Your support of PCHP made this success possible.
I am delighted to share this wonderful example of Parent-Child Home Program (PCHP) family success from one of our Massachusetts PCHP sites. This is just one of thousands of similar stories that are made possible each year because of our dedicated staff and generous supporters across the country.
Thank you, Sarah Walzer, PCHP CEO
Meet Stephanie & Russell
When Stephanie gave birth to her son Russell, she was overwhelmed by both happiness and the pressure of being a first time mother. Stephanie was struggling economically, and serving as a full time caretaker for Russell’s father. She did not have any family nearby for support.
Stephanie signed up for the Parent-Child Home Program through the Family Nurturing Center of Massachusetts. “As a new mother, I thought it’d be a great learning experience,” explained Stephanie. “I realized that my son was having difficulties, and I wasn’t sure how to help or connect with him.” She was also delighted about the prospect of getting free books and educational toys.
How PCHP Helped
When PCHP early literacy specialist, Andrea, came for the first visits, Russell was not able to speak and was very hyper. He would put the toys in his mouth, and he struggled with sitting still and focusing on the books and toys she would bring each week. Andrea referred Stephanie to early intervention services for evaluation. Shortly thereafter Russell was diagnosed as being on the Autism spectrum.
Russell began speech therapy, behavioral therapy, and an assortment of other early intervention services, but most of all he looked forward to Andrea’s visits. Stephanie and Russell were both comfortable with Andrea, and enjoyed the routine of her visits. “A familiar face on a bad day made me smile and calmed me down, and Russell really started to catch up!” Stephanie explained.
Russell’s behavioral therapist, Emily, observed Russell during a PCHP visit and offered tips on how to maximize the visits. “Andrea was open and receptive to suggestions,” said Stephanie. “Because Andrea knew Russell, she was really good at paying attention to his non-verbal cues and patterns. She modified the home visits to fit Russell’s individual needs, and was patient and understanding.” Russell quickly began to progress – he was talking and initiating conversations, was more interactive during play time, and gave Andrea “high-five” when he completed a task.
Building Brighter Futures
“PCHP shined a light on Russell and taught me many things. I learned that the most valuable thing you can give is your time. Invest time in your child because you shape them,” Stephanie explained.
Today, Russell is in a classroom specialized for children living with autism. He’s on track developmentally, and his teachers are helping him improve his social skills. Andrea remains in contact with Stephanie and Russell, and often checks in on his progress. Stephanie is attending Quincy College for nursing, and hopes to be in pediatrics because she loves working with children.
“Honest to goodness, I would have never thought about seeking additional services for my son if it weren’t for the Parent-Child Home Program. If it weren’t for our home visitor, Andrea, we wouldn’t be as happy and successful as we are today.”