| Washington Elks Therapy Program for Children

This is Anisa, who is a beautiful and active 17 month old. Anisa was born with a very rare condition with a very big name – “septoptic dysplasia”. Her family had no warning that she would be born with special needs, and found themselves frustrated as doctor after doctor told them they did not know much about the diagnosis, how to treat it, or what to expect for the future. This diagnosis meant that Anisa’s optic nerve was very undeveloped at birth, and she had several small parts of her brain that were not working well. Her family was unsure if she would be completely blind, if she would have partial vision, or even brain damage. Early on, Anisa’s family spent hours researching the diagnosis, as well as activities and therapies to help. They were determined to help Anisa develop to her maximum potential. Her family was eager for more ideas, more input, but found little help in learning new hands-on techniques. She had difficulty rolling over, reaching and even eating—as babies, our worlds are so driven by our vision—and hers was not working well. Even holding her head upright and steady was a huge task. As Anisa approached her first birthday, she had already made amazing progress, and her family decided to seek additional therapy (outside the home). This was complicated by the soon-to-be arrival of a new sibling for Anisa. Finally, her family found the Elks Therapy program! Anisa’s family has been actively participating in her weekly home therapy sessions. Therapy was able to continue weekly even though her mother was busy with a newborn. Now her little brother is able to observe and even participate in therapy activities. Anisa can now crawl, pull to standing, stand alone, and even take several steps. She is saying words (in 2 languages), and has both a stubborn streak and a wonderful sense of humor! She reaches for toys, and is learning to explore using ALL of her senses. She continues to work on visual activities, getting stronger muscles, and learning to eat different types of foods. Anisa’s family is very grateful for services in the home, and want to say ‘THANK YOU WASHINGTON ELKS’!

Washington State Elks Association