One Mom's journey
Early on I noticed Owen had difficulties with being held. He disliked being swaddled like babies do. He always had to be held facing outward so he could view everything happening. He had difficulties in daycare as he wasn't able to follow schedule of activities or napping without having meltdowns. He wouldn't speak much to anyone. Kindergarten is when I knew we needed to do more for Owen as he struggled with everything from focusing to following routine & classroom setting. When he did speak it was one word. At that time he was diagnosed ADHD. He began medication for such. He appeared to do better with hyper behavior yet I knew more was going on that I couldn't figure out.
Summer of 2013 we were referred to Dr. Sarah Coleman by our therapist to get a Psychological Evaluation done. At that time Owen was diagnosed with PDD/NOS, Sensory Sensitivity & ADHD. His vocabulary was increasing however certain milestones were not being met. We then started O.T. services at Sprout. Ms. Shawna did wonders with Owens motor skills, he progressed tremendously each week. School was still a huge struggle, I'd get at least 3 phone calls a week that I needed to pick Owen up as he needed to leave due to behaviors. I struggled to get accommodations within classroom. Owen was then sent to Griffenstein for evaluation.
We met to create an IEP for Owen along with meeting his new team at Payne Elementary. What a blessing this was! Owen has been at Payne since second 9 weeks of 2nd grade & I began to see Owen excited to go learn. He would say to me, mama they understand me & I can learn. He still struggled from time to time however with patience and love he began to grow in areas I was told not to expect him to. These areas included communication, social settings, participating in sports or activities. That summer Owen started at Rainbows’ Camp Woodchuck. The first day was a bit off, however changing Owen around to 1 care giver to 2 kids, made a huge difference.
This marks Owen’s third summer at Camp Woodchuck. His growth from attending Camp is amazing! He's more social, interacts well with everyone, he's going on outings and having a blast. Not even worried about the outside & bugs as he used to. He's made new friends that he's maintained over time. He's even begun giving out hugs -- which is a huge step for him. He's very talkative now. He's excited each morning for Camp. He's said Camp should just be year round so that he can hang with everyone.
Owen now wants to start a food truck for his friends. He's even named it FoodCraft. He says that the special needs friends need their own cool truck. He also wants to perform his dub step dancing at talent show next summer. Becoming this outgoing self and showing interest in more than staring at videos is due to such a great team at school along with him being able to be a part of a great team at Camp Woodchuck. I fully believe the opportunity to attend Camp has impacted Owen’s life and ours tremendously! We look forward to continued joy of being a part of Rainbows & Camp. Words cannot express my gratitude for Owen’s growth & the smile that lights his face each day.
By April, Owen's Mom