Hazel’s Story: ‘Her Experience at Five Counties Has Given Her the Best Head Start’
Hazel is a sweet kid who loves to make people laugh. She loves dancing, singing, crafts, playing dress up, cuddling her puppy Lucy and petting her cat Piper. She enjoys watching her dad, Grant, play video games and reading with her mom Nikki. She gives great Mario Kart tips and has recently started playing board games which has been a lot of fun. Hazel also has a few “Hazel-isms” that have been picked up by people in her close circle; pizza is cheese pie, milk is cow juice, and restaurants are eatin’ stores.
As noted by her mom, Nikki, while Hazel talked a lot, her language skills weren’t where they should be. Enter Five Counties:
“Hazel has been visiting Five Counties to work with a speech-language pathologist. At her 18 month check-up her doctor raised concern with the lack of words she was using. Although she talked a lot, her language skills weren’t meeting the development milestones as expected. We were referred to Five Counties and knew there was a long waitlist, so we started the process right away. She wasn’t too far behind other kids her age, but we wanted to make sure she had the best head start we could give her. At 2.5 years old we started our sessions with her speech language pathologist Wendy, and Hazel looked forward to her time each week! I was relieved that my concerns were valid and listened to. I didn’t think there was a huge problem, but I felt there was more I could do to help Hazel achieve her language and speaking milestones. We were so thankful we had these services available right in Peterborough so we could work our regular hours and not lose income, which is so important for all families.
“The progress Hazel made while working with the speech pathologists was incredible. When she started not many people could understand her, including her peers at daycare. Now most people can understand the majority of what she’s saying. There is still more to work on, but the tips and tricks the Five Counties staff have given her and us have help so much already. The most difficult part of treatment for Hazel was when her sessions ended. She felt the weekly visits to Five Counties were a treat.
“Hazel called Five Counties, ‘Wendy’s House’. When we finished our sessions with Wendy, Hazel was very sad and wanted to write her a story. We worked together and wrote, ‘At Wendy’s House’, and when I asked what she does at Wendy’s house, Hazel’s reply was, ‘at Wendy house, I happy.’ I think that one line really encapsulates our time with Five Counties.
“Being able to help Hazel develop her language skills is so important. Language is the first building block before learning so many other things. Hazel is starting school in September, and having this experience with Five Counties has given her the best head start into her learning career.”
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