UPDATED: The Forum, Fargo-Moorhead’s daily paper, did a story about Josh, as well. Read it here.
Nokomis has been a life-saver for our family.
When my husband and I were looking for child care for our son, Joshua, we were having trouble finding a place that could provide the special care he needed. We were so relieved when we talked to Andrea at Nokomis. She wasn’t concerned at all. In fact, when she learned about our situation, she moved him up the waiting list to get him in sooner.
Joshua has Treacher-Collins Syndrome, a condition that affects 1 in 50,000 people. Though his symptoms are mild, they affect his daily care in several ways. Joshua’s cheekbones were not fully developed, causing his eyelids to droop and not close completely—so he needs eye drops several times a day to restore moisture to his eyes. His ear canals were not fully developed, so he cannot hear without the use of his BAHA, a special hearing aide attached to a headband that he wears every day. His airways are restricted, requiring the use of a suction device throughout the day to keep his nasal cavity clear. Joshua was also born with a hole in his hard palate, and until he had surgery to repair it, feeding him required extra attention. So, you can see, finding the right place to take care of Joshua is very important.
Joshua’s recent surgery to repair the hole in his hard palate was a step forward for him, although it has been a learning experience for us and his Nokomis family. He had to learn how to eat all over again and he’s getting the hang of that now. He is also able to sound out more letters after the surgery. He can finally say “Dada!”
Joshua’s teachers are trained to provide all of his daily care, and they do it gladly. They continue to learn from the physical therapists that come to see Joshua each week. Andrea places an emphasis on the importance of teachers learning everything they can from Joshua’s physical therapists.
The teachers go out of their way to do what is best for Joshua—finding a schedule that works for him and providing him with extra developmental activities suggested by his occupational therapist.
With his big smile and amazing disposition, Joshua has effortlessly stolen the hearts of his teachers. We wouldn’t want Joshua to be anywhere other than Nokomis, because we know he’s being treated just like the rest of the kids. There should be more places like Nokomis. We are so lucky to have such a facility in Fargo.