Local Mom Learns the Importance of Early Intervention

The prevalence of a speech and language developmental delay in children is between 2%-19%

When seven-year-old Bennett Cooper was two-years-old, his mother, Lainie, realized that while she could understand what he was saying, most people could not. Deeply concerned, she immediately scheduled an appointment with Bennett’s pediatrician.

First Visit to Pediatrician

Bennett’s pediatrician didn’t express much concern during the initial visit, opting for the “wait and see” approach. He conveyed to her that Bennett is still growing and his speech would soon follow. Lainie still felt unsure about the diagnosis, but she trusted Bennett’s pediatrician.

“I left the pediatrician’s office thinking Bennett’s speech would clear up on his own as he got older. He did become easier to understand as he got older, but it was clear that there were speech issues. He would oftentimes substitute the first letter of a word for something else and all of his ‘S’ sounds were pronounced with a lisp.”

The possibility of a child showing signs of a delay can be stressful for any parent. Research from the *National Institute of Child Health and Development indicates that when intervention is delayed, it takes four times as long to intervene in fourth grade as it does in late kindergarten due to brain development and an increase in content for students to learn as they grow.

After conferring with her husband and trusting her instincts, Lainie decided to self-refer Bennett to Solace Pediatric Home Healthcare. After an evaluation with a licensed pediatric therapist, Bennett was soon scheduled for speech-language therapy sessions.

First Therapy Session

Bennett’s first speech therapy session with Kim Vestal, speech-language pathologist at Solace Pediatric Home Healthcare, was very successful. They worked on the letter ‘S’ and he graduated speech in less than a year.

“Kim was amazing. Bennett loved working with her, and she made it easy for me by conducting the speech sessions with him at daycare. To this day, his ‘S’ sound is perfect,” adds Lainie.

Second Visit to Pediatrician

After taking a year off speech therapy, Bennett went to kindergarten and Lainie discovered that while most children in his class could say their ‘R’ sound, Bennett was unable to do so. A follow-up visit with Bennett’s pediatrician was scheduled and she was told that his speech was “developmentally appropriate.” Lainie waited a few more months to see if Bennett’s ‘R’ sound improved, but, unfortunately, it never did. Lainie submitted another referral to Solace Pediatric Home Healthcare and Bennett was matched with Kim again.

Early Intervention

Early intervention is crucial in ensuring that a child stays on track with developmental milestones. According to the *American Academy of Pediatrics, the prevalence of any developmental delay is estimated at 15 percent in U.S. children three to 17 years of age. The prevalence of a speech and language developmental delay in children is between 2%-19%.

Only three percent of all children receive the needed public early intervention services by three years of age. The percentage of school-aged children receiving public intervention services reaches a peak of 12.5 percent between the ages of nine and 12 years. The gap that exists for children needing moderate therapy to increased levels of therapy, including additional behavior therapy can be addressed by intervening early, identifying with a comprehensive evidence-based medical evaluation and one-to-one individualized therapy by a specialized pediatric clinician.

Bennett’s Current Situation

Bennett has been working with Kim for nearly two years, and he is very close to graduating. Kim said the letter ‘R’ is the most difficult sound to correct in a child, but his ‘R’ sound is correct at least 75 percent of the time.

“Kim has really empowered me with the knowledge to help and coach Bennett on a daily basis. I was a little worried when Bennett’s therapy was switched to a virtual
session. but Kim has him engaged and excited during every single session. We have continued to reach goals exactly as with in-person sessions”. The energy she brings to the table is remarkable.”

“The most important thing I’ve learned about early intervention in relation to speech therapy is to act when you have concerns. My husband and I first had concerns when Bennett was two-and-a-half, and had we moved forward with the evaluation at that point, we’d just be that much further along in this process,” adds Lainie.

Check out Lainie Cooper’s Video Testimonial

Solace Pediatric Home Healthcare is the leading provider of pediatric occupational, physical, speech, behavior and feeding therapy services in the state of Colorado delivered in the home in-person or through a seamless interactive virtual experience. Our 400+ clinicians have provided therapy to 4,000+ children from birth to 21 years. Since 2005, we have provided over one million visits.

In-home early intervention therapy care uses evidence-based techniques tailored to meet your child’s needs with a child- friendly focus. By providing one-on-one individual care in your child’s natural environment, we assist in establishing a strong foundation for future learning to give your child the ability to reach their best life. Our mission is to support you and your family in providing professional clinical evaluations, treatment options, resources and information so you feel empowered to make the best decision for your child and family.

How to Refer Your Child

  • Option 1 | I want to refer my child for an Evaluation/Therapy. If you know you would like to speak to our patient advocate to discuss scheduling an initial evaluation with a licensed pediatric therapist, simply complete and submit the Referral Form so we may contact you. Please provide as much information on the secure/encrypted form as possible as it is required to begin the process. We do accept Medicaid and most insurances.
  • Option 2 | I Want to Be Contacted. If you would like to speak with our patient advocate for more information prior to submitting a Referral Form, simply complete the Contact Me Form and submit.
  • Option 3 | If you prefer to contact us to discuss your child, please call our team. You can reach us by phone at: (Denver) 303.432.8487; (Colorado Springs) 719.623.5463; (Northern Colorado) 970.775.8476; and (Pueblo) 719.695.4535.

References:
*National Institute of Child Health and Development: The NICHD Study of Early Child Care and Youth Development Findings for Children up to Age 4 1⁄2 Years
*American Academy of Pediatrics, July 1, 2017 issue. Developmental Delay: When and How to Screen.