Brenda and Payton Derito
When Brenda Derito received a diagnosis of cerebral palsy for her then 9-month old daughter Payton it was not easy. Payton had been born at 32 weeks and her developmental delays prompted Derito to contact the Early Intervention (EI) program at Brockton Area Multi Services Inc. (BAMSI).

Recovery Act Impact: BAMSI's Early Intervention Program

  • Total stimulus funding: $284K

  • Ability to service 224 children

  • Ability to hire 5 therapists

It was the occupational therapist at BAMSI who encouraged Derito to take Payton to a neurologist.

"I wouldn't have even known to go to a neurologist," said Derito.

Thanks to the accurate diagnosis, BAMSI has been able to help Payton learn how to walk - even hop. "That's an unbelievable milestone," said Derito. "She has made amazing progress. I can't imagine where we would be without these services."

Michelle and Jason Zine

Payton receives occupational therapy, physical therapy and attends the group program. Like all the families at BAMSI EI, she meets with a case worker and therapists come to her home and teach Derito's family how to help Payton. These services are crucial for young children like Payton who have developmental delays to prepare them for school - and life - and often obviate the need for further or more intensive services as the child gets older.

Thanks to two stimulus awards totaling $284K BAMSI's EI program has been able to hire five full time therapists as well as help an additional 224 children reach their full potential.

These are children like James Dodge, who was diagnosed with Epilepsy at six months old. His mother Sarah said that before she came to EI at BAMSI, at the referral of her pediatrician, her son couldn't lift his head. Now at 21 months old he has "made big improvements. Everyone came out to my house, the nurses, the therapists from BAMSI, and they made a plan to do what's best for him," said Dodge.


Sarah and James Dodge
James participates in the EI's playgroup, in which the children interact and learn valuable social skills.

"They made him a chair so he can sit with all the other kids and not be above them in his wheelchair," said Dodge. "They did it so he can be with all the other kids. They did it on their own time."

Michelle Zine is also well aware of what BAMSI has to offer. Her son Jason was born healthy but suffered from a virus and then a staph infection that infected his spine. After Jason's surgery - in which a titanium rod was inserted in his spine -- Zine was referred to BAMSI's EI program. He now receives nutritional counseling, speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, developmental play therapy and participates in the group program.

BAMSI EI Parents and Jeffrey Simon

"He is improving unbelievably because of these people," said Zine. The fact that he is receiving these therapies early in his life will make all the difference as he grown, notes Zine.

Derito agrees. "Payton has just come so far. These services have been a lifeline."