My child’s name is Charlotte. I heard about Holly Ridge Center while working as an elementary school teacher in the North Mason School District. Holly Ridge came up at Individual Education Plan (IEP) meetings and as an important resource for families. Charlotte was 2 years old when we started services at Holly Ridge Center. Charlotte received speech therapy services.
I am passionate about the people and staff at Holly Ridge Center. Each person we encountered was incredibly helpful, supportive, and knowledgeable. You can feel how passionate they are about helping young kids and adults in the community. From the Family Services Coordinator, to the Insurance Claims Coordinator, Special Education Teachers, Paraeducators, Speech Language Pathologists and Speech Language Pathology Assistants, every single person is eager to help and make this process as smooth as possible.
Charlotte is 3 years old and a big sister to Lucy (1 years old). Charlotte is sensitive, sweet, a perfectionist, and loves to wear fancy dresses and play with dinosaurs. She especially loves to dance, sing, and make music.
At Charlotte’s 3rd week of attending “Little Singers” I was 8 months pregnant and exhausted. We showed up to class a little late and we arrived during free–play time. I was desperate to try to get Charlotte to talk or sign to the other kids or teachers and she just wasn’t doing it. I told the teacher that I was trying (I’m sure it came out in a defeated, despairing tone) and she looked at me and said, “You’re doing it, you’re here, and you are doing it.” I clung to those words. Having someone see that I was trying and validating that I was doing it, I was doing the best for my daughter was exactly what I needed. The people at HRC not only support the child, but the family, too. They met Charlotte where she was and never forced her to do anything, she felt uncomfortable with. They have amazing skills to meet children where they are and create opportunities for kids to participate and grow and learn in their own time. It was truly phenomenal to experience (especially as an elementary educator).
When Charlotte first started attending “Little Singers” she tried to run out of the room multiple times. She cried and did not participate. It was awful, but the staff were not phased by it, they reassured me that she’ll come around. Every week, Charlotte became more comfortable. After 3 months, Charlotte was fully participating and was making extraordinary growth. Her last few months in the program, she was seen as a leader in the class and was trying to help the other kids. I am so incredibly thankful for Holly Ridge and their wonderful staff.
When Charlotte first started at HRC, she had about 20 words in her vocabulary.
By the time she exited the program, she had 250+. She went from pointing and grunting, to speaking in 2-3 word phrases. Her behavior improved because her communication improved.
Charlotte’s speech is now perfectly average for kids her age. Charlotte communicates her wants and needs as well as tell us her favorite color and tell us stories. Charlotte knows all the letters of the alphabet, can count to 30, and knows most of her colors and shapes. The best part is, now she can say, “I love you.”
We have benefited by having a child who can communicate with us and who continues to learn and grow. I had no idea how to “make my child talk” and Holly Ridge was there to help me and Charlotte through this process and be successful. I am forever grateful.