Told with Tears of Joy 

Kyran's Family

Kyran was born at 26 weeks gestation. He was my second preemie. My first, Kela, is eight years older than he is and has cerebral palsy. Her pediatrician recommended Children's Therapy Corner when she was 4. We loved the clinic, especially the creative programs that helped us learn as a family and connected us to other families who were "different." It's hard to explain to people with "normal" children the pride you feel when your child takes his first step or says his first word on a timeline that is not following charted schedules of development. They don't understand the miracle in the milestones that are worked hard for instead of naturally developed.

Our advantage was experience. Kela's journey had made me more aware of the positive things I could do for this baby who had an uphill battle from the get-go. Also, I now knew how important early intervention was for my son. We started as soon as he was out of NICU with both Early On and CTC.

Kyran has gone through the gamut at CTC, starting with physical therapy as an infant for right-side weakness, then occupational therapy for sensory disorder. When we started suspecting auditory processing issues, we came back for speech and language therapy, as well as music therapy and aqua therapy as a toddler. At age 5, I kept him home from kindergarten, much to the dismay of his school therapists. And I'll admit, I second-guessed what I was doing at times. I only wanted the best for my child, and, in a world that looks at what your child can't do and a way to qualify him for services, Children's Therapy Corner helped me focus on what my child could do — what my child needed to be successful and what gifts he brought to our world. By "our world," I don't mean my little family. He was made to feel as much a part of the CTC family as he was a part of our family.

CTC worked with us on a program to help Kyran deal with loud noises and sensory overload that sent him scurrying under tables or cowering in corners — reactions that would have meant disaster in a classroom environment. We worked on recognition of what it felt like when he was feeling overwhelmed, vocalization of needs, modulation of his reactions, and appropriate response. These life skills are what CTC is about. Form follows function. By the following school year, Kyran was able to tell his teacher when he needed a break because he was getting overloaded, so off to kindergarten he went. CTC staff helped us work with his early elementary teachers, to give him the support that he needed and the room to grow. They met with school staff and helped explain his behaviors and how we were dealing with them. The consistency from a therapeutic environment, to home, to a classroom was extremely important for Kyran. We never could have accomplished this without the support and guidance offered by CTC.

Kyran and I recently met with a specialist regarding some other health issues. There's always something, isn't there? The RN who walked us from the waiting room to the examination room kept looking at Kyran. She'd ask a few questions and look at him again. Finally, she said, "I'm sorry, but from reading his history, I fully expected a child with a significant developmental delay." I smiled and said, "I know. Isn't he great? We've done a lot of work to get here." "I see that," she said, "quite amazing."

Throughout  life, CTC has helped our family reach our goals. When Kyran needs a little extra support, we go back for a boost. Most recently, a growth spurt caused his muscles to tighten up, so we headed back for PT last summer. In the midst of stretching and strengthening, Adam taught him how to ride a two-wheeled bike finally. He is proud and thrilled, and continually asks if he can go back to therapy this year. That's what's quite amazing. I don't have to fight with him to get him to do what's good for him.  

Kyran is just finishing third grade and is at the top of his class. My son went from being in a special education preschool classroom to a regular elementary school setting in third grade. He no longer has an IEP; he was discharged at the end of second grade. I am a very proud mom. So what if it took him a little extra time to get here?

The artwork on this website was created by Kyran. I explained to him what the pages were, and he came up with the concepts and illustrated them. Those pieces of artwork are what CTC is to him. To hear about it in his own words, check out the About the Artist page.

 —By "Kyran's Mom" (aka Tammie)

Sidenote: I have found that having a child with special needs is like getting married: Your name changes with the committment. Your first name becomes your child's, and last name, "Mom." Wear it with pride like a badge — it is well earned and deserved.

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