Meet Tristan - Early Intervention Services
"I can’t believe how he’s almost an entirely different kid."
Within a few weeks of Tristan being born, his mom Ashley just knew “something wasn’t right.”
Fast forward 8 months and Tristan was diagnosed with an extremely rare, life-threatening immunodeficiency disease. His diagnosis finally accounted for all the unexplained reasons why he was in and out of the hospital — at times week-long stays. Not to mention the overwhelming amount of specialist visits, late-night runs to the emergency department, and Tristan’s overall lack of health. "Good days" were rare! Going forward, he became his mom’s “medical baby.”
At 15 months, through an intense regimen of medications and shots, Tristan was kept healthy enough to receive a life-saving bone marrow transplant. Separated from family, Tristan and his mom spent four months at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia. Around the clock, for a ten-day period, Tristan endured intense chemotherapy followed by receiving his donor stem cells. After the hospital stay, they remained close to the hospital to continue medical care and to ensure Tristan was progressing as expected.
Upon their move back home, their entire family
was isolated for six-plus months limiting visits from extended family and friends to avoid exposure to any illness, bacteria, or virus. Surgical masks were required, no different when they were in Philadelphia. Getting sick was not an option!
At 18 months, Tristan still wasn’t even close to talking. He didn’t seem to understand the simplest of commands. He wasn’t able to do many of the tasks that children younger than him could do easily. From always wanting to be held, having separation anxiety, having medication induced
food sensitivities, and having a feeding tube,
Tristan required assistance to develop social interaction skills and combat food aversions.
During a time when Tristan was allowed very few visitors, the family nervously began in-home early intervention with two speech therapists, a special education teacher, and an occupational therapist. He was making process, but not enough. Tristan had no exposure to other people – especially children. Therefore, the family sought out classroom style early intervention programs.
Tristan began attending the Early Intervention Developmental Group Program at Rochester Hearing and Speech Center in September of 2018. With Rita as his teacher, and all of the therapists to help him progress developmentally and physically, he has come SO far! When he started with Rochester Hearing and Speech Center in September of 2018, his mom was reluctant to think he could catch up enough to be ready for Kindergarten. Now with only one school year behind him, Tristan is leaps and bounds ahead of where he was; his mom has no reason to believe that Tristan won’t be ready for preschool and then Kindergarten.
Thanks to his participation in the Rochester Hearing and Speech Center’s Early Intervention Developmental Group Program, Tristan is now speaking in 4-5 word sentences. He is also eating a large variety of foods reinforced by a unique snack-time routine, and he is social, independent, and performing more and more “typical” tasks for his age every day.
Tristan has come to love and trust “his Rita” and “his therapists” as much as his own family. I can’t believe how he’s almost an entirely different kid since starting.
“I would recommend Rochester Hearing and Speech Center to anyone thinking about sending their child to an early intervention developmental group program - you will NOT be disappointed!”
– Ashley, Tristan’s Mom