Early Intervention is Changing Lives

How many times do you go to work and change the course of a family’s life forever?

The Parents as Teachers (PAT) educators at New American Pathways do that every day – sometimes in more tangible ways than others. Every time they make a home visit they are helping parents to better understand their children and the milestones they are reaching. And sometimes, they help families to recognize dangers their children are facing early enough to stop the trouble from growing.

Nearly three years ago, PAT educator Hira Chhetri was visiting a new mother at home and realized her daughter was turning a slight shade of blue when crying. She pointed out to the first-time mom that this was slightly unusual and to ask her doctor about it at their next check-up. Together, Hira and the mother also checked the baby’s bedding for safety concerns.

Now aware, the mother was ready the next time her baby cried when she turned an even darker shade of blue, rushing her to the hospital where she was diagnosed with a respiratory infection that was apparently missed in her first checkups. After months of treatment, her infection was healed, but later checkups showed that her early illness had led to physical and language development issues.

The mother returned to Hira for guidance. Hira immediately referred the family to Babies Can’t Wait where specialists worked with the child to catch up on her development. Hira continued to visit this young mother to help her understand what was going on with her child and to assist the specialists who were working with the family however possible.

This month, this same little girl will turn three years old. Her mother recently called Hira – her daughter is now a graduate of the program – and is now considered advanced for her age! She’s now off to Head Start, where she’ll be even more prepared for school in the future.

Hira’s early insight helped this mother be prepared for what her daughter was facing and set the family back on track for their daughter’s successful future.

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