Adeline, or “Addie” as her friends and family call her, is a cute seven-year-old first grader at New Haven Elementary school in Columbia. Like many girls her age, she is social and enjoys school. This past year was her first year in Columbia Public School, but according to Addie’s grandmother, Laura, the transition seems to going smoothly. “She is in a small-sized special needs classroom and she has been enjoying it,” says Laura. “But I think her favorite thing about school is recess!”
Addie came to Boone County Family Resources through the First Steps program and has accessed many services through both the agency and the Partnership for Hope Waiver – a county-based waiver that is a result of a partnership of the Missouri Association of County Developmental Disabilities Services, the Division of Developmental Disabilities, and the MO HealthNet Division.
Boone County Family Resources provides service coordination for Addie and has funded supports such as sign language videos, developmental disability education for first-aid and CPR, behavior supports through the Thompson Center, and therapeutic recreation at Cedar Creek Therapeutic Riding Center and Macher’s Swim School. The agency also purchased an assistive technology device called a “talker” that helps Addie, who is non-verbal, communicate with her family and friends. “The talker device has been wonderful,” says Laura. “It has really been a benefit to us and helps Addie when interacting with other kids.”
Laura says another beneficial service she couldn’t do without is the help of a caregiver at home through the Home-Based Support Services program. “My husband works out of town during the week, so it is just me and Addie,” says Laura. “When Addie’s caregiver is here, it provides a nice break for me. I don’t always leave the house, but having the caregiver here gives me a chance to work in the garden or work on projects around the house without having to worry about what Addie’s up to. It’s also nice to have someone else, besides me, play with her and give her a bath once in a while.”
Addie is getting ready to participate in Special Olympics soon and is looking forward to her 8th birthday when she is officially old enough to participate. “She loves the water so much that swimming was a natural fit for her,” says Laura. “The adapted swimming lessons have helped her feel very confident in the water and she loves them.”
Laura says that she appreciates all the services and supports that are available to her granddaughter. “Kara, our Support Coordinator, has been so helpful,” says Laura. “Any time that I have a question about services or providers or anything else, I can call to get help or clarification. She really goes that one extra step that most families really need.”