Testimonial from Jackie Carpenter, Mother to Callie (Age 5)
My husband and I felt called to care for widows and orphans and be part of the solution by becoming foster parents with intentions to adopt. We received a call one afternoon from the Department of Child Services informing us that they had a little lady, 3 months old, in the office, who was drug-exposed in the womb and was born with a cleft palate and hearing loss. We had no previous background in either area, but had faith that God’s grace would be sufficient and committed to learn and do all we could to learn along the way and provide for the best outcomes for her.
When our daughter aged out of First Steps, Indiana’s early intervention program for children with developmental delays, we found ourselves at a crossroad without access to the family-centered intervention that had been so successful for her. Furthermore, we also learned that our closest access to a certified auditory-verbal therapist would be over an hour drive away. We tried this approach and paid out-of-pocket for her therapy, but quickly found that it was neither financially or logistically feasible with a large family. We knew that these early years were especially critical for language development and committed to do what we could within our means to provide for her needs. That is when we learned about teletherapy services through Hear Indiana. Teletherapy through Hear Indiana has dissolved the financial and logistical barriers for our daughter to reach her potential – to succeed academically, to express herself through speech, to develop relationships with family and peers through listening. Our family has benefited greatly from the generosity of donors to provide an opportunity for us to have access to these reduced-fee services.
Our teletherapy services with Ellyn McCall, MA, LSLS Cert. AVT, have been invaluable! She is always there for us with, not only with auditory-verbal therapy, but also with wise counsel, as only someone with a child with hearing loss of their own can have. She is our daughter’s therapist and a mentor for me! I appreciate that the teletherapy model uses a family-centered approach; as she is working with our daughter for the one hour each week, she is also coaching me into ways that I can provide therapy for her during our everyday lives for all the other hours we spend together at home. She gives me specific areas to work on each week and checks in on her progress at the beginning of the next session.
We have been thrilled with the outcomes of teletherapy. After 13 months of services our daughter has gained as much as 16 to 26 months of development in the areas of recall, following directions, word and sentence structure! This is just the catch-up she needed to be able to develop meaningful friendships with her peers at school, reduce her levels of frustration with communication at home, and create deeper bonds as a family.