My daughter Cortni is 4 ½ years old. Cortni lives with her Mommy and Daddy, her brother Scott who is 17 and her sister Britni who is 12. Our dream for Cortni is to be to be able to grow into an independent adult who can communicate with others, take care of herself and enjoy life. In order for these dreams to come true, Cortni will need to get an education to learn to read, write, and do math facts. Cortni will also have to learn how to get along with others and perform every day duties such as bathing, dressing, eating, and cleaning. Another important part of Cortni’s future is her health. Although, we are fortunate that Cortni does not have major health problems such as heart, digestion, or blood pressure she has had to overcome some health related obstacles. Cortni had hypothyroidism and has had to go through two sleep studies that revealed sever obstructive sleep apnea. This caused her to need her tonsils and adenoids removed. Cortni’s hearing was starting to decline which required her to need tubes in her ears. Unfortunately, Cortni’s ear canals are way too small for tubes to be inserted. The future for Cortni’s hearing is unknown at this point.
Cortni has received support services through Babies Can’t Wait and now through the School System. As an infant Cortni, received early intervention OT and PT which helped tremendously in Cortni’s development. Speech therapy had to be sought through our personal health insurance because Babies Can’t Wait did not feel she needed it, even though Cortni would not communicate verbally her wants and needs. Currently, she receives one hour of speech each week and cognitive therapy as well as social skills therapy.
I have applied for the Medicaid Waiver for Cortni several times, but she has been denied. My husband and I are concerned for any future procedures Cortni may need that may pose a financial burden to our family.
One thing I want everyone to know about Down syndrome is that it doesn’t mean that the people who are diagnosed with it cannot learn. Give them a chance to learn all they can on their own time frame. Cortni is a huge productive, loving part of our family.