Hitting the Jackpot!
February 7, 2015
Mia Bella Finds a Voice in Early Childhood Program
At one time, Mia Bella didn’t make a sound for a year. She didn’t move her arms. She didn’t kick. Now, it would be hard to recognize that girl.
Mia Bella, just six years old, is now in her third year at Elim. Though she’s non-verbal, Mia can now communicate her desires through the help of an augmentative communication system. Her partner gives her choices and Mia Bella smiles, kicks, and vocalizes to express her choice.
It is obvious that Mia Bella’s happiness and independence has grown as a result of her new communication skills. Her teacher, Kelly Petrowski, has enjoyed watching her grow and was especially delighted to see her make a friend. “Mia Bella has a little boy in our class who started at the same time,” she explains. “She now looks for him and vocalizes with him on the floor. She’s grown so much socially.”
Mia Bella’s parents echo their joy at their daughter’s growth saying, “Elim has been an amazing experience, not just for Mia Bella but for our whole family. Elim provides her with a normal life and has done so much for her and for us. The staff is so caring and attentive. She comes home so happy. We feel like we hit the jackpot at Elim!”
Elim’s early childhood education program accepts children with disabilities as young as three years old. Exposure to therapy and educational programming at a young age has been shown to positively impact development.