We belong here: Felix's Story

As told by his parents, Gina and Chris

Felix’s improvements could not have happened without St. David’s Center’s extraordinary approach. 

Felix came here when he was 18 months old. As an infant, he had severe acid reflux and every bottle was a fight. As a toddler, he refused nearly every food. We didn’t know what to do and were so grateful to discover St. David’s Center.

His therapist gave us suggestions of ways to calm him down at meals and they worked. In just six months of feeding therapy, mealtime became tolerable.

We were looking for other answers, too. He’d contracted Cytomegalovirus in utero, and hearing loss was a side effect. After he turned three, Felix was fitted with hearing aids when doctors told us he had severe to profound hearing loss in his left ear and mild to moderate loss in his right. His world had been relatively quiet up until then and, in trying to cope with that major change, he started to push and bite at home and in his public early childhood education class.

Once again, we were faced with where to turn for help. St. David’s Center had successfully gotten Felix on the path to eating dinner with us, so we decided to send him here for preschool and speech therapy. We knew the staff would step in with a plan and, over the last year, they have. 

It’s incredible how he’s learned to identify his feelings and the feelings of others at St. David’s Center. His teachers and occupational therapist help him to understand what’s going on in his body. From doing yoga to identifying a special space in the room for calming down, they teach him how to step away from a situation if he gets frustrated. They’re also great about accommodating Felix’s assisted listening technology and even did a unit on it in class so the kids could learn how “the magic microphone,” as it’s become known, helps Felix.  

The speech therapist at St. David’s Center helps Felix socially. In one-on-one therapy, she purposely pushes his buttons to help him resolve a problem. She also teaches him that he needs to work to hear. She comes into his classroom so he can work on communication with his peers. She flags certain situations where Felix might not hear on his own and gives him examples of what he could say to his classmates.

The combination of his teachers, speech therapy and occupational therapy have resulted in such a major improvement in Felix that we no longer worry about his transition to kindergarten.

Felix has friends now in his class, he’s engaged in what they’re learning and, cognitively, he’s right where he needs to be

 

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