"Walk With Me" Event Features ECEC Dragonfly Student

"Walk With Me" Event Features ECEC Dragonfly Student
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Check out the Early Childhood Education Center's very own Harmony Brown from the Dragonfly class!

Harmony is one of the featured Ambassadors for the Southwest Human Development "Walk With Me" event happening this weekend, February 15.

Harmony and her family were also recently recognized by the Salt River Schools Education Board as the ECEC Head Start Family of the Month!

Featured left to right: ECEC Leader Tami Brungard, ECEC student Harmony Brown, Harmony's mom (Tasha) and Salt River Schools Superintenent Dr. Louis Laffitte, Jr. Harmony and her family were recognized as the ECEC Head Start Family of the Month Feburary 2018.

Here is the write-up of Harmony and her amazing journey on the Ambassador page of the Walk With Me event (click here to go to Harmony's Ambassador page):

When Harmony was born, she was diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy (SMA), a genetic disease that affects the part of the nervous system that controls voluntary muscle movement. SMA hinders her physical strength by impacting the nerve cells in her spinal cord, taking away the ability for her to walk, eat or breathe on her own.

Since birth, Harmony has conquered many challenges associated with her condition, always with her mother Tasha by her side each step of the way. When Harmony was 7 months old, Tasha connected the Children’s Developmental Center at Southwest Human Development to begin therapy services that would help her better reach developmental milestones.

Children Developmental Center therapists worked with Harmony on a weekly basis to build muscle and increase her strength. They later introduced the family to Southwest Human Development’s ADAPT Shop team with the hope that customized assistive technology supports could further make a difference in Harmony’s life. An ADAPT Shop therapist and fabricator worked with Harmony and Tasha to develop a plan for customized equipment that would meet her unique needs.

“We needed equipment to help with her ability to stand, so the ADAPT Shop used 3D printing to modify a piece of equipment that we could use at home,” said Tasha. “Now she’s up to two hours of standing. It’s incredible.”

Tasha recalls a time when Harmony was unable to hold her head up or even rollover. When Harmony first rolled over at age 2, Tasha was overcome with joy. She credits Southwest Human Development staff with ensuring that Harmony would not miss out on any developmental gains at the hands of medical policies, processes or other “red tape.”

“One time we had to wait eight months for a piece of equipment, but using loaner equipment from the ADAPT Shop’s Loan Closet helped Harmony continue to grow and not lose valuable progress,” said Tasha. “It’s difficult to get what you need with all of the mandatory processes and paperwork. We are thankful the ADAPT Shop was able to help us.”

Therapy in conjunction with assistive technology equipment and services helped to make a lasting impact in Harmony’s development and quality of life.

“Just a year ago, Harmony lost all of her ability to sit and hold her head up, but Southwest Human Development has helped us challenge her and now she has progressed to where she’s at today,” said Tasha. “It was pretty amazing to see her go from having no mobility, to be able to sit and use her wheelchair. Her growth between then and now is night and day. I was blown away.”

Harmony and Tasha continue to work with Southwest Human Development’s Children’s Developmental Center and ADAPT Shop as Harmony makes strides in her development and explores new ranges of mobility.

To register as a participant with Harmony in the "Walk With Me" event and/or to donate money to the cause, click this link.

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