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Remi Prepares for Preschool with EI Support

Remi began receiving Early Intervention support in 2018 after his mom, Breanna, noticed a speech delay. Through in-home support that Breanna can incorporate anywhere they go, Remi is about to transition out of Early Intervention services and into preschool.

Remi was 18 months old when Breanna noticed that he’d missed speech development milestones. Resources were limited in their rural hometown of Millersburg, in Holmes County, but Breanna soon learned from fellow parents that services were available through the county board’s Early Intervention (EI) program. EI, a coordinated support system, matches service providers with families as they work toward developmental goals. After learning about EI, Breanna reached out to Help Me Grow to learn more, and Remi got a referral for an in-home evaluation within a month.

“The minute he was evaluated just put my mind to ease,” Breanna said. “They just had information for me, and they took me by my hand and said, ‘Hey, it's going to be all right.’”

Soon, Remi’s family had access to a network of direct support professionals who accommodated their schedule and needs with in-home services. This was important for the family, who were juggling fulltime jobs and raising a newborn -- Remi’s little sister.

With his dad, Kyle, in the background, Remi participates in a fundraising and awareness walk for children with apraxia.

“It makes our life convenient,” Breanna says. “Remi is in his own environment. Everything is familiar to him in this setting.”

One of Breanna’s biggest goals has been to explore ways that Remi can communicate with the world around him. “Starting Early Intervention, Remi couldn’t say any words, and I didn’t know how to promote language.”

Now, Breanna has worked with Remi’s speech-language pathologist to turn everyday moments, such as zoo visits and playtime, into learning opportunities. Remi and Breanna are also working on using sign language and communication boards to encourage self-expression. “That's really where we see a lot of changes, because I incorporated what they were telling me to do at home.”

Sharon, the family’s developmental specialist, agrees.

“Remi has made great gains, and the family has followed through and had so many creative strategies,” she says.

Breanna’s EI experience has allowed her to become an advocate for other parents and children who may benefit from EI services. “I'm adamant about sharing, because had I not heard about it from another mom, I wouldn't have known,” she says.

She’s paying it forward by combining her career as a dance instructor with her enthusiasm for EI to be a future dance-movement therapist for children with developmental disabilities.

In a few months, Remi will take on his next big adventure: preschool. With the assistance of EI, the family knows what to expect.

Sharon, Remi’s development specialist, is also excited for him. “I'm looking forward to checking in to see him in preschool. I think he's going to enjoy playing with the other children.”

“The director from the preschool was able to come and talk to me about what preschool would look like for him,” Breanna says. “It felt really personable because they really wanted to see Remi succeed in school.”

 

To learn more about referrals and services, visit Early Intervention’s homepage.

Remi and his mom, Breanna, try out some playtime and occupational therapy techniques to take home.