Some of you may not know that I am not only the owner of No Limits Therapy and the Speech-Language Pathologist I also have a fabulous son that was born with a unilateral cleft lip and cleft of the soft palate. He has been an amazing inspiration to his dad and I. Thankfully I was a therapist when I had Griffin so the feeding and understanding the doctor/nurses lingo came easily to me. It wasn’t as easy for the majority of our family and friends as they relied on me to be the one who educated them and be the strong one when honestly all this mommy wanted to do was cry and I did that on the inside. Griffin had his first surgery (cleft lip repair) when he was one day shy of being 2 months old (One of the youngest repairs done at Arkansas Children’s Hospital). If any of you have had to hand over your “perfect” child to nurses and doctors and know they will no longer have that beautiful wide smile then you know exactly what I am talking about. Griffin’s recovery was tough for the first day and night while in the hospital. He turned blue on us three times due to being in respiratory distress from the pain medication. This is when the not so nice momma bear came out, yelled for oxygen and demanded that we have it as blow by until he was discharged from the hospital. His daddy and I watch his oxygen levels like hawks and tried to take turns sleeping when we could. This was just one of the many surgeries our son has endured and many more to come. So if you are frustrated with feeding or do not know where to turn if your child is diagnosed with a cleft, please know I am here for you and will help all I can.
Fast forward until 2013…. At this time Griffin had been through 2 more surgeries and presented with significant delays and as a speech therapist I knew what was going on. Griffin met all his milestones on time or early up until right after his first birthday, and then he started to rapidly decline with his age-appropriate developmental milestones. Griffin was no longer able to talk, make eye contact, respond to his name and had a lack of interest in toys and people. I started him in therapy at 18 months of age and he had very little progress if any until he was almost 3 years old. On October 1, 2013, Griffin was diagnosed with Autism. This was not a surprise to me however hearing those words come out of the doctor’s mouth was not easy. It felt a lot like how I felt when the doctor told me that our son would be born with a cleft lip and palate while I was pregnant. One of those moments that you know it happened but you don’t exactly remember much after it during that day (like driving home from Little Rock). Scary huh!!
Griffin’s diagnosis changed my way of thinking and my plans for my career. I knew I needed to get back to seeing children again for therapy so I would be able to help other children much like my son. Griffin made huge gains when he started Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy. He started talking, naming objects/pictures, eye contact improved and he will respond to his name when called just once (most of the time).
Griffin was my inspiration to start No Limits Therapy Company. I knew I wanted the ability to help others and pick the Best therapists around to serve the sweet children that would come to the clinic. The clinic was designed with Griffin’s needs in mind and it has worked very well with the children/young adults we serve for 2 years now!!! I wanted the ability to have a family friendly environment with little to no stress on the children or their families. I want to be able to be there for the parents to vent, ask questions and talk if needed because sometimes the only time you have to talk to “adults” is when your child is in therapy. I’ve been there…trust me!! I am very fortunate to be able to have Griffin with me daily (being the boss has its perks…lol). He is now 7 years of age and I am homeschooling him because I honestly do not think anyone will push him harder to learn than I will.
If you feel the need to talk or if you feel that your child may have developmental delays please feel free to reach out to me. REMEMBER I am not only the owner/therapist but I am a parent too. I have been an advocate for several children and within the last year started the “Patient Love Support Group”. This is a support group started for parents of children, young adults or adults with special needs. We have a variety of parents that come to the meetings and we try to have a new topic each month however sometimes we meet just to discuss/vent if needed. I want everyone to know that they are not alone in this world of having a child with special needs. It most certainly is a culture shock to most people and it will change your entire life for sure, however we would not change our life for anything in this world. Griffin is loving, kind and will never know what being judgmental is like. Don’t get me wrong he does have his moments where he will test my ability to remain within my right mind but I know most moms that have moments like this with their “Neurotypical children.” He has changed his dad and I for the better as well as many others that are close to us. We will forever be his words when he is unable to express his wants/needs, his protector from those who do not understand autism and want to point fingers, cause harm or laugh when it’s not his fault or ours, we will be his advocate and will “use every moment as a teachable moment” for other children, adults and the world and most of all we will FOREVER be #TeamGriffin!!! With that being said we have meet a lot of amazing families, doctors, nurses and therapists during this Cleft/Autism Journey!! Many of those families are now considered apart of our family.
I know this is a lot for one of my first blogs however I wanted everyone to know the person behind No Limits Therapy. Whether your child has a diagnosis or just has developmental delays please believe all the therapists at No Limits Therapy will treat them like their own. If you feel that your child may not be at the level where they should be at their age, please feel free to reach out to us and let us see if we can help. I am very happy to say we provide Speech, Occupational and Physical Therapies. I look forward to meeting new faces whether it is in our support group or within the clinic. #nolimitsatnolimitstherapy
Much love and thanks,