Three-year old Allison is a little girl who loves books and who loves to sing.
While she was participating in Program Year 2 of PCHP provided by the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County through The Guatemalan-Maya Center in Lake Worth, Florida, she was diagnosed with leukemia.
Although devastated by this diagnosis, neither Allison, nor her parents, wanted to drop from PCHP. Due to the circumstances, PCHP provided a two month break from home sessions.
Allison was hospitalized for most of her initial treatment, which consisted of intense chemotherapy. When her hair fell out, her mother cut off all of her own hair in support of her daughter. They were instructed to remain at home for two months to avoid infections and illnesses. During this time, the program’s VISMs (Verbal Interaction Stimulus Materials) kept Allison busy, happy and hopeful for more home visits.
After the two months of seclusion, PCHP home visits commenced, which delighted Allison and her parents. The PCHP Home Visitor sings songs with Allison, at a slower pace, and she reads with Allison and her mother while Allison lies on her mother’s lap. The pleasure of the visits has brought joy and distractions as Allison continues to receive weekly chemo treatments. The consistency of the visits has also brought an important element of routine and “normal life” for the family.
Today, Allison is getting ready to graduate from PCHP. She has demonstrated tremendous progress in all of the developmental domains. Everyone is proud of her bravery. And, her family is grateful to PCHP for its flexibility and support.
The Palm Beach County PCHP is funded by the Children’s Services Council of Palm Beach County and is administered by the Literacy Coalition of Palm Beach County. Direct services are provided by The Guatemalan-Maya Center, ASPIRA of Florida, Noah, Inc., and Boys Town South Florida.