“Without the support and care coordination I received at Children’s Village, I think I would’ve been so overwhelmed. I would have struggled so much trying to figure out where to start.”
When Gloria’s 14-year-old son Dominic was 3 months old, he was diagnosed with Down syndrome. Dominic’s pediatrician connected her with Children’s Village and the Parent to Parent support group. One of the case managers helped the family start applying for services.
“A lot of it was a blur, very overwhelming,” she said. “It was a matter of internally dealing with it, and also passing that information on to family, and just that whole kind of reaction.”
Through that initial upheaval, the Village was her rock. She looked forward to every Parent to Parent meeting because she knew there were others there who understood what she was feeling and had experienced it before.
Dominic was also later diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and autism. He’s mostly nonverbal, but works with a tablet communication device that helps him say what he needs.
Now a freshman in the West Valley School District, Dominic still receives speech therapy at the Village. Their whole family has found solace at Children’s Village. Dominic’s older brothers have participated in the Sibshops social peer support program for brothers and sisters of kids with disabilities, and they now volunteer as mentors at the Village. Gloria has served on the Children’s Village board of directors and volunteers as often as she can. “I just feel compelled to give back, knowing how much they’ve helped our family,” she said.