Allison Brown, proud mother to Eli, shares her family's personal experience with Rainbows:
Eli took to his Physical Therapists, Tori and Amy, quickly. In his mind, they are his friends that come to play once a month. They have each given us play based exercises and activities to do at home while educating us about why and how his body benefits. Many things they teach us are incredibly simple and easy to incorporate into his daily routine. I'll never forget the day I asked Tori to watch the way he was pulling as I held his hand going up the stairs. "Try holding his hand below his shoulder level," she suggested. A problem we'd been struggling with for months was solved with one simple sentence!
We've also been able to take advantage of the aquatic physical therapy classes Rainbows offers. I was shocked at how the instructors were able to give him individualized instruction even in a group setting. They correctly identified his target areas without me saying a word, taught me how to adapt an exercise to best meet his specific needs, and had toys on hand to help us practice some of his current goals in a new and different environment. Because, let's be honest, everything is more fun in the pool.
Eli also enjoys attending Rainbows United playgroups. Days after his last playgroup, he was still singing the goodbye song! He attends with his grandmother, giving her a chance to see how Rainbows uses play to help him practice and refine development in all areas, not just those he might struggle with. I love that he is able to experience self-directed play that is also developmentally appropriate. The added benefit of having professionals around to guide him and make subtle adaptations to activities in order to personalize them to his abilities, strengths and weaknesses is invaluable.
A common theme in all of our experiences with Rainbows has been the celebration of Eli's successes. I have never left a home visit or group event without a handful of encouraging statements to remind me of the progress he is making or of his areas of strength. Everyone we've worked with has been child-centered, friendly, and knowledgeable. From the people and events that have enriched his life, to the skills they've helped him master; Rainbows United has become an important part of Eli's story.