TOPEKA, Kan. (KSNT) – Chloe and Cora Jo Cogswell are 11-year-old girls from Topeka. Both girls are diagnosed with Down syndrome and Chloe also has Autism.

“Chloe and Cora Jo were both adopted,” said Amy Cogswell, the girls’ mother. “Chloe was adopted at the age of 16 months from Taiwan, and Cora Jo from China about 4 years ago. When Chloe came home, my husband and four children really knew nothing about Down syndrome or how to help her be the best she could be.”

So the Cogswell family turned to the Capper Foundation after first adopting Chloe, getting her into occupational therapy.

“For Chloe, life skills, things that she can learn to do, is going to help her be the best she can be,” said Amy.

“I think kids like Chloe can fall through the cracks a little. Sometimes I think without that critical eye of an occupational therapist, you miss out on some of the things that she can possibly be doing,” said Kasha Rebant, an Occupational Therapist at the Capper Foundation. “As a child, her occupation is play. So that’s what we do. We work those activities that are going to work those skills and the same needs she has, into a play activity,”

Since therapy is working well for Chloe, the Cogswells got Cora Jo into speech therapy as soon as they could.

“When she came home, she was fluent in mandarin and sign language, but not English. Communication was hard and very frustrating for her,” Amy said.

“When she came at first, she had a few words and simple phrases. Now she is not using sign gestures as much to support her language. She is putting more words together. She is initiating more comments,” said Julie Watson, a Speech Language Pathologist at the Capper Foundation.

Both girls come to the Capper Foundation for therapy once a week. It’s not only making a big difference in Chloe and Cora Jo’s development, but also educating and helping their family from the beginning.

“You know I’d like to say we would have figured it out eventually, but I sure am thankful for the therapists who came at the very beginning, who helped us know how to best push the girls,” said Amy.

The Capper Foundation’s upcoming “Capper Can! Campaign” kicks off next Thursday. Capper is starting some new services and initiatives to better serve individuals and their families with intellectual, physical, developmental and behavioral disabilities.