Those We Serve: Maritza

Maritza, a mother to three children, thought she had plenty of experience to welcome a fourth child. But when her daughter Mariellie was born with developmental delays, hearing loss, and eating difficulties, Maritza knew she needed additional help to meet her daughter’s needs. Fortunately, Mariellie’s pediatrician gave Maritza a referral to BHN’s Early Intervention (EI) program— and with the program’s help, Maritza has become much more confident in her ability to properly care for her daughter.

The Early Intervention program assists families in caring for children from birth to three years of age with developmental delays by creating a care plan to promote the child’s growth and wellbeing. For Maritza’s family, the program has offered several different services to fulfill Mariellie’s needs since she was about two months old. Each week, a small team of therapists comes to the family’s home to work on developing Mariellie’s mobility, communication and eating skills, along with other aspects of her growth. The team also attends Mariellie’s doctor appointments to better understand her medical needs and integrate them into her care plan.

Maritza says her daughter’s EI team has been extremely helpful and supportive, both to her and her daughter, and has made a significant difference in her daughter’s development. Mariellie is now two years old, and as she has grown older, her therapists have provided Maritza with information about her daughter’s conditions that have helped her better meet her daughter’s needs. The team has also been incredibly kind and patient with Mariellie, Maritza says, and Mariellie eagerly anticipates her team’s weekly visits.

“She adores her EI team,” Maritza said. “She sees them walking in through the door and she gets thrilled and hugs them. The way they work with her and care for her is just amazing.”

Her daughter’s therapy team has also provided Maritza with resources that have been extremely beneficial for her daughter’s developmental needs, Maritza says. The EI program holds a weekly playgroup for children who need additional help with their motor skills, and the group has also enabled Mariellie to improve her communication. Mariellie’s team has also directed Maritza to various resources to further assist in her daughter’s development, such as school programs for children with hearing loss. The team’s work has been incredibly helpful in almost all aspects of her daughter’s life, Maritza says.

“The EI team has taught me a lot and guided me through so much,” Maritza said. “The program has had a huge impact on my ability to manage Mariellie’s care and health challenges, and her progress has been tremendous.”

Maritza was initially hesitant to entrust her daughter’s care to a team of strangers, but after two years with the EI program, she now knows she had nothing to fear. She is extremely grateful for the consistent support and compassion that she found in her daughter’s team of therapists.

“When Mariellie was born, I felt like a whole new mom,” Maritza said. “I still feel like a whole new mom. But her EI team has been with me through everything. I don’t know how I would have been able to know what I know now about Mariellie’s needs if it wasn’t for them.”