The Garcia* family enrolled in HCM’s Parents as Teachers (PAT) Program in April of this year. They were one of the first families to join our program during the pandemic when all PAT “home visits” are held virtually – a new challenge for all of us.
At the time of the family’s enrollment, Miguel* was six months old. We learned from Miguel’s mother Angela* that Miguel was recently diagnosed with a genetic muscle disorder, meaning he would likely lag behind other infants in meeting normal developmental milestones such as rolling over or sitting up. Miguel’s pediatrician had said he may never learn to crawl. During our initial screening, we confirmed that Miguel hadn’t yet developed the motor skills most infants achieve at three to five months. But Angela said she and her son were ready to work hard, and our PAT staff determined to do all in our power to support this family.
As we got to know Angela and Miguel, we learned that Angela was experiencing mild depression, and we referred her to a mental health support group facilitated by HCM’s Counseling Program. We also supported Angela with her personal health goals, helping her establish a routine to exercise, eat well and lose weight. Our PAT staff has worked rigorously with Miguel too, designing personalized activities to encourage his motor development, language skills as well as social and emotional growth. By August, Miguel was able to sit up and by October he could crawl and stand with support. Several weeks ago, he took his first steps all by himself!
While Miguel continues to be monitored by medical professionals, his pediatrician is very impressed with his success in the PAT Program and has encouraged the family to continue participating. Angela has expressed that HCM’s individualized support has provided her the skills and tools she needs to help her son live a more normal life. We’re very grateful for the opportunity to help the Garcia family advance one step at a time.