Early Intervention gives babies and toddlers with delays and disabilities the help they need

Local News

Utah babies and toddlers with delays and disabilities are getting assistance to move past their challenges and stop problems before they get too big.

The Sammis family loves their time together. This Utah family has a happy home with five children, two of which receive in-home therapy from DDI Vantage.

Mom Sasha Sammis said, “What a blessing it is to find these different resources.”

Sasha and her family first found Early Intervention from DDI Vantage when their fourth child Pixie was born.  Her first few days were normal until Pixie was rushed to the ER as a newborn. 

Quickly her family learned she has Pompe Disease.  Her disability is significant and the road ahead for Pixie and her family extremely difficult.  She needs constant care and medicine, but in the moment realizing what lay ahead of her family, Sasha learned she wasn’t alone.

Sasha said, “When we had our initial consultation, they were so curious and interested in us.  They asked us to tell our story, they wanted to meet our sweet little girl.  She was our fourth child and they wanted to know about the family dynamic and how they could help us.”

After the initial consultation with DDI Vantage Providers, the Sammis family had a plan for Pixie.  Now this five-year-old will start Kindergarten this year, in the same school as her siblings.  Something her parents credit DDI Vantage and the therapy for making possible.

The family’s time with DDI Vantage didn’t stop there. Their youngest child Penny has been slow to talk, so once again they called DDI Vantage.

Sasha explained, “The relief that is just there, the second we needed services, was such a relief. It wasn’t scary.  It was so relieving to be accepted again, to know they are there.”

This family is just one example of the care DDI Vantage offers babies and toddlers with delays or disabilities.

Meghan Boyd is the Early Intervention Program Coordinator for DDI Vantage.  She explained why this early intervention works.  She said, “Kids brains are plastic.  Really plastic and mailable and flexible from birth to three.  If we can get in there early, we can make more progress than later on in life.”

Boyd leads a team of nurses, physicians and specialized therapists helping children and their parents work to achieve developmental goals.

Boyd said, “Being a parent is difficult.  If we can come in and help, that’s what we want to do.”

The help comes in the form of therapy inside the child’s home.

Boyd said, “It is really important to be in the natural and home environment, so we can show the parent what they can use in their natural environment to help their child.”

In a child’s natural environment, the DDI Vantage Provider can see the full extent of a challenge and offer a plan to solve the problem or make it better.  After each session, the parent is left with easy assignments to help the child continue their progress.

Boyd said, parents “are our teachers too. They are with their children all day.  If you want this to work, it is up to the parent to practice these strategies every single day.”

And day by day, each child sees progress.

Boyd added, “Think of all the kids we have seen and experienced.  Between our studies, degrees, our experience; we can help. We can totally help.”

They did just that for the Sammis family.

Pixie and Penny are thriving and this family is grateful and encourages everyone to take advantage of the resource.

Sasha Sammis said, “You are not on your own.  This help is invaluable.”

The cost of services depends on each family’s circumstances, but a family will never be turned away.  DDI Vantage will make it work. 

DDI Vantage services are available to anyone in Salt Lake, Tooele and Duchesne counties, but there are similar resources in every county of our state. 

You can find that list, HERE.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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