- Posted by MCRC Staff
- On December 11, 2019
Tyler is a precious, happy four-year-old boy who loves to smile, socialize, give hugs and fist bumps. He is extremely interested in people and very sensitive to their emotions. Tyler is easily one of the most beloved children at the center. Many people, especially his therapists were sad to learn that his family is moving to Alaska soon because he was so close to reaching a milestone everyone had been working towards for two and a half years: his first steps.
Before he was born, his parents discovered that his brain had formed a little bit differently and knew that a realm of possibilities, issues and challenges awaited them. Tyler needed the help of several services that MCRC offers.
Speech therapy with Jennifer helped Tyler go from drinking nothing by mouth to learning how to feed himself to becoming independent of his G-button feeding system. Jennifer was so successful that Mom reports Tyler, “now eats more than his big brother.” Therapy goals with Jennifer transitioned from feeding to language expression through signs and one-word phrases of which he’s made excellent progress. His speech treatment was supplemented by hippotherapy which motivated Tyler to communicate more. He can now let his family know what he wants and what excites him. You should see him “talk” about football!
Tyler is a pure joy to work with! His family fully supports him at home by participating in his home programs. – Jennifer
When Tyler first began occupational therapy, his interaction with childhood toys was limited which, in turn, constrained what he learned through play. Simple activities like swinging terrified him and even sitting without support was worthy of horrified screams. With Susan’s help, Tyler learned to love painting, playing with shaving cream, crashing blocks, and spinning himself on the swing.
He’s been encouraged to play and that childhood experiences can be full of joy!
Before receiving services at MCRC, Tyler primarily got around his house by being carried or scooting on his bottom across the floor. Jami routinely worked to get Tyler to walk. Part of his treatment included hippotherapy which helped coordinate his brain to use the muscles in his legs. Tyler began taking steps with a gait trainer, then a walker, and finally a shopping cart. They were closing in on independent steps but then Jami learned of the Alaska move. Now she had a deadline and no one wanted Tyler to leave Midland without learning to walk.
Jami advocated for Tyler and got an extra session of therapy each week dedicated to helping him walk. Everyone knew Tyler was close to doing it but time was quickly flying by. On his final day at MCRC he still needed support for control, but his therapists hadn’t given up. Jami got Susan and stood him up to walk to her. Wouldn’t you know, that’s what finally motivated Tyler to do it. All of the hard work over the previous 32-ish months had finally paid off. Tyler took his first independent steps and cheers of excitement and praise echoed through the halls!
Every single person here truly loves these kids and loves their job. They make a difference in these kids’ lives every single day. I don’t even know how to describe it. It’s like a family. They definitely changed our lives… definitely. – Mom
Whether Tyler goes on to ride horses or become a sports announcer, the family’s goal is for Tyler to have the opportunity to become whatever Tyler wants… in Texas… in Alaska… wherever Tyler ends up.