With clenched fists at three months old, Amber’s mother, Susan, knew her baby girl had a developmental disability. Most babies have opened their hands at that point, explained Susan, who holds a master’s degree in Special Education.
Today, at 23 years old, Amber’s favorite thing to share with others is a high five, to warmly greet many of her friends at the Lifetime Assistance Lowry Center in Clarkson. Cerebral palsy leaves Amber largely non-verbal but she uses Nova Chat, an augmentation device, to communicate. That, along with physical and occupational therapy help Amber gain skills to be more independent.
“To see her getting therapy is wonderful,” Susan explains. “We don’t have to worry about regression, a constant concern as she gets older.” When Amber aged out of the private school she attended for children with developmental disabilities, her mother searched for a day program with similar benefits. The excellent services provided by Lifetime Assistance centers impressed her.
“A safety net is taken away when your child ages out of school. I feel like that safety net is back again now that she’s attending Lowry. The sweet, dedicated staff is so good with her. There is so much potential for growth.”
Amber looks forward to her day at the Lowry Center. “At home she will go to the closet to get her coat on her own,” explains her mother. “That’s a big deal. She is part of a community there and I can see how much she has improved.”
Susan thinks about what will happen to Amber once she and her husband are too old to care for her. Lifetime Assistance relieves her worries.
“Parents want a place for their children to grow. But for children with special needs, there are so many limitations,” Susan says. “We feel so safe taking our daughter to Lowry. A support system is so essential.”
With the planned renovations, Amber will benefit from many more opportunities for self care.
“We feel blessed that Lifetime is there for Amber and we can see so much future potential for her now.”