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Family completes ABC; reports positive changes for parents and child
COURTESY PHOTO Tamill Jr. and his parents, Tamill Sr. and Amber, are the first family to complete a program new to Sunflower Early Education Center. The result is better interactions between parents and child.

EDITOR’S NOTE: This is the second of two stories about the ABC program at Sunflower Early Education Center. Today’s article features a local child and his family

Tamill Jr.’s mom, Amber, recalls the early ABC sessions with her now 14-month-old son and is “amazed” at his progress.

ABC stands for Attachment & Biobehavioral Catch-up; Tamill Jr.’s family is the first to complete the program at Sunflower Early Education Center (EEC), where services are free to families.

“We went from not knowing exactly what we were supposed to do to full-blown interaction with Tamill,” Amber said. “Now we sit and play with him and give him the attention he needs and deserves.”

After the parents watched a montage of video clips from their ABC sessions, Amber said “it is amazing to see the differences from the first video to the last. We went from wondering how we were supposed to interact with Tamill to realizing small things can have such a big impact.

“It is amazing how the little things matter to him. We didn’t realize this earlier but now we know they truly do matter to Tamill. It is a big difference.”

Alejandra Velez, ABC parent coach, began collaborating with the family earlier this year.

When the EEC first started providing early intervention services to Tamill, he was 8 months old and not rolling from his back to his stomach or vice versa. And he wasn’t balancing himself in a sitting position.

“Now Tamill is cruising along furniture to get where he wants to go,” Velez said. “He also started standing for seconds at a time as he prepared to walk.”

The ABC goal for the child and family was to help the parents respond to their son in nurturing ways.

“He needed to know his parents were there for him, even when he wasn’t clearly demonstrating that he needed them,” Velez explained. “For example, if Tamill was upset, his parents were there to comfort and soothe him.

“During our 10 sessions, the family learned so much about how to play with their son, and when and how to comfort him. They have also realized how their own childhoods affect their parenting today.”

Because of their new ABC knowledge, Amber and Tamill Sr. have made major changes in how they interact with their son, Velez commented.

“This openness to new information has directly led to Tamill’s progress during four short months,” Velez noted. “We are so proud of the family for being active participants in the ABC program. They have learned new parenting skills that have made a significant difference in their lives.”

For more information about ABC, contact Velez by calling 620-792-4087.

Sunflower Diversified Services operates the EEC. The non-profit agency serves infants, toddlers and adults with intellectual disabilities and delays in Barton, Pawnee, Rice, Rush and Stafford counties. It is in its 53rd year.