Blog« Go Back
Nolte family is grateful for ‘Early Intervention’Posted Date: 08/02/2017
By: By Christi Nolte, Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education (Family Support Unit), Pulaski South Office
As a mom, wife, and Department of Human Services (DHS) staff member, I’ve personally experienced the worth and innovative services of Early Intervention.
My name is Christi Nolte. I’m based in the Pulaski South Office, within the Division of Child Care and Early Childhood Education, Family Support Unit.
Whether it’s while fulfilling duties at the workplace, or observing the maturation of my daughter Catherine, I’m constantly reminded of how DHS helps several Arkansans enjoy an independent lifestyle.
Catherine was born at 30 weeks. Two days later, our family was overcome with fear as Catherine’s heart and lung bled out. My hope for her survival began to wane. I had listened to the grim diagnosis about her potential limitations. Thoughts of her life in the future – and Catherine being able to excel – were minimal. However, Catherine’s 45-day neonatal intensive care stay greatly improved her status. I was just thankful to bring her home.
Later in Catherine’s life, a pediatrician noticed her delays. Ultimately, he made a referral to Early Intervention and physical therapy. The program – which is offered by the Division of Developmental Disabilities Services (DDS) – confirmed the obvious: Catherine had physical and cognitive delays. The Early Interventionist diagnosed my daughter’s status, declaring that with unwavering teamwork, Catherine could potentially have a full development.
Each of the Early Intervention specialists made therapy sessions seem like kid’s play, especially for my daughter. The Early Interventionist was there when Catherine had setbacks and new problems arose. But much to our family’s delight, Catherine developed nicely and was able to leave Early Intervention therapies behind. She caught up to kids her age and even began to exceed past some of her peers.
Recently, Catherine finished eighth in the Benton High School class of 2017. She leaves for John Brown University this month. On behalf of the Nolte family, I want to thank the state of Arkansas for making the impossible possible. Catherine’s path could have been so different without the Early Intervention program. We’re grateful for the services of Early Intervention. We hope other families utilize Early Intervention as well. It’s a true game changer.