When he was nearing two years old, it became apparent Ronnie wasn’t meeting certain typical milestones (like crawling, walking, talking, and pointing). His mother, Kimberly, and her medical practitioners began to investigate.
“It’s heart-wrenching to be told that you need to get your child tested,” said Kimberly. “It’s a hard place to be, but you can’t stay there. I had to make sure Ronnie would get what he needed.” Assessments revealed that Ronnie had autism, expressive receptive integrative disorder, and OCD.
That’s when they found SOAR365’s Pediatric Therapy program. “We’ve been on this journey here at SOAR365 for all these years with Stephanie, our speech therapist, and I totally believe that everything Ronnie has gained is due to therapy,” says Kimberly.
“When he was a toddler, Ronnie couldn’t articulate or speak, so we started with a binder system of simple words he could point to,” Kimberly explains. “Now, he’s speaking in sentences and loves language.” At five years old, he was able to say, “Mommy, I love you,” for the first time, and Kimberly remembers she was brought to tears.
She speaks proudly about how much Ronnie has accomplished and how he’s exceeded expectations in making connections and learning to speak. “It seems almost silly to talk about now, since Ronnie’s been talking for so long and is doing so well. But truly, mountains have been moved.”
These days, the third grader is a voracious reader and avid LEGO builder, with a special talent for numbers. “His favorite subject is math, and he is multiplying in the millions … I call him ‘my little genius,’ and I can’t believe how brilliant he is,” adds Kimberly, beaming.
And there are plenty of smiles to go around. At Ronnie’s appointments, it might be tough to figure out who is more excited to see one another – Ronnie or Stephanie. Every week, Ronnie’s mother brings him to SOAR365’s Saunders building where Stephanie is waiting with a huge grin.
“Ronnie loves speech! He’s already excited when he’s going to bed the night before his speech therapy session,” his mother explains. “Every time we come here, I appreciate how special and unique it is. I get to see other kids like Ronnie and other families like ours. SOAR365 is such an inclusive place. And … Ronnie’s favorite part is playing at PARK365 afterward,” Kimberly adds.
Even though their journey has been challenging, Kimberly is certain she wouldn’t change a thing. “I couldn’t imagine Ronnie any other way, and I couldn’t imagine not being at SOAR365. I know he is going to be successful in life,” she says with a smile. Stephanie and the rest of the Pediatric Therapy team at SOAR365 couldn’t agree more.
About Pediatric Therapy at SOAR365
SOAR365 Pediatric Therapy offers two different types of programming: early intervention (from birth through 36 months) in the child’s familiar surroundings and outpatient therapy (from birth through school age) in our SOAR365 facilities. Our highly qualified team includes speech therapists, occupational therapists, physical therapists and early childhood educators — all working together to help each child soar! We know no two children are alike, and we tailor our services to each family’s needs and goals. We are proud to have helped 737 children and families in 2021, providing more than 8,300 hours of therapy.
In 2021, 86% of our children showed significant improvement within 6 months of starting therapy.
Over the past 6 years, 23% of our children completed services and will not need special education.
100% of caregivers tell us they are better prepared and more confident in their ability to help their children.