Jack is running!

This is a letter from one of our families, we hope that parents and who are in the earliest stages will take comfort in reading about Jack and his family.

Our son, Jack, graduated from your birth to three program through S. June Smith last October. We are writing today to let you know that our family is forever grateful.

Jack was born with spina bifida and had multiple surgeries within his first few months. He began
receiving physical and occupational therapy when he was just 6 weeks old, and we eventually added speech therapy to his routine.

The team that worked with Jack the longest was Jeane’ Bowerman, PT, Erica Wentzel, OT, and Robin Williams Harnish, SLP.

We equate this team to the Dream Team! They worked together to create appropriate goals for Jack, always keeping in mind his strengths.
Upon learning that Jack was diagnosed with spina bifida, we were given a grim prognosis regarding
mobility – one doctor believed he would never walk. Imagine our surprise when he was able to move his
legs shortly after birth. When Jeane’ began working with him at 8 months, he was just learning to sit.
With her help, he was able to sit up, stand, crawl on his hands and knees, cruise, and can now walk
independently throughout our home. She had new ideas every week. And thank goodness she was able to
bring so many pieces of equipment; a seat, a standing bench, a ride on toy, a gait trainer, a wheelchair, a
walker, and a pair of lofstrand crutches. We could have never purchased everything we needed to help
Jack make these huge mobility gains. And Jeane’ forged ahead every week. When he needed surgery, we
figured out a way to still push him. Jack picked the week his sister was born to begin walking. We
insisted Jeane’ come and help us refine this new skill!

Erica, who had worked with Jack the longest, had the most wonderful relationship with Jack. In fact, in
the three weeks after therapy has ended, he had asked for her twice. Erica provided our family with a
wealth of knowledge. She helped with feeding, seating, toileting, sensory experiences, and our favorite,
trips to Costco. Erica was able to problem solve EVERY question we posed (and we posed a lot of
questions). Her positive feedback about the difficult situations we faced, was most appreciated.
Robin was the last therapist to be added to Team Jack! In fact, we were so pleased with our progress, that
we enrolled Jack in your SPLASH program for 2 sessions. Too bad he aged out because he had a fantastic
time playing with the other children and developing a foundation for speech. Robin helped us with many
techniques to help Jack speak. We added to our word wall in our kitchen on a regular basis to try to get
Jack exposed to as many words as possible. He was one tough cookie, but Robin never gave up. If we
weren’t working outside, she found a toy from our collection that would motivate Jack.

We are happy to report that Jack has made significant gains over this past year. He began attending our
neighborhood preschool in September! This has been a major step for independence for Jack. His time at
school is the longest he has spent away from our family, and we are all thrilled. If you had told us one
year ago that this transition to preschool would have been this smooth, we never would have believed
you. Jack is so eager to go to school that he gets dropped off in the car line “running” to get inside. He has
been making so much progress with his mobility, that his current therapist believes he will no longer need
to use his lofstrand crutches at school. This is incredible. She also has a new goal for Jack. Running.
Honestly, we almost asked her to remove this goal, but he is just so ready.

All of these accomplishments, would not have been possible without the early intervention that Jack received through Excentia. We
believe strongly that his success is due to the pushing and endurance of YOUR team members.
Thank you for hiring and retaining the best therapists. We were honored to share our son Jack with them
and consider them in the highest regard.

With thanks,

Matthew and Amy Link

More to explore

Invisible Abilities

By: Mary Godin Joel at his current job. Joel likes to stock shelves. Specifically, he wants things to be in their place.

A Balancing Act

By: Mary Godin Excentia Human Services’ Employment Specialists Brenda Mitchell (left) and Laurie Becker (right). Emotional intelligence, social awareness, and adaptability. Three

Extra Give 2022 – Impact Highlight

As the youngest of five siblings, Bennett always loves tagging along for family activities. In his early years, nothing seemed concerning with Bennett’s development.


A Balancing Act

By: Mary Godin Excentia Human Services’ Employment Specialists Brenda Mitchell (left) and Laurie Becker (right). Emotional intelligence, social awareness, and adaptability. Three of the most

Read More »

Give Extra to Excentia on Nov. 17!

Share a gift that gives all people the opportunity to lead productive and fulfilling lives.