Raine Makes Big Steps in Early Steps

Raine Makes Big Steps in Early Steps

First-time parents Matthew and Cathy didn‘t know what to expect during Raine’s 18-month check-up. Raine never answered to his name. He wasn’t communicating at all. He never discovered a favorite toy to play with. And, he didn’t like touching or smelling food, so he wasn’t eating.

The doctor sent them to a neurologist. The neurologist recommended Early Steps at CDTC.

Raine underwent a comprehensive evaluation by our multi-disciplinary team. Mom shares that it was a long visit but she was very appreciative in the end.

The team identified some red flags for autism. A second visit to the neurologist confirmed an autism diagnosis.

The news was shocking. Did they miss the signs? How could they help him? What would this mean for Raine?

Doctors reassured them and reminded the parents to take a breath then make a plan. From that moment on, Cathy became proactive and worked hard to stay on top of the services and care her son needed.

Working with Early Steps

The Early Steps team recommended home visits by an Infant Toddler Developmental Specialist (ITDS). This specialist would help them understand Raine’s special needs. Together, they would create an intervention strategy that would become a part of Raine’s daily routine and set goals to work towards.

Mom watches his therapists intently to learn and mirror what they do. She even buys the same toys they bring so he can keep progressing on his own.

Making Raine’s Goals a Daily Routine

Their home is popular for Cathy’s big Romanian family. She needed help remembering what to do during their daily routine. But what about the rest of the family when they visit?

So, Cathy sat down with Jennifer, her ITDS, to create “Raine’s Rules.” The laminated rule list hangs in the kitchen with a notation they are “to be followed by everyone who steps foot in the house.” The chart tells everyone at home what to do to help Raine follow directions, make choices, behave in certain situations and more.

Mom was excited for his recent annual review with Casey, their Early Steps Service Coordinator. She knew the progress Raine had been making.

Goals Met & Progress Made

The now two and a half-year-old makes eye contact. He follows one-step directions, waves bye-bye and eats chopped foods on his own. Mom can call his name across the house and he’ll answer. A few weeks ago, he even started to love going outside to play on the swing in his front yard.

Raine is making great progress thanks to Mom and Dad’s devotion as well as the support they received from CDTC and the care of their Early Steps therapists.

Raine will be aging out of the program this summer when he turns three. Cathy is grateful for all Early Steps has helped them accomplish so far. And, Matthew is at ease now. They know they have received the early interventions that Raine needs. 

About our Hero of the Month Program

Each month, CDTC staff nominate one of our children as our Hero of the Month. These special boys and girls are heroes in our eyes. They show strength, perseverance, determination and a positive outlook while facing great challenges.

Their stories are powerful and heartwarming and reflect the impact CDTC and you, our community, has on their daily lives.

Thank You to
Our Sponsor

A trip to our Clinic is more than just a doctor’s visit to a child with special healthcare needs.

But, insurance doesn’t cover everything. That’s why your gift is so important.

A Difference for Tavaris

A Difference for Tavaris

Seven-year-old Tavaris was only three when he and his mom arrived at CDTC in need of help. The Extraordinary Children, Healthy Outcomes (ECHO) program stepped in to help. The little boy with autism would require the speech, occupational, and behavior therapy to help him communicate his needs without frustration and overcome his developmental delays.

By the time he arrived in Dr. Alonso’s dental chair, Tavaris already had three of his front teeth extracted by another dentist because of tooth decay. The inability to communicate well and the pain of extraction was traumatic. For mother and child, the experience was a bad one. CDTC’s Dental Team had a new challenge to soothe his fears, make him comfortable and prevent more decay.

Time, patience and the right techniques were just what Tavaris needed. He had to sit on Mom’s lap to stay still and allow dental work to be done during his early appointments. Today, he climbs into the chair on his own while mom waits. Using mild sedation has made treating his remaining cavities and decay so much easier on everyone.

Tavaris’ high energy makes sitting still difficult. “I’m bored” is a common conversation while he’s in the chair. “Behavior is still an issue,” shares Dr. Alonso. “But, he tries so hard to be good for the team.”

Mom’s doing her part too. She’s been consistent in bringing him to appointments and keeping away sweets. The efforts are paying off, Tavaris is all smiles in the Dental Clinic and cavities are not coming in like they used to.

About our Hero of the Month

Each month, CDTC staff nominate one of our children as our Hero of the Month. These special boys and girls are heroes in our eyes. They show strength, perseverance, determination and a positive outlook while facing great challenges.

Their stories are powerful and heartwarming and reflect the impact CDTC and you, our community, has on their daily lives.

A trip to our Clinic is more than just a doctor’s visit to a child with special healthcare needs.

But, insurance doesn’t cover everything. That’s why your gift is so important.

Don-Seymour is an ECHO Hero

Don-Seymour is an ECHO Hero

Like so many of our patients, eighteen-year-old Don-Seymour entered CDTC through our Early Steps Program. Born premature, he has developmental delays, ADHD and asthma. Today, he is a part of our ECHO program and recently began receiving Dental Care in our clinic.

To all the members of Don-Seymour’s Care Team, he is truly a hero for how much he has matured over the past few years. They all agree, he’s not the same shy, quite guy he used to be.

He attends Plantation High School where he is currently in the 12th grade. Much of his growth and maturity shines through his work this past year with United Community Options’ (UCO, formerly United Cerebral Palsy) vocational training program.

Don-Seymour is proud of his current job at Walgreens, where he is learning responsibility stocking shelves. He is also learning to use the cash register. He continues to attend the UCO program after school.

Don-Seymour is a friendly and outgoing young man. He is always smiling and polite to others. He strives to be independent and looks forward to his future with enthusiasm.

About our Hero of the Month

Each month, CDTC staff nominate one of our children as our Hero of the Month. These special boys and girls are heroes in our eyes. They show strength, perseverance, determination and a positive outlook while facing great challenges.

Their stories are powerful and heartwarming and reflect the impact CDTC and you, our community, has on their daily lives.

Thank You to
Our Sponsor

A trip to our Clinic is more than just a doctor’s visit to a child with special healthcare needs.

But, insurance doesn’t cover everything. That’s why your gift is so important.

Chante’lae is a TAFT Hero

Chante’lae is a TAFT Hero

Chante’lae has been coming to CDTC since she was a baby, but it wasn’t until she was eight-years-old that she was diagnosed with Type I Diabetes.

Our very own Dr. Lafrance referred her to Broward Health’s Emergency Department after a visit. She was worried because Chante’lae’s weight had dropped drastically in a very short period of time. The hospital diagnosed her condition. From then on Chante’lae’s care and daily routines became focused on managing her Diabetes.

Working with her endocrinologist Dr. Blanco and her CDTC Care team, Chante’lae remains healthy. She takes insulin everyday and maintains a careful diet to control her sugar levels. Sometimes she wishes she could eat like everyone else and not worry. But, the seventeen-year-old understands that discipline is necessary.

Luckily, her family is supportive of her needs and efforts. They try not to buy foods that wouldn’t be good for her. Temptation out of the way, Chante’lae can focus on measuring her food and adhering to a strict diet to maintain her health.

Currently part of the TAFT Program, Chante’lae knows the time is fast approaching when she will have to move on from her familiar physicians and providers. It’s daunting, but the family is working together with her CDTC Care Team to prepare for the transition to adult healthcare providers.

Managing her Diabetes takes time and care, but this teenager continues to look beyond just her medical needs. She is doing well in high school and her current plans are to go to college to become a veterinarian.

Her family is proud of her – for how well she does in school; for the fact that she always tries her best; and for how well she faces and manages her dietary needs and medical condition.

Her dedication to her care and future makes her our September Hero of the Month.

About our Hero of the Month

Each month, CDTC staff nominate one of our children as our Hero of the Month. These special boys and girls are heroes in our eyes. They show strength, perseverance, determination and a positive outlook while facing great challenges.

Their stories are powerful and heartwarming and reflect the impact CDTC and you, our community, has on their daily lives.

Thank You to
Our Sponsor

A trip to our Clinic is more than just a doctor’s visit to a child with special healthcare needs.

But, insurance doesn’t cover everything. That’s why your gift is so important.

Renzo is Extraordinary!

Renzo is Extraordinary!

Thirteen-year-old Renzo has journeyed through the Center’s programs since he was born. He began in Early Steps to address delays in reaching his milestones. Autistic, but highly functioning, the eighth grader now receives support from our ECHO Program.

Renzo can handle basic life skills. Like other teenagers, he’s just beginning to assert his independence. His diagnosis makes this leap into young adulthood trickier, for Renzo and his family. Yet, the turnaround in his behavior and his growth this past year make him a CDTC Hero.

Renzo’s friendships were limited due to his lack of confidence. And, battling weight issues plummeted his confidence further. Feeling isolated from others, he had behavior issues in school. And, his grades suffered.

At home, things weren’t much better. Renzo struggled with family relationships. His Latin family was close knit. But, he wanted space. Mom and Dad were protective and wanted to help him in every way possible. He wanted more freedom.

With counseling and specialty therapies recommended by CDTC, Renzo has turned things around. He’s older and approaching things with a more mature view. And, he’s more responsible. He’s now an A/B student. Focusing on eating healthy has made him thinner. He’s even more conscientious about taking his meds. Mom and Dad have taken advice too, backing away a bit to let him explore newfound independence.

Today, Mom no longer has any complaints about his behavior at home or at school. She’s thrilled with his progress and the new direction in his life. And, so is his CDTC Care Team.

About our Hero of the Month

Each month, CDTC staff nominate one of our children as our Hero of the Month. These special boys and girls are heroes in our eyes. They show strength, perseverance, determination and a positive outlook while facing great challenges.

Their stories are powerful and heartwarming and reflect the impact CDTC and you, our community, has on their daily lives.

Thank You to
Our Sponsor

A trip to our Clinic is more than just a doctor’s visit to a child with special healthcare needs.

But, insurance doesn’t cover everything. That’s why your gift is so important.