The Prieto Family’s Journey: Birth to 3

Early Intervention Services Begin

So Gabby was about four weeks old when we had our first visit, and within that four weeks I really hadn’t put a lot of thought into her having Down syndrome. Like I said, we were just busy adjusting to life with a newborn so it was not on our mind a lot. And to have these people come into our home and sit down and start talking about disabilities and programs and services. I was pretty overwhelmed and I remember just breaking down and crying, and I left the room and I came back and apologized and I said, you know, I hadn’t thought of her as having Down syndrome. I have just been thinking about her and feeding her and changing her diaper and…and those basic things that you do when you have a newborn and…and I didn’t…I forgot that she had Down syndrome. And they were so reassuring and they told me, “You know what, that’s exactly how it should be because she’s your baby first and that disability comes second.” So, I felt like already there was this kind of, like, okay I was doing something right already from the beginning. So I just felt very reassured from them from the very beginning, and um, they were so…just really knowledgeable and explaining everything to me and patient, and so we agreed to services.

I believe it was one time a month I had an infant teacher come out, and then an occupational therapist come out and a nurse come out for about once a month. And they just worked on basic things. And at first I didn’t understand what they would be doing, I had no idea what they would be trying to teach me or my daughter. She was only, you know, two months old at this point so, um, the more they came out, the more I learned that they were just incorporating things into our daily life that would help her and give her an advantage to meet her milestones. So I really like that they were teaching me things to do with her on a daily basis and not just coming in and trying to manipulate her or…or do a therapy on her. It was ways they were teaching me things to do everyday with her to help her.

At three and a half months old, Gabby had her first milestone – she nursed for the first time! I was ecstatic! After calling my husband, I called Maurean; I knew she would understand how hard we worked for this and how happy we were. Gabby nursed and she was doing what we were told babies with Down syndrome don’t do.

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Funded by the California Department of Education, Special Education Division
SEEDS Legacy Resource