Empowering Ambrose: Early Intervention Directed His Path

Empowering Ambrose: Early Intervention Directed His Path
September 22, 2023
Ambrose Bennett, age three, loves being a brother. He laughs and fights, wrestles and plays games, and speaks a sweet secret sibling language with his big sister Elodie, age six. And he is already taking on the role of teacher and protective older brother to one-year-old Leo. Ambrose’s strong connection to each member of his family is a dynamic for which his mother is very grateful.

“There was a time when I was uncertain of what the future held for Ambrose,” Elizabeth Bennett explains. “As a psychologist, I recognized Ambrose was unable to effectively communicate his feelings and lacked the mobility to interact with his peers. As a parent, connecting Ambrose with early intervention services transformed him and how I look to his future.”

Ambrose received services from teli – The Early Learning Institute (an affiliate of The Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh) from early December 2021 until late summer 2022. Diagnosed with hypotonia (low muscle tone), at 15 months old he was unable to roll and wasn’t interested in crawling, standing, or walking. In addition to mobility issues, Ambrose had speech delays, was a very picky eater, and struggled with both explosive tantrums and periods of withdrawal and isolation.

His physical therapist began providing services weekly with a focus on motor and sensory skills, balance and coordination, and most importantly, building trust. Because Ambrose often received therapy while at daycare, Elizabeth and her husband, Rob, received detailed notes and texts, informative phone calls, and tips after each session for how to continue making progress at home.

“Cierra Maloney from teli was phenomenal at engaging our family throughout his therapy,” Elizabeth remembers. “And she was so patient and careful to build a relationship with him. By earning his trust, Ambrose became more willing to work with her, and a second therapy session was added each week. At that point, he experienced an explosion of progress in both his speech and mobility, while negative behaviors dramatically decreased.

“Ambrose loves running and climbing and talking now, and he is even mastering stages of development early instead of late,” says Elizabeth. “He is a very different child than he was just one year ago. Ambrose is an ambassador for early intervention and The Children’s Institute because his metamorphosis has been so amazing and I’m intentional about describing how impactful therapy can be at such a young age.”

The Children’s Institute provides early intervention services at no cost to families through its affiliate teli. Physical, occupational, and speech, along with developmental instruction, are available for children from birth to age three with developmental delays. Visit our Early Intervention Services page for more information. 

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