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Help Me Grow

by Summerly Rowlands

December 2023 & January 2024 updates just for cuteness and for the sole fact that we’re holding on to these appointments with all our love & might knowing that they will come to an end in 5 short months… we wish Miss Amanda could stay with us forever, but we’re so grateful for what this therapy has done and will continue to do. 💞


Best HMG session to date! 11/17/23 – Izzy was ready and excited from the start. She interacted and participated the entire time. We also noticed her mouth moving constantly, showing us how hard she’s trying to work on her speech. 😙


In September 2023, we had another IFSP review. The goal of speech remains, and a transitional meeting will take place around March to discuss moving on from Help Me Grow to preschool 😭

August 2023 – Signing “more” to her developmental specialist as she requests dancing & cheering! 😁

I also had the opportunity in September to present at the Stark DD in-service conference to share how Izzy is an Early Intervention success story! 💗 Izzy joined me on stage and as we walked off, she waved to the crowd, only to be waved at back by all 400+ people in attendance. 🥰

Celebrating with a snack
after her first presentation ☺


2 year old update: We continue to work on making sounds and forming words, but our girl proves to us over and over again just how capable she is and just how crazy cool her comprehension is. While she can say “Mama” – pronounced ‘maMaaaaa’ (the cutest sound in the world), she uses nonverbals and signs to communicate everything else. With her pointing, head nods, and emotions, she can hold an entire conversation, and with the help of Miss Rachel on YouTube (a woman who teaches words and sounds to infants, toddlers, and preschoolers), Izzy’s learning has expanded right before our eyes. Izzy will mouth and mimic what Miss Rachel is saying or doing; no sound comes out but she’s making the correct actions. For example, Miss Rachel will talk about a plane and Izzy will look over at me and mouth the sound that the word p makes and then use her arms to make the flying motion. Also, when we ask her to say “dada”, she moves her mouth exactly as though she is saying the word, but again no sound quite yet. Speaking is literally on the tip of her tongue, and we know that once she starts, she’ll never stop ~ but that’s okay because we want the world to hear her! While Sterling and I have decided not to introduce a communication device at this time, and prefer to remember Izzy’s neurologist’s words when he told us that if a child babbles, they will eventually talk, we are scheduled to meet with a speech therapist within her plastics team in September 2023.

July 2023 🖍
HMG play group – May 2023 🌸


In March 2023, we had Izzy’s IFSP review. Since she met her goal of walking, we now have a new goal: talking! Let’s hear ya, girl! 🗣 We have also decreased the frequency of therapy sessions to once a month because of her amazing progress!


19~20 month update: WALKING!!

18 month update: Taking steps!!

January 2023 👣


1 year old update: Izzy started with Help Me Grow in February 2022. We had an intake appointment, an assessment, and a meeting to create her IFSP (individualized family service plan). You can read all about Help Me Grow services in our post here –> https://my22qt.com/help-me-grow/

Izzy was assigned a developmental specialist who does in-home therapy with us about once every other week.

Since the end of February, Izzy has had 7 sessions at our house and 1 session at a Help Me Grow play group! When she started, she was working on sitting up unassisted and rolling over. By April, she was sitting with ease and working on scooting and pushing from kneeling to standing. By May, she was pulling herself up, and on May 21st, she crawled for the first time! Early into June, she was really on the move! Izzy’s developmental specialist is always commenting on how strong she is! Our goal is to be walking by October so that she can walk down the aisle with Mommy at her Uncle Shayne’s wedding 😁

One thing we still notice is that Izzy keeps her pointer fingers tucked in when she goes to pick something up. We were told to massage out her hands to help her straighten them – one of her pointers is much better now, the other one stays tucked so she’s mastered how to pick food and toys up with her thumb and middle finger 😆

Izzy will continue to work with Help Me Grow until she reaches the age of 3.

February 2022
April 2022
May 2022
May 2022
HMG play group – a safe place to play and experience new things; a way to connect with other families 💕
July 2022
Izzy was selected to be an ambassador for Stark DD for the month of July 2022! This billboard was put up in Stark County, Ohio, and a story on our girl will be published @ https://starkdd.org/news-and-publications/stories/ 🤩