Yumi and Caleb
Yumi has two sons, both at The Infants’ Home. Caleb, aged four, and his little brother Micah, aged one and a half. Following a number of seemingly unconnected health challenges, Caleb was diagnosed with Williams syndrome at age 2. “To be given the diagnosis of Williams syndrome was actually a bit of a relief, because it made sense of everything. Suddenly we understood why he is the way he is, why he had all of these seemingly unconnected medical problems, so it was an answer. It was still hard, but as my husband said, ‘out of all the disabilities out there, this is one of the better ones that he could have’.”
Caleb has a speech and language delay, apraxia of speech (difficulty in sequencing what he says), problems with fine motor skills, spatial awareness and depth perception, and some behavioural challenges.
Caleb and The Infants' Home
At Caleb’s former childcare centre his therapists weren’t able to travel to assist Caleb and his educators. Yumi says “I felt like I was doing a lot of work in having to communicate between all these therapists, I was trying to almost educate or train his educators, in terms of how he needed to be supported.” This prompted Yumi to investigate alternative inclusive childcare options.
Yumi turned to an online support group for parents of children with additional needs to ask for recommendations. After finding that The Infants’ Home had vacancies for both Caleb and Micah, and hearing positive reviews, Yumi was happy to enrol at The Infants’ Home.
Caleb was able to immediately access the support of our onsite health professionals including Justine, our Occupational Therapist, Simone, one of our Speech Therapists, and Meryl, our Early Childhood Health Nurse.
“Caleb’s Developmental Paediatrician told us he had to attend preschool three days per week to be ready for school, but at our other centre it was too hard to fit in all of his therapies in the remaining two days of the week. Here at The Infants’ Home, Caleb attends three days per week, and receives integrated occupational therapy, speech therapy, or both on two of those days. His current therapists can also visit him and work with the team at The Infants’ Home. So that’s been great.” – Yumi
The right support
Now that Caleb is able to receive the support he needs in one location through our integrated services, Yumi has been able to get some respite from her caring role, and focus on the positive aspects of Williams syndrome. Yumi explains “children with Williams syndrome have a very endearing personality. He loves being with people, he gets very excited! We feel very special, and very blessed to have him in our lives. He’s very precious.”
“Coming here has been amazing. I talk to Justine (Occupational Therapist), and she just gets it. She has amazing ideas and just runs with it. Caleb loves her as well, they bonded very quickly on the first day, everyone saw that. So I feel very comfortable in terms of how he’s supported here.” – Yumi