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Chase, five years old, feels completely at home at the Achievement Centers for Children in Highland Hills, and has huge smiles for his therapists who have become his friends. After being diagnosed withe cerebral palsy when he was just nine months old, he was referred to us for physical, occupational and speech therapies. Through the years, Chase has surprised his family, his therapists and his doctors with his progress. Soon after starting therapy, he started rolling, trying to push himself up, and greatly improved the muscular control of his head. “For you and I to learn a new skill, it’sll take maybe a couple hundred times doing it. With Chase, it takes thousands and thousands of trials,” said Trish Swiderski, one of the Achievement Centers’ physical therapists. To Chase, therapy is play as he reaches for toys and thrives on the encouragement he receives hearing “you did it!” by his therapists and mother.
Chase’s mother, Jenae, proudly shared the most memorable day for her at the Achievement Centers was when Chase was four years old. Chase was ready for his “walking” session in physical therapy using a gait trainer. Trish warmed him up by starting to move his legs and feet, and then enthusiastically directed him by saying “take a step, Chase!” He took off moving his legs and walked across the room, much to his mother’s delight. From that day, he’s been excitedly taking steps using his gait trainer, and is now using a treadmill to continue to build his strength and coordination. “We never thought walking would click with him, but he gets it,” said Jenae. “He’s really motivated and smart.”
Chase is in preschool now, and looking forward to starting kindergarten. He likes to ride the school bus and loves to be around other kids. His infectious smile welcomes everyone he meets as a friend. Jenae said, “Even though he can’t walk independently or talk, the other kids come to him, play with him, and help take care of him.”
“I think he’ll walk and talk with all of us helping him – it will just take a little longer. Chase continues to surprise us with his progress, and I know it is because we brought him to this special place,” said Jenae.
"Chase continues to surprise us with his progress, and I know it is because we brought him to this special place."