To spread your wings

April 09 2021

Today I will tell you a story that motivates me and gives me the strength to pursue my goals… This is the story of Stephanie. She is now 8 and a first-grader.

The blue-eyed girl is one of the children I worked with until recently under the Early Childhood Intervention Program. Her mother Tatiana called us at a time when she needed emotional support for herself and to encourage the child’s development. Stephanie was a premature baby whose problems began immediately after birth – doctors diagnosed thyroid disease.

The diagnosis, medical terms, examinations, tests and constant consultations with specialists worried and confused the young mother.

She was afraid that she could not cope with raising the child and his specific needs, alone without the support of the father, with whom they separated shortly after birth. She had no financial means for formula and fed the child yoghurt.

At the age of several months, Stephanie fell ill and was admitted to the hospital. The medical specialists were impressed not only by the lack of food suitable for the baby’s age, but also by the young mother’s insecurity about her care, her fear that she could not cope financially and financially, and advised her to leave the child in an institution until he got to his feet.

She was told that there she would receive good care and adequate treatment for thyroid disease. Tatiana had no other choice, and so Stefania found herself in a Home for medical and social care, where she stayed for a year and a half. The mother managed to find a job, took life into her own hands and took the child back home. When she came to the CPS Center “St. Sofia”, in addition to the child who had developmental difficulties, Tanya sought help for herself.

Deep down, she felt guilty for leaving her baby, albeit temporarily for social care. Today, she believes that in addition to the diagnosis, her stay in an institution has had a negative impact on Stefania’s development. He says that the mother’s love and warmth are most important for the child. Tanya needed empathy and understanding…

She needed to say everything that bothered her. I have worked with her a lot and she already knows that life is not a sequence of great and heroic deeds, and the path to success is a series of small steps. She calmed down when she realized that no one was judging her, on the contrary – we try to bring to the fore her strengths and bet on them. I encouraged Tanya to believe in herself and her child. I focused on the family’s resources and what it is capable of achieving, on strengthening its potential, individual capabilities and strengths.

Stefania was 5 years old when she enrolled in the Early Childhood Intervention program. He had difficulty speaking, did not articulate well, had difficulty with fine motor actions with his fingers – stringing beads, embedding shapes, painting, not knowing colors, not concentrating on a task for long periods of time. She was very active and did not standstill.

I assessed the child’s development, together with the mother we prepared an individual plan for family services, in which we set goals and objectives in the key areas of development in which the child needed support to develop their skills. Stephanie’s hearing was not examined. We consulted her with medical professionals who did an audiogram and found neurosensory hearing loss, from which it is possible to come to a vague understanding of speech and speech difficulties.

I also consulted the mother for the purchase of a hearing aid, I also helped her to meet with additional specialists – a speech therapist, a psychologist, a family consultant. I helped enroll the child in kindergarten, we provided resource support. I am glad that as a result of our efforts Stefania is already holding her attention, concentrating on the task for a longer period of time, her active vocabulary has become richer, she has started to express herself better, to paint pictures with details, to cut with scissors, to apply, fine motor skills became more sophisticated, began to write letters and numbers…

When it came time to go to first grade, I referred the family and we enrolled Stephanie in a specialized school for hearing-impaired children. Although I no longer work directly with the child, we continue to keep in touch with her mother, who says that Stefania feels very good at school, has adapted successfully to the new learning environment, handles the learning material and has friends with whom she plays and having fun. The greatest satisfaction for me, apart from Stephanie’s progress, is her mother’s assessment. “Nothing can measure your support and positive support at the right time,” said Tanya. Every journey starts with one first step, but then you have to do a second and a third, and as much as it takes to reach your goal.


The performance of the functions of various organs – heart, intestines, kidneys and others – depends on the work of the thyroid gland. The hormone produced by the gland plays a leading role in the growth and development of the child’s body. Under its influence, the motor system, genitals, nervous and respiratory systems are formed. Brain functions, sleep, and behavioral processes depend on the balance of hormones.

senior specialist Early intervention

CPC “St. Sofia”

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