LCBDD has helped Waylon Dice experience the world in new ways.
Waylon Dice spends a lot of time in his plastic inflatable pool and uses a watering can to make his very own mud puddle in his backyard.
His parents, Taylor and Jake Dice, love watching him squish mud between his toes.
Around this time last year new sensory experiences, such as playing in the mud, were challenging for Waylon.
Sensory processing differences and difficulty communicating limited some of the ways he experienced the world.
But after a year of support from the Licking County Board of Developmental Disabilities’ Early Intervention program, Waylon loves to explore and tell his family all about his new adventures.
“It was like a switch flipped for him,” said his father Jake. “He started getting (new concepts) and we started getting it too.”
Waylon, who turns 3 on June 23, was referred to Early Intervention by his pediatrician, after Jake and Taylor expressed concerns about his speech.
“Right before he turned 2, he was saying like five words,” Taylor said. “We got to thinking, ‘Is he where he needs to be?'”
Early Intervention is a program for Licking County children from birth to 3 who have a developmental delay, disability or a medical condition likely to result in a delay.
Waylon and his parents began working with Developmental Specialist Diane Dodson and Service Coordinator Laura Elliott.
Almost immediately, the Dice family had access to advice and suggestions for how to help their son.
“(Miss Diane) was able to guide us in the right direction and give us advice,” Taylor said. “I had no idea this was what the program could help with.”
Shortly after Waylon turned 2, his speech began taking off.
As Taylor, Jake and Diane began working with him, Diane pointed out that he might have some sensory processing differences.
Waylon didn’t like certain textures, so Diane showed the Dices how to make sensory boxes to expose him to different sensations.
They also discovered that Waylon learned best while in motion, such as jumping on a trampoline or swinging on a swing. His speech increased significantly while he was playing in the pool — which has become one of his favorite activities.
“It’s amazing the amount he’s grown,” Taylor said. “I can’t imagine not having (Diane) explain things to us, to get an idea of what’s going on and how to help him — how to listen to him. I would have been completely lost.”
The Dice family also received speech therapy services from Children’s Hospital, but were grateful that they could get Early Intervention in their home in St. Louisville.
“We were able to make a lot more progress with him because he was at home, in his comfort zone,” Taylor said.
Waylon will start preschool at Flying Colors Public Preschool in the fall and will continue to receive support from LCBDD’s Early Childhood team as he continues to work on the skills he will need to succeed in the classroom.
Using Family Support Services funds provided by the board, the Dice family has been able to get him involved in activities at the Licking County Family YMCA and The Works, which have helped him gain socials skills and have fun with other kids.
They’ve also really enjoyed the opportunities to spend time with other county families who receive Early Childhood services from LCBDD.
Taylor said she’s grateful for everything LCBDD has done for Waylon.
“We couldn’t imagine not having Miss Diane and Laura,” Taylor said. “”Miss Diane has become another part of our family.”
For more information about how LCBDD supports young children and their families, go to http://lcountydd.org/early-childhood-2/.