When Marquita Rich first toured ACCESS, her only daughter Karmen was two years old. Marquita was a stay-at-home mom devoting every moment to her only daughter who was born with mild cerebral palsy and periventricular leukomalacia, and she and Karmen had never been separated. However, she knew after her visit that ACCESS was just the place to get Karmen the help she needed to overcome her delays.
“When Karmen first started at ACCESS, she knew some things like a few numbers and letters, colors, shapes and words,” reminisced Marquita. “But as the years went on, I became more excited about the things she was overcoming. It was like watching a small caterpillar blossoming into a butterfly with beautiful wings. She worked so hard in class, speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, her team pushing her every day. Every accomplishment she made, from walking to speaking in full sentences was so worth celebrating.”
Our journey with ACCESS has been a great journey. There have been highs and lows along the way; however, when you have a good group of people who understand your goals and plans for your child, it makes the journey so much easier and enjoyable
Marquita admits she considers herself an over-protective mom, always wanting Karmen to know that she is there for whatever she needs. “I decided that Karmen was ready to transition to ‘big girl school’ after I saw her perform at her Pre-K graduation. Our shy girl walked across stage, spoke loudly, sang with her friends, and was so confident in herself! I knew in my heart that the beautiful butterfly was ready to spread her wings. It was time for me to let go, even if it meant leaving our ACCESS bubble.”
Karmen now attends e-Stem school, learning and thriving in a typical school environment, and ACCESS continues to play a role in her growth through outpatient therapy. “Our journey with ACCESS has been a great journey. There have been highs and lows along the way; however, when you have a good group of people who understand your goals and plans for your child, it makes the journey so much easier and enjoyable,” says Marquita. “The sky is the limit for Karmen.”
To learn more about our early childhood early intervention services, contact an admission specialist at (501) 217-8600.