SILVER LAKE, Kan. (KSNT) – Four-year-old Fiona Harrington has been going to the Capper Foundation in Topeka for 3 years.

“She was diagnosed with global developmental delay, when she was about 9 months old. Basically, it means she is behind in all areas of development,” explains Abby Harrington, Fiona’s mother.

Fiona was also diagnosed with autism when she was 18 months old. Early on she was physically delayed; not crawling until she was two years old and finally walking after her third birthday. So at first, she started going to physical therapy at the Capper Foundation.

“Then she was just barely sitting up, then we got her crawling, and now she’s walking and riding a tricycle. So big progress!” boasts Harrington.

Today, Fiona is in occupational therapy and speech therapy.

“She has definitely struggled with social and communication. She is nonverbal and tends to screech and grab you if she needs anything,” Harrington explains.

“In OT, we are working on increasing her self care skills: dressing, feeding her self, tolerating tooth brushing, and also her fine motor skills,” Amy Douglas, Fiona’s Occupational Therapist at Capper Foundation explains.

And the therapy sessions are not just for Fiona! “Not only is it helping her, with the practice and teaching her how to do it, but also the parents, because then they can follow along at school. They can do that every day, repeatedly throughout the day,” Douglas says.

Fiona is making great strides today, because of early action.

“You have to be an advocate for your child,” Harrington remarks. “You need to be able to tell your doctor, something is a little off and get them seen by a therapist or a specialist. Or get them referred over to a foundation like the Capper Foundation. It’s made a big difference. I feel like I got her in here a lot earlier than most other children because I just knew.”

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