Mark is a motivational speaker; his wife Carol is a Mary Kay employee and also works in the administration office at the local elementary school. They live happily in Cave Creek with their six-year-old daughter Priya.
That’s today. Five years ago, the family’s situation was much more difficult. Mark’s first wife died in a car accident when Priya was just 15 months old. Around the same time, Priya began to exhibit motor and speech delays, perhaps from the medical condition that caused her dwarfism, perhaps exacerbated from the trauma of losing her mother.
Mark came to Southwest Human Development’s Early Intervention program. Early intervention helps young children with disabilities and developmental delays reach their full potential. Research tells us that when problems are identified early, and children receive the help they need at a very young age, they have a much better chance of growing up to be healthy and happy.
During home visits with therapists, Priya participated in speech articulation exercises, like singing songs, which challenged her and eventually helped improve her speech. Mark notes that Priya’s physical therapy not only helped her meet her developmental milestones, but also helped him come up with ways to assist his daughter in everyday life.
Two years ago, Mark and Carol married—and today, Priya is a high-spirited first grader who loves to talk, make friends and of course, be the center of attention. Priya’s zest for life and diligent attitude has helped her reach her developmental milestones. Today, Priya is in a typical classroom at school and her father is looking into enrolling her in acting classes to help foster her “inner-entertainer.”