Inclusion Keeps Sisters Close

Evie reads to Juno in her classroom at Growing Together Preschool.

Evie reads to Juno in her classroom at Growing Together Preschool.

Juno was born 11 weeks premature with Down Syndrome, weighing little less than two pounds at birth. Juno had an extended stay in the NICU before she was ready to go home, but luckily, she had a warm, loving family waiting for her. Juno spent the first year of her life at home, where she grew strong enough to join her sister Evie at Growing Together Preschool.  To facilitate this process, Juno began receiving services through First Steps, who placed her with an occupational therapist. Juno’s parents dedicated themselves to facilitating her development any way they could, and when she was one year old, she was ready for school.

When Juno started Growing Together Preschool, she continued seeing her occupational therapist and began to see a physical therapist and a speech therapist from Horn and Associates.  Juno received her therapies in the classroom, where she could benefit from a comfortable environment and the company of her friends. Her therapists shared their insights and observations with her parents and teachers, helping them create plans for how to best serve Juno and maximize her potential.

Juno and friend play with musical blocks.

Juno and friend play with musical blocks.

During her second year of life, Juno underwent a heart procedure and treatments for seizures. Over the course of her treatment and recovery, she regressed somewhat in the developmental gains she’d made. When she came back to GTP, she returned to her beloved Ms. Cindy in the Shrimp room. Supported by her family and our well-trained staff here at GTP, Juno continues to grow in many ways. She has begun to self-feed with a spoon, and she has developed her own way of getting around the room by scooting backwards on her bottom. Juno loves to come to school and she makes herself at home each morning by kicking her shoes off!

Silly sisters!

Silly sisters!

Juno is an expressive and funny child who loves with her whole heart. She is a delight to her teachers and a good friend to fellow students, as well as the apple of her sister’s eye. Evie always loves to see her sister, a simple joy made possible by Growing Together’s policy of inclusion, which allows them to attend school in classrooms across the hall from one another. Before Growing Together Preschool began Juno and Evie would have been cared for and educated in separate facilities. Juno’s care would have been focused on therapeutic intervention and teaching her parents how to educate her at home. Today, she can realize her full potential by getting her start in a program that meets her individual needs in the same environment as her peers. We know Juno’s future is bright and are grateful for the opportunity to care for her in her early years.

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