NSCT Helps Two Brothers Reach Key Milestones
For many parents, their children’s graduation from milestone to milestone comes like clockwork. First words are celebrated, walking quickly turns to running, and social connections are easily formed. But for others, childhood development is fraught with frequent worry, anticipation and questions. Their child may struggle to run and climb at the playground, or may become very frustrated trying to communicate even simple sentences.
Mom of two Amber, formerly of Marblehead but recently relocated to Denver, found herself at a major crossroads when her son Sam wasn’t communicating like his peers at age 18 months. He was becoming more and more frustrated by the minute. He was making sounds but unable to communicate in a way that even his parents could understand, in turn shutting down to family and peers.
While her pediatrician, family and friends tried to ease her concerns, Amber knew, as Sam approached 2 years old, that she needed to turn to the experts for help. After an exhaustive search, she became connected with North Shore Children’s Therapies (NSCT) in Peabody, an interdisciplinary clinic that specializes in pediatric speech and occupational therapy as well as social development and feeding skills. “From that very first phone call, I felt a sense of something remarkable about this practice. I immediately felt embraced and comfortable,” shares Amber.
Little did Amber know that not only would Sam receive the highest quality services to aid his language development but her family would establish strong connections with NSCT staff that will likely last a lifetime. “Their generosity of spirit just transcends the typical provider-child rapport,” stresses Amber. “Their service is like magic, a truly life changing offering for children and parents.
“Our speech therapist, Sam Marino, connected with our Sam instantly,” says Amber. “Not only did she share a name with my son, she quickly established a genuine bond that enabled him to trust her. Sam was an absolute gift to me as a parent who was unable to communicate with her child. She held our family up and supported us from the very start.”
At one point, the family was receiving various services four days a week at NSCT. Amber says she was impressed with the child- centered feeling of the clinic. Beyond the state-of-the-art facilities, she found a warmth and level of caring that far surpassed her expectations. She was continually impressed over the year and a half that her family was with NSCT.
Amber’s older son Noah, age 4, later started NSCT’s weekly kindergarten prep class while he was in preschool. Amber stresses that the quality and breadth of the class was so true to form of the practice. As part of the class, an occupational therapist named Jacquie Mishel offered the family a free screening. She found Noah was facing significant challenges with his reflexes and mobility, leading Amber to enroll him in occupational therapy.
“Like Sam, Jacquie was compassionate and knowledgeable. We saw an immediate boost in Noah’s confidence and self-esteem, as well as a willingness to stick with tasks that previously challenged him,” says Amber.
Wanting to help other parents whose children might be struggling developmentally, Amber eagerly told neighbors, friends and her sons’ preschool about the services available through NSCT. Thanks to her strong advocacy and glowing testimonial, several families were also served by the practice. She advises other parents who share her situation, “The moment you have a concern, listen to that inner voice, and make time for those unique needs that your children have.”
Even after moving out of state to be nearer to family, Amber and her sons still FaceTime with their NSCT therapists. On a recent video chat with speech therapist Sam, young Sam excitedly exclaimed, “You will always be my teacher and I will always be your boy!”
In observing the ongoing and heartfelt connection between her sons and the NSCT team, Amber shares, “The staff are all just angels. Each one of them is so practiced at their craft. What they give is something more than just doing a job, it’s truly a calling.”
Today, Amber’s sons are thriving and confident. She credits much of this to their experience with NSCT. Amber concludes, “There will never be words enough to thank someone who helped your child speak and move freely. NSCT will forever be part of the fabric of our family.”
PHOTO: Speech therapist, Sam Marino pictured with Noah (left) and Sam (right)