The Kohles Family

Feeding Program/Children’s Developmental Center


Born prematurely at 24 weeks and weighing only 1 lb. 9 oz., Kitty entered foster care and began living with Vickie and Rick Kohles just before her first birthday. Already on oxygen, suffering from underdeveloped lungs and brain trauma due to complications at birth, by her second birthday, Kitty was on a feeding tube due to severe eating problems and was coping with a variety of developmental delays.


It was during this time that Vickie and Rick adopted Kitty and turned to Southwest Human Development’s Feeding Program and Children’s Developmental Center for help. It was here that Kitty and her entire family found the resources and support they needed to improve the quality of life for their young daughter.


Prior to coming to Southwest Human Development, the family had been to upward of 15 different doctors to try and get Kitty the help she so desperately needed. Over several years, the Children’s Developmental Center worked with Kitty to help address her developmental and feeding issues by providing ongoing assessment and evaluation, as well as nutritional planning, including weight monitoring and food intake. The Children’s Developmental Centeralso provided Kitty’s parents with parenting plans and behavioral strategies that would allow them to help Kitty manage her developmental concerns.

“What’s so frightening is children don’t come with an instruction book,” said Vickie Kohles, Kitty’s mom. “To have someone who can help provide direction, coaching or other resources has been critical to the overall success she’s enjoyed.”


Today, Kitty is eight years old and has made significant progress well beyond anyone’s expectations. She’s eating orally and continues to utilize the nutritional plans established through Southwest Human Development’s Feeding Program. The entire Kohles family has made tremendous strides in partnership with the Children’s Developmental Center, while Kitty continues to work on improving her academic struggles due to her ADHD and develop improved social skills.


“It was a real struggle,” added Vickie. “We’re extremely fortunate to have the support of so many programs and services.”


Helping Arizona Children & Families

With your support we can do even more