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As an infant, Dallas required extensive medical care for hydrocephalus, cerebral palsy, and other complications. “At the time of his birth, no one could tell me what to expect for Dallas’ development. In his first year of life, it seemed that everyone outside of family wanted to do something medical with him, and he became afraid of new people” said his mother, Joy. At two-and-a-half years old, Dallas started occupational therapy at the Achievement Centers. Soon physical therapy and speech therapy were added. His therapy team thought he could make even greater progress if he was better able to accept their guidance.

Social workers with our Early Childhood Mental Health (ECMH) and Accent programs joined Dallas’ care team. Our ECMH staff utilized dolls as a strategy to help Dallas engage in conversations with his therapists and build a higher level of trust in them. He happily became more engaged and motivated in his therapies. During his current therapy sessions, Joy meets with an Accent social worker to discuss any needs she may have including linking her to community resources and advocating alongside her at IEP meetings. “The best thing I can do is just give him the greatest opportunities for success I can. Through working with the outstanding people at the Achievement Centers, we progressed further with Dallas’ physical, speech and cognitive development than I ever imagined.” said Joy.

Now four years old, Dallas and his mother consider his Achievement Centers’ care team their friends. Dallas is now able to stand and run, has an extensive vocabulary and an infectious laugh, enjoys jazz and gospel music, and is especially inquisitive about how things work. Joy knows their Achievement Centers’ care team will be beside her all the way on her journey with Dallas.

Based on where we were, and how far we've come, I'm excited to see where we'll go together!

Joy Phillips
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