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Eva’s Story

November 30th, 2020

Eva’s mom homeschools her children and wants to create the best opportunities for them, so when her youngest was born with Down Syndrome, she quickly sought the best resources in the community to empower her daughter. However, she never anticipated Eva’s access to these critical services being limited by a pandemic.

Seeking additional therapy support as Eva grew into toddlerhood, Eva’s mom consulted a Facebook support group. Members of the group suggested Turnstone and Eva quickly landed on the waitlist. It wasn’t long until Eva’s family consulted with her physical therapist at Turnstone and the most optimal plan was created to help Eva reach her goals – including physical, occupational, and speech therapy.

Eva has apraxia of speech, a speech disorder in which a child has difficulty forming the oral movements needed to create sounds. Tools like speech therapy and Alternative Augmentative Communication have taught Eva to begin forming her own words. Through the audible and visual assistance of AAC, Eva has learned how to share her thoughts and humor with her family.

With her newly formed “voice,” Eva finds enjoyment making her family laugh and playing with her siblings. She also enjoys spending time at the zoo and visiting the lake. Without physical therapy, though, Eva’s mom claims she wouldn’t have the stamina or endurance needed to enjoy these activities and create memories with her family.  

When COVID-19 caused Turnstone to close its doors in March, Eva lost the ability to work on her strength and independence without access to the appropriate equipment and resources at Turnstone. But because of your support, Turnstone was able to provide Eva with therapy support through telemedicine, giving her access to her therapy team.

Although telemedicine was critical during Quarantine, Eva’s mom shared that working on her therapy goals from home didn’t have the same effect on her progress. Prior to COVID-19, Eva was in Turnstone three days a week with focus and determination. After weeks of being home, Eva began showing signs of regression in her goals and interactions without the traditional in-person attention from a professional therapist.  

“As a parent, I don’t think like a therapist. They are there for a reason,” said Eva’s mom. “Therapists see and celebrate every little gain; their encouragement has been crucial to Eva’s progress.”

Although Eva continued to work with her AAC at home and could interact over video chat with her therapists, her mom learned the critical importance of her daughter having access to the facility and resources at Turnstone.

Turnstone’s therapists are keenly focused on helping children like Eva experience life to its fullest. And, for Eva, at 4-years-old, she can now add riding a bike to a list of her victories. In fact, she claimed this milestone at a younger age than any of her siblings!

Without access to Turnstone’s facility and specialty services, Eva might be missing out on the thrill of feeling the bike rolling beneath her. Your support makes it possible for children with disabilities to experience a full life of possibilities alongside their siblings and peers.

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