Interviewee: Mom, Liz

Son: Michael, Age 3, Joubert Syndrome

Main Goal: Walking independently, Gaining strength and balance

What were things like when Michael first started working with Breakthrough?

L- He found a level of confidence in him that he didnt have, he was trying things at home that he didnt do before hand.  We would see him try to climb off the couch or lift himself up to stand. Things that he may have learned through Early Intervention, but didnt act on.

What were you most concerned about?

L- Our concern was really that Michael was getting physical therapy through Early Intervention, but we knew that with his condition we really needed more. He needed different things and with Early Intervention it was more simple things to get through life but they werent really focusing on the big things. They werent pushing to get him to walk immediately.  They focused on different things - that were still great, but just not what we wanted. And we wanted more walking out of him, more strength and balance. When we learned that Breakthrough had the equipment and the alternative methods to do this is, it's what brought us here.

What improvements have you seen?

L- Part of his condition deals with missing a portion of the cerebellum vermis which controls balance.  And so even if Michael could stand he couldnt stand very well. Hed be very wobbly.  Breakthrough has given him strength and core balance  that he didnt have in the past and has also taught him how to control himself. If he were to fall he would catch himself - thats what weve really seen the big difference in. Those improvements have really impacted us because we feel a little safer.  I mean Michael used to sit up and just fall, and not know how to catch himself. Now he puts his arms out and grabs himself and doesnt fall as much which is much better as well.

What do you love most about visiting Breakthrough?

L- What we love most, myself, my husband, my family, is the atmosphere.  Its happy, it's fun, it's one of the few therapy locations my son comes to that he really enjoys.  He just really has fun when hes here, and were all very comfortable with Christine and the staff here.

How has working with Breakthrough helped you feel?

L- It makes us feel happy, it makes us feel proud. Hes doing much more than we expected him to do at this point in his life. And everyday he surprises us with new things and we can't feel anything but good inside when we see how far hes come.

What would you tell someone who was on the fence about giving us a try?

L- I think that just by speaking to some of these families. Since Ive been here for a year Ive spoken with other moms that also come here and all of us only have good things to say. We are all so impressed with how far our children have come along since weve been here. Connecting with other parents really makes you understand what's right.

What would you want other people to know?

L-  I would want other people to know that its a fun, exciting place and what you see your children accomplish is really special and really amazing and it doesnt just happen through your kid. You see it in the eyes of Christine and all the other employees here as well.  Their excitement, their happiness, and it makes you feel good as a parent that you made the right decision to bring your kid here.  I just want to say that I know that my choosing Breakthrough was the right thing. We tried many alternative therapies, we traveled the country to find different physical therapy, occupational therapy locations, and different intensive programs not knowing this was even in our backyard and lucky enough we found Breakthrough. We dont have to go anywhere else now.