Khaliah

When Khaliah’s grandmother first brought her to visit she was frail and unresponsive. Grandma had just been given custody of 7 month old, Khaliah,, along with  another young grandchild. Grandma was overwhelmed and scared. She wanted to find childcare for Khaliah so she could keep her full-time job but knew her special granddaughter needed therapy during the day if she was ever going to overcome her severe disabilities.  Khaliah was born prematurely and had hydrocephalus and a shunt to drain the excessive fluid on her brain. The shunt was inserted to prevent further damage but the presence Cerebral Palsy was already apparent.

DLC was the answer to her prayers with all the therapies she needed at the daycare center along with nursing care available for Khaliah’s medical problems. Therapy was started right away and she received Physical, Occupational and speech therapy along with an early intervention teacher that worked with her weekly. Progress was slow at first. Khaliah did a lot of sleeping and had several hospitalizations the first year. She didn’t cooperate with therapy at first and the therapists took extra time convincing her that therapy was fun!

As Khaliah grew, she learned to enjoy the extra attention she got from therapists. Still her week muscles and poor attention span, hindered her development.. Her left side was more affected and made crawling and playing with toys difficult. With our scholarship program, we were able to keep Khaliah in our full-day program, even when Grandma lost her day care funding. This allowed the continuation of services Khaliah needed to reach her full potential. At age three, she is now talking, feeding herself and walking. She is doing so well; she was able to walk down the aisle to accept her diploma as she graduated from DLC in August. Her grandmother is no longer overwhelmed and scared. She now knows the future is bright for her precious little girl and together the can overcome anything.

Josiah

When Josiah first came to DLC he was a tiny thing. He was born with Down’s Syndrome.  He was not sitting up, rolling or using his hands to reach at all. He made very little eye contact and had trouble eating and getting enough nutrition. He couldn’t stay awake for long and his progress was slowed further by seizures and seizure medications.

After 2 ½ years at DLC, teachers and therapists working with him daily and a wonderful family supporting him, Josiah has come a very long way. He is now seizure free, feeding himself with a spoon, and playing well with toys, even stacking blocks. Josiah is not only sitting, crawling, and standing, he is now walking with one hand held.

In spite of his rough start, Josiah is doing very well with his development and we know he will continue to improve as he becomes an independent young man. Josiah graduated from DLC on August 9, 2012 to move on to public school. He took a total of 8 independent steps the day before graduation and his family was so proud to see him accept his diploma in front of a very excited crowd. He walked in his blue cap and gown with 10 other graduates this year who had all accomplished what many thought was impossible.

Kayden

For many years the Jacksonville Mustang Club has supported DLC with car show fundraisers. We finally are able to pay back their support. Several months ago we got a call from a Mustang Club member. He was very distraught about his 18 month old granddaughter who was still not sitting up on her own and showing other signs of significant developmental delay. He wanted to know if we could help. We offered them a scholarship since Kayden’s mom had been out of work and had just found a new job. Kayden started in the Angel room with the other 1 year olds. 

She is doing great after only a few months, she is sitting up on her own and even sitting up at the table in a big girl chair. She is imitating some actions and sounds. Kayden is now standing and starting to walk with a walker. She loves her teachers, Miss Susan and Miss Nico, and all of her classmates. We still don’t know why Kayden is behind in her skills but we will keep working to help her catch up. Her mom is doing great in her new job and her grandfather is glad to know that DLC was there for his family when they needed it.

Simon

2009

DLC had a special visitor drop by. Simon’s mom brought him by to show us his progress. Simon is now 7 years old and attending Dinsmore Elementary School. He is in a typical first grade class and is reading at the top level. He was thrilled to see us and told us all about himself. All of our staff was just as thrilled to see him as most of them worked with Simon as a baby.

Also his mom, Laura, has graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in business and is applying to the University of Florida to become a Speech Therapist. This has all been possible because DLC was able to care for Simon so mom could attend college years ago.

What a great success for Simon, his mom, DLC and also to those of you that have supported DLC over the last 17 ½ years. We hope this story and the follow-up report will bless each of you and encourage you to continue giving to our worthy cause. We could use your donations now more than ever as we are serving 75-80 children at a time and our costs are sky rocketing. With God’s help we hope to be around for many years to come and for all the “Simon’s” that need us.

2007

When Simon started at DLC we were told he would not live past the age of two and had a “Do not resuscitate order.” He had what is called a Lysencephaly or a “smooth brain.” This meant he would be losing skills and couldn’t improve. He had many physical deformities but seemed to be quite alert. The teachers and therapists worked with Simon on his skills and in spite of the doctors diagnosis Simon was learning. He began crawling, standing, walking and imitating sounds at 18 months old. The doctors did a brain scan to check his progress and his brain had fully developed and was within the normal range. The “Do not resuscitate order” was rescinded. Because of his genetic syndrome this is impossible, according to his doctor, but we know that all things are possible at DLC with God’s help!