Rick and Vickie Kohles adopted their daughter, Kitty, when she was two years old. Born prematurely at 24 weeks and weighing only 1 lb. 9 oz., Kitty had entered foster care and began living with the Kohles family just before her first birthday. Suffering from underdeveloped lungs and brain trauma due to complications at birth, Kitty had severe eating problems and a variety of developmental delays. Kitty, now eight years old, has made remarkable strides with the help of Southwest Human Development’s Feeding Program and the Children’s Developmental Center.
Eli hasn’t had the easiest path to first grade.
Born a micro preemie at 24-weeks gestation, Eli spent 102 days in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). Like many babies born extremely prematurely, Eli was born with underdeveloped lungs and needed a breathing tube to help him breathe. While life-saving for preemies, when it is used for long periods of time it can also cause problems with vision, eating and breathing. As a result, Eli had laser eye surgery to help prevent him from going blind. When he was finally discharged from the hospital, Eli went home still relying upon a feeding tube.
In 2010, then three-year-old twins Arleth and Scarleth were enrolled in Southwest Human Development’s Head Start. Now, at the age of five, the two girls graduated to kindergarten this past fall. The family has been a model for others in the Head Start program through their involvement in extracurricular activities and program events, while also taking full advantage of the many valuable resources offered to families through the program.
Two years ago, Beldon learned she was pregnant. What had been a difficult few years for the family turned to hope and a new beginning – Daisy would be her name. But during her second trimester, they discovered Daisy had several medical conditions and wasn’t expected to survive delivery. Defying the impossible, Daisy – now 15 months old – has benefitted from many of Southwest Human Development’s programs and services, including the ADAPT Shop, that cater to her unique developmental needs.
Three-year-old Manuel was born prematurely and had feeding problems which required him to stay in the hospital following his birth. Though state services denied the family’s request for assistance for his home care needs, Southwest Human Development’s Healthy Families program helped Rosa and Roberto become strong advocates for their son’s well-being and the well-being of their family as a whole.
Three-year-old Carter Wahl and his mother, Carrie, were referred to Southwest Human Development by their pediatrician. The Children’s Development Center saw an immediate need for the two to participate in the agency’s Side By Side Parent-Child Playgroup for children on the autism spectrum, while working with therapists to help Carter with his developmental needs.
As a child, Yazmin wasn’t read to by her family and feels this is one of the reasons she has never enjoyed reading. For her three-year-old daughter, Jocelyn, Yazmin and her husband, Horacio, had a different plan. In 2011, they enrolled Jocelyn in Southwest Human Development’s Raising A Reader program. Prior to joining Raising A Reader, Jocelyn showed little interest in books, but thanks to the program, Yazmin learned better ways to engage Jocelyn with books and, today, Jocelyn reads books on her own.
Yvette Harraway was a foster parent for many years. She fostered several children, many of whom had special medical needs. Yvette made the decision to adopt three of her foster children, who were each burn survivors. Yvette met her husband, Arnold, and his daughter, after moving to Arizona and the two adopted a child together. Later, with the help of Southwest Human Development’s Kinship Care and Adoptions program, Yvette and Arnold adopted Bonnie and her brother, Arnold Jr., bringing the family to seven children in all.
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