Children’s Village Gives Hope: A mother’s story – by Christie Afualo

My husband and I have three wonderful children.  Mason, our 12 year-old, has Down syndrome.  He received early intervention services from Children’s Village, and he and our family continue to be involved in different events and activities at the Village.  In addition to having developmental delays, Mason was born with a gastrointestinal malformation that required four surgeries.  We have interacted with many providers, both medical and developmental, and have felt fortunate that most of those interactions have been great.

Here are some specific ways that the providers at Children’s Village have supported Mason and our family:

Being professional. Providers who “know their stuff” and share their expertise are invaluable.  It’s true that I’m an expert on my son, but sometimes I just want to be a mom, not a therapist or teacher.  I’m grateful to have professionals like therapists and teachers at Children’s Village who work with Mason so I can enjoy being his mom.

Showing interest.  I appreciate providers who show interest in Mason and are excited to work with him, not just as a project or a job, but are truly happy to engage with the cute little boy with funny habits or the older boy with not so cute habits.  These dedicated providers at Children’s Village demonstrate that they are invested in Mason’s success.

Being genuine.  I appreciate providers who are genuine and show integrity.  They treat our family with respect and kindness at all times, whether or not we’re directly working with them.  They don’t speak poorly of us when we’re not present.

Being prepared. Sometimes I don’t know exactly what questions to ask.  The providers at Children’s Village are prepared and are able to anticipate some of our family’s needs and then offer appropriate guidance that makes our journey easier.

Being knowledgeable. Our family has benefited from providers at Children’s Village who share their wealth of knowledge.  If they don’t know the answers to our questions, they can find someone who does.  They are adept at connecting us with other families and providers, services, events and helpful information.

Our interactions with providers at Children’s Village have been particularly positive.  We cherish those relationships and extend our heartfelt thanks to all the special providers who have made a difference in our lives.

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