As Rainbows celebrates a 40 year history of seeing the unseen within every children with special needs and their famlies we asked staff to share their memories.
"So many memories from 15 years; here are a few that stick out in my mind:
Little Shylan was in a Spica cast from hip surgery. She was fussy at school and teacher Joyce asked me to help calm her. I took her in the quiet nursery and rocked her. Less than a week later she went to Heaven. I cherished that special time I had with her.
Working with the amazing PRC staff, administration, Gordon, and spouses to the KOCH building ready for children in almost three days. Hard work but very rewarding!
Diane and I had worked so hard to get Jaylen to walk with a walker. He would always get stuck at a wall. One day, he got to a wall turned the walker by himself and walked to full length of the long PRCK hallway. Diane and I stood there and cried with joy!
After many hours of circling around on the floor with Marion as model for Brandy, she finally started crawling and soon began walking."
“I was a member of an evaluation team in a “not so clean” home. I was perched on the floor, hoping to not touch anything more that possible. Halfway through the evaluation, and older sibling came in the door, knocking me onto the floor-just like a domino. “
“I have a memory of an in-service where we were split into departments. Social work and case records were together. We did a skit where we were a pinball machine. We were depicting how we-the social workers- were the machine and all other staff were the balls. They keep coming and bouncing off of us for help or information. The social workers and records staff except for Jody were the posts and Jody was the ball running into and bouncing off of us. Jody got so active she ran into someone and flew to the floor, skirt over her head. We had the best skit!”
“As a TCM the last 3.5 years I have watched my clients change and grow. I have one client that had such challenging behaviors he had been hospitalized several times. Due to interventions and consultations he is now so much more successful. He has new coping skills. He was recently able to go out of town with a friend of the family. I was so proud of him. I nearly cried along with the mother.”
“As an Early Childhood Special Education teacher, I serve families in the home. I have many toddlers that love it when I come the home. They greet me with a big hug every time. In working with languages I always make a big deal to wave and say by when I leave. It is very exciting for the family and me for them to wave bye back to me for the first time. “
“Coming out of a Bankruptcy to a break even budget. No one expected us to make it, but we never thought about not making it. We just kept working… and working…and working… and working. Now we are better and stronger. We are survivors.”
“Parents come to us looking for help. Each family has different skill and resources to support their family. Rainbows’ staff finds out where that family is and where they want to go. Staff then provides support and resources as building block to move the family to where they want to be.”
“We work with parents who are dedicated to providing their children with the highest quality of life possible. We as staff are equally dedicated to providing the highest quality of services available. Each family and child is so individual and unique. Our dedication to learn the stories, procuring the necessary resources and services, the providing expertise is what makes us unique in the community.”
“I work with a very special young man. Just this week as we were out in my back yard looking at my flowers, sitting on my patio, and just chatting. He was enjoying feeding the doves and I let him help refill some of my bird feeders. He told me he was happy and that he loves me. I had asked him if remembers how young he was when he first met me. He though a while and said when you changed Megan’s diapers (She is 13 now). His next statement was, “I want you to always be with me forever and more.” Needless to say he made me cry. He noticed it, put his arms around me and said, “You are very good, don’t cry, you be ok with me and my family.”
“Susie was a preemie born at 24 weeks and weighing a little over a pound. She came to the toddler room as a child with developmental delays in language, cognition, and self help. Through a combination of patience, expert service, and communication with the family, she was able to go to a regular education Pre-K when she left us.”
“Reading to the children and watching their faces brings hope and wonder to me. To hear a three year old say “Mom” for the first time. Watching a two year old that couldn’t crawl when he came to Rainbows, now he is walking with the aid of a walker and smiles so large. That sticks in your heart”
“The E-O family is expecting their sixth child. Four of the children have been Rainbows Kids. Michael Tatro, speech therapist saw that the family, always strapped for money, didn’t have many books. She helped the family apply for the Dolly Parton Imagination Library. Now the family receives books in the mail every month (this is good because they don’t have transportation). Michael uses the books during the home visits. And all of the children benefit from this community connection.”
“Logan was born with a severe form of hydrocephalus. The doctors warned his mom that he would probably be severely brain damaged. Logan just turned two. He is a very smart little guy with a fantastic personality. He is taking his first steps. Logan will probably leave Rainbows as a typical child with a hearing impairment. Logan’s mom is thrilled.”
“During a visit I was so engaged with the little boy I was working with. So much so that I didn’t realize I was sitting in a wet “substance.” I spent the rest of the day with sporting brown jeans and UNDERWARE! This is just an example of how dedicated we Infant/Toddler staff are. We serve the kids in ANY environment and we do it with a smile on our face.”
“ There was a garage sale a few houses down from an early morning visit. I spied a box of kids’ toys. So I stopped by to see if there was anything I could shar with families. Right away, a woman approached me and said, “I see you’re from Rainbows (from my badge).” She continues to share that her son had Down’s syndrome, and how much Rainbows affected her and her family, and how thankful she was for us. She donated some books and toys.”