LCBDD’s Early Childhood team has supported the Dukeman triplets, of Pataskala, as they learn and grow.
At age 3, the three Dukeman brothers —Alex, Max and Rex — are all about exploring their world.
Whether they are walking to the park or playing on the playground, the triplets are both playful and inquisitive.
Going on an outing with three curious little ones can be a slightly intimidating, but Becky and Tim Dukeman have been working with the Licking County Board of Developmental Disabilities’ Early Childhood team to help the boys get ready for their next adventures.
“It’s really good for them to be exposed to different things,” Becky said.
LCBDD has supported the Dukeman family, of Pataskala, since the triplets were babies.
Although their due date was in January 2014, the boys were born at 25.6 weeks in October 2013. Weighing between 1 pound 13 ounces and 2 pounds 6 ounces, all three were considered “micro-preemies.”
Because they were born so early, they experienced medical complications and developmental delays. Max and Rex came home from the hospital in February of 2014 but Alex remained hospitalized until May 2014 .
As first-time parents, Tim and Becky reached out to LCBDD, hoping the extra support would help the boys meet their developmental milestones.
LCBDD provides Early Childhood services to Licking County children birth through age 5 who experience developmental delays or a mental or physical condition that is likely to result in a delay.
Alex, Max and Rex received Early Intervention services until they turned 3, working with a physical therapist and speech therapist in their home.
“It also gave us a lot of moral support,” Becky said. “I wondered if I was doing a good job and they would say, ‘They are doing really well.’ That gave me confidence.”
The triplets continue to receive support from LCBDD’s Early Childhood team. After a year at Flying Colors Public Preschool, they will attend the Southwest Licking Early Learning Center in the fall.
The boys have made great progress and are now working on their speech and skills such as dressing themselves.
One of the Dukemans’ big goals is to get the boys involved in more activities in the community.
LCBDD is committed to providing support where children are comfortable and learn best. Sometimes that means spending time with a family out in the community — including going to the playground or the grocery store.
Early Childhood team members have gone with the Dukeman family to parks and restaurants to offer support as they try new experiences.
Having that extra reassurance has empowered Becky and Tim to try things with the boys on their own. Now when they take Alex, Max and Rex out to eat, they get compliments on their behavior.
“It’s great that (LCBDD team members) are happy to go out and do things like this,” Becky said.
For more information about how LCBDD supports young children and their families, go to http://lcountydd.org/early-childhood-2/.