It is the mission of Eastern Colorado Services for the Developmentally Disabled, Inc. (ECSDD)CSDD to assist in enhancing the lives of persons with varying abilities in relationship to their families, education, friends, and opportunities within their communities.
Eastern Colorado Services was established through the efforts in the late 1960's by parents and community members who wanted services and supports for their children as they grew to adulthood. There were parental efforts that sprang up in several communities in Northeast Colorado, including Ft. Morgan, Sterling, Julesburg and Burlington. In 1973 ECS became incorporated and took responsibility for the six Northeast Colorado Counties. In 1986, additional Counties were added.
From Sharon Vernon in Holyoke:
Our son was diagnosed with seizures resulting from Cerebral Palsy when he was 6 months old at the hospital in Fort Collins. After he was discharged, Eastern Colorado Services was there to greet us immediately. We had never even heard of them before. Throughout the years they have helped us with therapy, a special needs kids camp, and other expenses that we were struggling with. Right now they are still helping us with various therapies. They have been a wealth of knowledge for us. Anytime we have a question they can find the answer. They continue to assist us through various programs. We absolutely couldn't do it without them. I honestly didn't know where to start, and still don't, but they guide us through everything. Our son has experienced so much more because of ECSDD . We couldn't have done it on our own. Best organization around!!
From Michelle Kaiser, Occupational Therapist, providing Early Intervention:
I have been providing early intervention services for over 15 years and have truly considered it my honor to be able to listen to each family's story, as much as they have wanted to share with me. A part of their story now includes having a child with special needs, when I enter into their lives. This, in most all cases, was an unanticipated event that would now change elements of this family's journey. It is a tender time, something I have always realized. Knowing this, I have wanted to enter and exit from their lives as gently as I could. To uplift and support a family requires a holistic approach. True support necessitates an understanding of their child's development, their other children's development, their family rhythm, their formal supports, their informal supports, their routines, their values and beliefs, and to understand their goals and dreams for their child and their family as a whole.
When an early interventionist can pull all of this qualitative information together, use his/her own therapeutic use of self, and use his/her professional skills (whether that knowledge be in language, motor, nursing, hearing, vision, etc.) and be responsive and flexible at each early intervention visit, beautiful, long-lasting results happen for families. I have been privileged to see families gain strength, confidence and focus in four main areas. These include: developing a greater understanding of how tasks can be broken down or modified to encourage ongoing development and independence, being aware of their child's strengths and needs, advocating to other agencies what those strengths and needs are, and greater participation in community outings by having strategies and knowledge to problem solve in a variety of settings. In essence, what happens is that families realize that the power, the magic, the miracle of facilitating development is theirs. It is a family's involvement in their child's life, their willingness to incorporate strategies and ideas into their daily routines, activities and places, and their commitment to their child's ability to be a part of family and community life that make the difference. Early intervention success is often measured by looking at how children meet their individual goals, but I believe that only tells part of the story, compared to what a long-lasting difference early intervention can make to a family's life.