When 3-year-old Daniela (Dani) was born, she was diagnosed with Down Syndrome and a heart murmur. Anjelica, Dani’s mother was given information about Rainbows’ services from doctors at St. Joseph Via Christi Hospital. She called Rainbows and soon began receiving Infant/Toddler Services with Physical Therapist Pam Chiles and Spanish Interpreter Scarlett Grassie.
Pam and Scarlett worked on helping the family learn the best ways to encourage Dani to communicate, learn and walk. “Mom was so good at teaching Dani how to communicate,” said Pam. “We used fun songs that helped her use motor imitation to learn to imitate which then helped her learn how to use sign language which then eventually helped her use words.”
Having a Spanish interpreter assist with therapy is invaluable. “Scarlett is able to help us understand the family by filling us in on the stories they share with her,” said Pam. “She helps us model speech, learning and motor activities so that the family knows how to carry through with the therapy after we leave.”
Anjelica feels that Dani met her developmental milestones quicker than if she did not have services. “Having services helped me realize things that maybe I would have not noticed,” said Anjelica. “It’s helped me realize that maybe my child was not doing what she should. Rainbows helped educate me and turn the light bulb on in my head and made me think more about Dani’s development.”
“Therapies are interesting and important,” said Anjelica. “Long term you are able to see the positive impact that Rainbows’ services have on your child.”
The family also receives Rainbows’ Targeted Case Management. Their case manager, Karina Vargas, is bilingual. “Spanish speaking families feel so much comfort if they have a Spanish speaking case manager,” said Karina. “It is much easier for the family to express their child’s needs when there is not a communication barrier.”
“Dani lights up the room with her smile and is a go-getter!” said Karina. “She’s very curious and super spunky. Anjelica loves to share Dani’s accomplishments and developmental goals she has met.”
Dani has a younger sister named Valeria. As a family they enjoy camping, going on walks and exploring. They also like spending time with their pets, putting together puzzles and crafting.