Nina suffered from her first seizure at 11 months and was diagnosed with epilepsy, developmental delay and hypotonia. Much of Nina’s diagnosis remains a mystery but she continues to progress with her family and Rainbows cheering her on. "Nina amazes us and makes us proud. Her desire to learn, her excitement for learning, her will and tenacity and strength. It's truly inspiring," said Jessica, her mother.
Nina began receiving Rainbows’ Infant/Toddler Services at nine months old, occupational therapy with Laura Barnes, speech therapy with Ashley Johnson and physical therapy with Rhonda Davis. “We are so grateful to Rhonda for teaching us about this precious journey which is our child’s development,” Jessica said. “And empowering us with the knowledge, skills and confidence to trek it.”
Initially, Nina was unable to sit by herself, hold her bottle, roll over on her own, and was cooing but not babbling. It was through team effort that Nina began to make strides in her development. “The family took every suggestion we made and ‘ran’ with them,” Rhonda said. “At each visit, they were anxious and excited to show us what they had been doing with Nina and what Nina was able to do since the last visit.” She began crawling, moving in and out of sitting, bringing hands to midline, playing more appropriately with toys, holding her own bottle, eating foods with more textures, communicating likes and dislikes, and more. “She accomplished these things because we taught her how,” Jessica said. “And Rainbows taught us.”
Nina loves to participate and learn in all of her therapies. She loves to walk independently with her walker around her neighborhood and swing in the family’s tree swing. She enjoys many activities and spending time with her parents and little sister. "Our goal is to mesh her therapy with an excellent childhood," Jessica said.
Nina’s family is optimistic of her future development and has built a strong connection with Rhonda. “She comes to our home each week and brings a calm, can-do attitude, she is our most enthusiastic cheerleader and support person,” Jessica said. “She is a blessing to our family.”
“Nina’s family is a joy to work with, they work so hard to help Nina be successful,” Rhonda said.
To aid in her development Nina’s father, Daniel, built a bench to help her sit-to-stand as well as other therapeutic exercises. Due to the effectiveness of the bench and Rhonda’s excitement of it, Jessica and Daniel built three more and donated them to help other Rainbows’ children.
Rhonda, Daniel, Nina, Naomi, and Jessica with the therapy bench.