First Steps celebrates 20-year milestone - WDRB 41 Louisville News

First Steps celebrates 20-year milestone

A statewide program that helps children with developmental issues is celebrating a milestone.

First Steps is an early-intervention program that helps identify potential problems in children before they reach grade school.  This month, the program is celebrating 20 years.

Andrea Wright's 13-year-old daughter Hannah suffers from seizures:  "Soon after birth we recognized some different things were going on with Hannah."

And doctors still don't know why.  Wright says, "We've been all over the country and they can't figure out what it is."

Hannah uses a wheelchair and doesn't speak.  Wright says, "When you first hear that your child has a special need, you know, it's devastating."

But her mom says she has come a long way, thanks to an early-intervention program:  "Without First Steps, I don't know where we would be."

Hannah is one of nearly 20,000 children in this region who have gone through First Steps.  Bonnie Thorson-Young of Seven Counties says, "We provide services to all children who have a developmental concern."

This month, First Steps is celebrating 20 years of service and treating children with a wide range of issues.  Thorson-Young says that includes children with problems, "Be they very small from a minor speech impairment, all the way to kids that have a much more severe life-long condition such as Down syndrome or cerebral palsy."

Those are some of the conditions you'll find at Louisville's Churchill Park School, where many of Hannah's classmates have also gone through the First Steps program.

Andrea Wright says First Steps not only worked with Hannah, but also gave family members the tools to take care of her.  "Because since we are the primary caregivers, you know, we are with her most of the time, so they taught us to do the strategies with Hannah and what we should do."

Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 WDRB. All Rights Reserved. For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.