Success Stories

Sharing Our Successes!

Huge thanks to all who participated in our Statewide Photo Rally during this legislative session. The photos and stories from across the state that were shared on our social media by families and providers brought great joy to many, and were an amazing tribute to the impact of these programs on the lives of children and families. Instead of featuring just one family story this month, we put together a slideshow of the photos and stories that were shared for you to enjoy again!

One Family’s Success in Early Intervention: Rory

When my son, Rory, was almost eighteen months, he had no intentional words, yet he could point to a letter and tell me its name. My husband and I had suspected for some time that our amazing little boy was not typical, but we held off on the doctor’s referral to Early Intervention services because we wanted to give him a little bit of time. At eighteen months, we finally took him in for an evaluation and discovered that along with the language delay we knew about, he had several other differences. Those differences would eventually be diagnosed as autism when he was two years and nine months old. Well before we knew it was autism, Early Intervention was there for us. They validated our fears, and let us know that it would be all right. Our service provider swept into our lives full of knowledge and strategies to help [...]

Remembering When: 2005 ECSE Services

Our son was diagnosed with autism in 2005 at the age of 3.5, and we decided to enroll him in an MECP classroom at the urging of the evaluator. It was a tough decision; he'd been home with me or spending time with a family friend who had become like a grandparent to him. Because we wanted him to learn his native (non-English) language, we hadn't had the opportunity to spend time with other children his age. At the time, he was eligible for three mornings in an MECP classroom where he spent time with children experiencing disability and typical peers. (Later, I would enroll my daughter in a similar classroom so that she could serve as a typical peer. It was a wonderful opportunity to take part in an inclusive setting, and very cost-effective at $5 a day!) Speech and occupational therapy were pushed into the classroom, and we received daily communication from the staff at [...]

One Family’s Experience in Early Intervention: Benjamin

Benjamin was born in November 2010, four weeks earlier than we expected. Thankfully, because he had to be in the NICU, the doctors monitoring him on a daily basis were specialists in neonatal development, and we were able to detect his very rare chromosome deletion much earlier than we would have under normal circumstances. In January 2011, Benjamin had his first real "test" at only two months old when we had our first evaluation with Early Childhood Cares of Lane County to see if we qualified for Early Intervention services. I cannot think of another time when I have wished so hard to have my child fail. This is not something any parent would ever think that they would want to qualify for. However, over the last three and half years of our son's life, his early intervention team has been the foundation of our family's support system, and has [...]

One Family’s Success in Early Childhood Special Education: Lilly

Lilly is now 10, and was diagnosed with autism at the age of three. We recognized that we needed to learn more about how to support her so she could be successful. Lilly began early childhood special education [ECSE' right after her diagnosis, and we felt blessed to continue receiving those services up to the time when she entered elementary school. ECSE helped our family in many ways! Lilly was able to get the support she needed to be successful. I also believe ECSE helped our family function better because we found the resources we needed to understand better autism and how to best support Lilly's needs. Save

One Family’s Success in Early Intervention: River

River is a sweet three year old who was diagnosed with Down syndrome before birth, and has been receiving Early Intervention [EI] services from the time he was one month old. While communication has been challenging for him, his family shared that EI has been instrumental in helping him develop better communication skills. River has made huge gains in his speech and receptive communication over the past couple of years, and the strategies his teachers have provided for working on communication have been put into action in the home. River is getting ready to head off to his first year of preschool in the Early Childhood Special Education Program. We're excited to see him continue to grow and succeed! Save

My Success Story: Thomas

Thomas is 15, but he was diagnosed with a significant developmental delay in expressive communication before his third birthday. Although it was clear he understood much of what others were saying, he was challenged in his ability to express his wants and needs, which was very  frustrated for him. Thomas started receiving speech therapy services soon after his third birthday, and made great strides to the point where he learned to speak many words clearly by the time he was four. He continued with intensive speech services until he began public school, where support was slowly faded out. Thomas is now beginning his sophomore year of high school, and he is thriving. Thanks to the early intervention that Thomas received, he is able to enjoy high school with all of his peers in a general education program! Save Save Save

One Family’s Success in Early Childhood Special Education: Jacob

Jacob is an inquisitive nine year old with a world of knowledge! He was diagnosed with autism at the age of three, and received EI/ECSE services until he began Kindergarten. Jacob was very active as a little boy, but would not engaged with an activity for long. The first thing to spike his interest was Star Wars; these toys played a huge part in getting Jacob's attention!  EI services was great at finding other tools that connected Jacob with the outside world, like the Internet and documentaries. He is an expert on Space and NASA. Like lots of kids, Jacob has social discomfort, but he's a loving, wonderful boy who rarely shows behavior challenges thanks to the supports we put in place early on to help him be successful. If it hadn't been for the EI/ECSE services, we fear that Jacob would not be as successful today as he is. While it has, at times, been [...]

My Success Story: Gabriel

Gabriel is an amazing little man who was born with Down syndrome and a possible co-diagnosis of autism. He is now in first grade, but he began receiving Early Intervention [EI] services soon after he was born. Although he experiences a communication challenge and has some sensory sensitivity, he has made huge progress throughout the last six years! EI was instrumental in helping his family find the best strategies to help support him as he grew. Early Childhood Special Education [ECSE] gave him the opportunity to practice being in a supportive preschool environment before transitioning to Kindergarten, and he learned how to participate in important routines like sitting at circle and staying at the table during mealtimes. Now these skills help him in school, but they also help him at home during routines like dinner or family activities. Thanks to EI/ECSE, Gabriel’s family made sure they had all the information and support they needed early [...]

One Family’s Transition Story

My daughter transitioned into a school in the 4J school district in 2013. I was lucky enough to have a fantastic team! My daughter experiences autism, and during the transition process, her whole team showed up: staff from her daycare, the autism consultant, her teacher, and all the staff involved from the school district (school psychologist, autism specialist, OT, and special education teacher). They offered a placement at her neighborhood school and another school close by. The alternate school offered more supports for children who experience autism, so we chose that one. Once children move from an IFSP to an IEP, the family piece drops out. You really feel that missing piece in the first year. Foe example, accessing resources is more challenging, and my daughter's service coordinator only coordinates her needs in the classroom. I miss the home visits and all the parent education I received from EI/ECSE. While my [...]

My Success Story

I'd like to take a moment to tell you what Early Intervention and Early Childhood Special Education [EI/ECSE] services have meant for my family since my son was born. He is now four years old, and was diagnosed two years ago with developmental delays. I was told these delays included speech, adaptive, social and emotional skills, as well as sensory integration issues. We started with home visits, but he now attends our local ECSE preschool where speech, occupational therapy, and early education services are pushed in to help prepare him for the routines and structure of Kindergarten. Our family has been very excited to see our son make significant gains in personal and social skills in such a short time! His teachers say he is learning classroom routines, and is more willing to interact with peers. This is a service my husband and I could not afford independently, but it is so important [...]