Jackson was born nine weeks early and weighed 2 lbs 5 oz. He came home from the neonatal intensive care unit after one month. The next month he was receiving services from occupational therapist, Kara, through Rainbows’ Bright Beginnings in Butler County. “When Kara first came, she asked me what my goals were for the year,” said Jackson’s mom, Sasha. “When he was first born, we didn’t think he would even live. We were just happy to have a baby at this point.”
Kara’s personal and professional experience in working with infants and toddlers who have delays comforted Jackson’s parents immediately. “Kara had premature twins, so when she came in she wasn’t intimidated by the oxygen and tubes. She just scooped him up and was completely comfortable. It was easy because she knew what was going on and I didn’t have to explain. She was also able to give a little advice and peace of mind on things,” said Sasha.
The very first sessions of therapy consisted of trying to get Jackson to focus on toys and people. By 12 months, Jackson was making quick progress. Kara would give Sasha something to work on with him and he would have it mastered in a couple of days. Now, at 19 months the only delay that Jackson still has is with speech. Even though Jackson is very social and loves making noises, he has difficulty speaking and prefers to use sign language. He is also an energetic toddler who loves being around people and playing outside.
Sasha feels that Kara has helped her and her husband as much as she has helped Jackson, by providing them with ideas and answering questions. “Actually, the biggest complaint I have is that all parents don’t have a Kara. Even if Jackson was a full-term baby, I couldn’t imagine going through his infancy without her.”
In addition to being a full-time mom, Sasha is a member of the Rainbows GLOW Run | Walk Committee and has been active in getting the event ready for April.