ECDC home-based services replaced mother’s tears with feelings of hope

Angela Cato - Jul 31, 2019

Tags: Center    Child    Development    Education    Envision    Services   
Ravin Young cried when she heard these five words in October 2016: “Ravin, your baby is blind.”
 
“I cried for little Curt, who was just eight months old, and for what this would mean for his future,” she said. “I cried for our family. We never imagined we’d have to confront something like this.”
 
Curt’s diagnoses – hydrocephalus (a buildup of fluid in the cavities deep within the brain), ventriculomegaly (a fetal brain condition that causes the lateral ventricles to become dilated) and spastic cerebral palsy (a developmental disorder caused by damage to the brain before birth) – meant that he’d be wheelchair dependent and require special care and attention his entire life.
 
Ravin and her husband felt helpless and alone. That is until they heard about home-based services offered by the Envision Child Development Center (ECDC).
 
ECDC home-based services are available to children who are too fragile for the classroom; there are currently 12 participating families. Individualized educational plans are an integral part of the program, as they address each family’s unique needs, strengths and challenges. Another component, parent education, links primary caregivers to a support system, community services and other resources that put them in charge of their child’s future.
 
“When the Envision staff showed up at my door for that very first home-based session, they were so welcoming, comforting and knowledgeable,” Raven said. “They came in with open minds and immediately connected with Curt. They had him smiling, laughing and learning in no time.”
 
ECDC teachers Trudy Ward and Estrella Veliz visit Curt twice a month to paint, play, sing and use sensory toys and light boxes. Now that Curt is nearly three, they are starting to teach him to read Braille by moving his hand across the page while they read aloud to him. They even engage Curt’s little sister in the activities.
 
“Curt’s story is a family story,” said ECDC Director Teresa Houston. “When I first met Ravin, she felt overwhelmed. Trudy and Estella stepped in as Ravin’s support team and helped her become her own advocate. She’s a totally different woman now.”
 
The ECDC is the only integrated preschool in the region that allows children who are blind or low vision to get a head start on success. Thanks to the ECDC, Raven’s family is now living life to the fullest and filling as many days as they can with happy memories.

For more information about the ECDC or to arrange a tour, email ECDC@Envisionus.com, go online to https://www.envisionus.com/How-We-Help/Child-Development or call 316-440-1632.