University of Tennessee at Martin's Infant Stimulation Program
Lukas and Elijah were born at 32 weeks with Lukas weighing 4 pounds and Elijah 3 pounds. After birth and in the days to follow, Lukas and Elijah faced surgery and many medical procedures due to their early birth. The babies were referred for early intervention services and were enrolled in the UT Martin Infant Stimulation Program even before they were supposed to have been born.
Donna Tackett, who serves as the families Early Interventionist, has been with the Grande family for 8 months now. Lukas and Elijah's development is on track with both boys pulling up, saying simple words such as hi, and feeding themselves. They are doing so well, the family has gone from receiving weekly home visits to receiving home visits two times a month. Donna contributes Lukas and Elijah's success to their parents, saying that they have stayed engaged and motivated to help the boys progress towards milestones and this has played a big part in their development.
Premature babies, like Lukas and Elijah, are naturally at risk for hearing, vision, and other health issues which can affect their development. The Infant Stimulation program staff serves families such as the Grande's in Northwest TN to provide the resources and support needed to help their children reach his or her highest potential.
With the help of the Lions Club WPSD Local 6 Telethon of Stars, the staff of the Infant Stimulation can continue to provide home visitation services to families like the Grande family in Northwest TN.