At 18 months old, Ethan wasn’t speaking. His mother’s friend told her about Easter Seals North Georgia’s Babies Can’t Wait program. Although Ethan’s parents were concerned about Autism, Babies Can’t Wait service coordinator believed that Ethan would progress with speech therapy.
For the next year and a half, speech therapist Mary Ann came to Ethan’s house once a week for thirty minutes. It took several months, but May Ann was able to engage Ethan in activities. She made learning fun for him as he was a high-energy child.
Ethan’s learning didn’t stop when Mary Ann left, though. “We would see what Ms. Mary Ann was showing him. Then, over the six days that she is not with him, we would continue,” said Ethan’s dad, Jay. She would also recommend activities. For example, moving little pom poms by blowing on a straw was a fun way to work on the mouth muscles needed to form words.
When Ethan turned three and aged out of the Babies Can’t Wait program, he had around 500 words in his word bank. And, he is putting words together to make complete, understandable sentences. He loves books, especially about the planets and solar system.
He still attends small group speech therapy through the local school system, and he’s the star student! “Ethan is the only one that participates in speech therapy at the school,” said his dad.
The tools that Ethan acquired from speech therapy through ESNG’s Babies Can’t Wait go way beyond words. It taught him patience, self-control and how to focus. All important factors that will help him succeed as he enters school.