Lily was 3 years old when she got connected to the Rainbows’ Community Based Education and Training Services (CBETS) program. She suffered from muscular issues and weakness. She had problems with balance and walking and would drop to her knees to pick up things. She was unable to climb the ladder of the slide, and was embarrassed that she needed help.
Lily also had developmental delays, struggling with asking for what she needed and speaking barely above a whisper so no one was able to understand what she was saying. As a result of her struggles, Lily was not meeting developmental milestones for a child her age.
Through a contract with Wichita Public Schools, CBETS offers ideas, specific services and resources to support each child’s education. This dedicated team of professionals, Early Childhood Special Education Teacher, Occupational Therapist, Physical Therapist, and Speech Language Pathologists travel to the child’s home, community daycare centers, school learning centers, Head Starts, TOP’S, private daycares and preschools. Team members may drive 150 miles across Sedgwick County and complete up to 50 visits in a week. These services are provided at no cost to the families or child care providers, and specialized to each child.
In Lily’s case, with direction she quickly learned her alphabet, rhyming words, spatial concepts and numbers. “I love seeing it in their eyes when they catch it,” said Kenda Belknap, Early Childhood Special Education Teacher. “That look of I did it on my own and now I’ve got it. It is the most rewarding part of my job.”
Through physical therapy, her muscular issues and weakness were strengthened. She is now able to enjoy playing on the playground and sliding with her friends. And Lily can communicate with her parents, grandparents, friends and teachers! “I love having a parent tell me their child is talking all the time and making friends,” said Amy Williams, Speech Language Pathologist.
After 3 years of services, Lily is going to kindergarten. She will be able to play with her friends, learn the curriculum, and communicate with everyone. The team of seven agree, “The best part of their job is exiting children from services before they go to kindergarten” (that means they will not need special education in the public school).