With support from Early Intervention Carter Parnacott’s speech has significantly improved.
Two of Carter Parnacott’s favorite toys are his basketball hoop and his play kitchen.
Not only does he love to show them off, but he’s eager to explain how he plays with them.
For his parents, Jason and Steffanie Parnacott, hearing their son’s happy voice brings a huge sense of pride.
For more than a year, they have worked closely with members of the Licking County Board of Developmental Disabilities’ Early Intervention team to help their son improve his speech.
“When he started, he had no words,” Steffanie said. “I’m tremendously grateful for the program, because I’m not sure where he would be without it.”
Steffanie, who works as an occupational therapist in Pataskala, knew about the Licking County Board of Developmental Disabilities (LCBDD) and the services it offers for local families.
The board’s Early Intervention program provides in-home services for children birth to age 3 with a developmental delay, disability or a medical condition likely to result in a delay. Services are provided at no cost to Licking County families.
So when Carter was struggling with speech, she reached out to LCBDD and got connected with speech therapist Janelle Pickens.
“She helped us a ton, she gave us strategies that worked for him,” Steffanie said.
Using play as a way to learn, Carter began making new sounds, then words and sentences.
Now that Carter, 2, is speaking where he is comfortable, they are working to encourage him to talk more around his peers at the play-based program he attends once a week.
Not only have the Parnacotts appreciated the opportunity to work with Janelle, but they’ve also enjoyed the regular family events the LCBDD’s Early Childhood team organizes. Having the opportunity to attend pumpkin patches and the annual holiday party has had a huge impact on their entire family. They help families feel they aren’t alone and the events are always fun and interactive, Steffanie said.
Before Carter started Early Intervention, Jason was apprehensive about reaching out for help, because he wasn’t familiar with the program and what supports it had to offer their family.But now he is grateful that they did.
“It’s okay if a skill isn’t happening when you think it should be happening,” Steffanie said. “Ask Early Intervention to check it out. Being proactive and providing intervention when your child is young can really make a big difference”.
For more information about Early Intervention, go to lcountydd.org/early-childhood/.