Developmental Disabilities.  I wrote personal letters to all of Hope's teachers and I also wrote one to Dr. LaForme.  I wanted him to know exactly how I feel about the program and how much everyone has done for our family.  I wanted to thank him for providing the services and hiring the best staff ever to provide the services.  Dr. Jan took Hope and I to meet Dr. LaForme.  Hope delivered the letter personally and I know it had to convince him how much we have benefited from every person in his organization.  I am proud to say that I got an email letting me know that he personally thanked everyone that I mentioned in the letter...what a great guy to work for!
I know this post has been long and I haven't mentioned Hope's weight.  I will save all that for another post.  This one is totally dedicated to the WONDERFUL people from Help Me Grow, Early Intervention, and Medina County Board of Developmental Disabilities!


  1. Wow! What a big girl! I can't wait to see her (and all of you) at the walk, but I need to know when it is again...please :)

  2. I can't believe how much she has grown. I am sorry I haven't reached out lately. It makes me so happy to see her growing and growing.

  3. That is great to see these programs in action and helping the little ones who need services! Oliver works for Help Me Grow in Lake County.

  4. Keep encouraging, you are giving hope to so many!

    God bless!