“David’s” Story

Upon first meeting David and his mother because of his speech and hearing problems, the staff assumed she was interested in an Early Head Start program, not realizing that he was a Head Start-age child. David was lying in a baby stroller wearing a tee-shirt, shorts, and a diaper. He didn't respond or even look in the staffs’ direction. As a result, the staff could not tell whether or not this child could walk or even talk.

At the intake evaluation, David's behaviors were problematic. He was "difficult" to handle, wasn't potty-trained, had tantrums, and wasn't using recognizable language for a child his age. David received all of Crossroads’ health and developmental screenings and failed them all. He was referred to the Norman Public School early intervention system thirteen days following his arrival. He was evaluated, and it was noted that David was developmentally delayed at the level of an eighteen-month-old child. He had 50% delays in language, adaptive behavior, and cognitive/intellectual functioning. NPS worked with him in addressing his personal needs, language, and social skills. They introduced him to sign language, appropriate phrases for conflict resolution, and a graphics board for when he needed to express his own personal needs.

Shortly thereafter, he began attending Crossroads’ Head Start program for half a day and the developmentally delayed pre-school program at a Norman elementary school in the afternoon. The two programs closely communicated in regard to David's progress and the family’s needs. Day by day, David came to school to learn and play. He learned more sign language, began to speak English and Spanish phrases, figured out how to solve some of his own conflicts, and by May was completely potty-trained. For the next school year, his developmentally delayed pre-school program recommended that he begin attending a regular pre-K classroom due to his growth and progress. The baby in the stroller unattached to the world around him was attending school with his peers in a regular classroom setting! This is the miracle of quality early childhood education and reflects what can be accomplished when agencies work together for the good of the child.

“Richard’s” Story

“The differences in my son have been tremendous since he changed to Neighborhood Head Start. The school has been open and caring regarding his needs and willing to work patiently with him. The change has been amazing.

He has gone from a quiet boy who hardly spoke to a happy, outgoing and expressive one. He knows so much. He can count to thirty and recognize his alphabet, and he knows his colors and shapes. He has already started spelling words. There is an active interest in everything around him now, and he loves to help. So many things that I can only lightly touch on the wonderful difference they have made in my child and the gratitude I have toward them for that.”