Our son Nathaniel was born at 23 weeks gestation and is a true miracle! He spent the first 4.5 months of his life in the NICU, and developed subglottic stenosis in his airway from being intubated. Nathaniel had to be trached at 3 months of age in order to get him off the ventilator, and he was successfully decannulated in May of 2010. After his first reconstructive airway surgery in August of 2008, Nathaniel stopped eating and drinking due to a plastic stent that had to remain in his airway for 6 weeks post surgery. Three months later in October of 2008 after slow weight gain and reduced oral intake, he received a g-tube.
We started working with Jenn in November of 2008 and initially Jenn’s goals for Nathaniel focused on normalizing responses to input in his mouth, building his oral motor movements to an age appropriate level, and creating positive food experiences. He has since mastered these areas and now our goals focus on increasing oral volume at mealtimes and keeping Nathaniel interested in food/eating orally until we can start weaning him off the g-tube.
Nathaniel’s speech was late to develop due to being a micro-preemie and also from having a trach the first 3 years of his life. Jenn has also been working with Nathaniel on his speech, and he is doing wonderful! He has gone from signing with a few vocalizations to using all age appropriate sounds in just 5months.
Jenn has been a Godsend to Nathaniel and our family, in fact we consider her part of the family! Her dedication, enthusiasm, patience, and love for children and for what she does is truly amazing and inspiring! Nathaniel instantly connected with Jenn and she has been instrumental in Nathaniel’s amazing progress over the last 2.5 years.
We love her, and are truly thankful to have her in our lives.
– Nancy G.