Lisa: As I have mentioned many times before, Sophie has been on a neurodevelopmental program for almost 13 years. The program is written by the National Association for Child Development (www.nacd.org), updated periodically based on Sophie’s progress, and encompasses all aspects of her development, including all therapies, education, and health. The NACD program is parent-driven. We do not utilize any therapists. We implement all recommended activities at home ourselves. This is how the program works. The idea is that parents know their child best. So who better to work with the child than the parent? This program has been the single biggest commitment that our family has made regarding Sophie and her future. Our challenge has been to find the time to do the program. It is difficult, but it works. We would never be where we are today without NACD.
Since John and I enrolled Christian and Nicole in Catholic school, I decided to see if the student body at our elementary school could help. I remember marching in to the principal’s office with Baby Sophie in her car seat and asking if I could advertise for volunteer help in the school newsletter. The response was favorable. I suggested to Mrs. Marsh that interested students could come to our house and implement Sophie’s program in return for service hours. And that’s exactly how it happened. We got 3 interested students the first year, each committing a few hours per week to work with Sophie. I trained them, and Christian and Nicole assisted. By the 6th year, I actually had to turn students away once “Team Sophie” peaked at 13 members strong. We continued the volunteer system at Christian and Nicole’s high school in Pennsylvania. These young boys and girls became Sophie’s friends, advocates, babysitters, and teachers. Their parents became our friends. Everyone at school knew about Sophie and the program. When she set foot in the door, she was an instant celebrity. Many of our helpers have gone on to become teachers, therapists, physician’s assistants, and two are now in medical school. To all past and present members of “Team Sophie,” our family would like to thank you from the bottom of our hearts.
Sophie: I remember Jordan, Kelsey, Alex, Megan, Katherine, Tori, Catie, Elizabeth, and Elias. They are all my friends, and I miss them so much. We even went to the beach on vacation with Jordan and Kelsey one summer. Goodbye folks!