Poster children are named

Sunday, March 13, 2005
Clockwise from bottom left are: David Waggoner, Ellie Williams, Carter Gates, Brayden Bratton, Jacquelyn Roth and Madelyn Ressell.

SIKESTON - When the lights go up March 19 and 20 on the 25th Annual Kenny Rogers Children's Center Telethon, there will be singers, musicians and emcees who welcome donors onto the stage. But they will all step aside for the Telethon's real stars - the children who receive therapy at the Center.

Currently the Sikeston Center provides therapy services to more than 300 children including this year's featured poster children David Waggoner, Ellie Williams, Carter Gates, Brayden Bratton, Jacquelyn Roth and Madelyn Ressel.

Michelle Fayette, KRCC executive director, said these six were selected because they represent the type children who receive physical, occupational or speech therapy. "Today this is the complexion of the child we treat. While we still treat children with serious delays, we are treating more for just a short time so down the road they are going to function better in life. We are able to truly make a diference in their lives and make a difference in the community," she said.

Brayden Bratton, the 3-year-old son of Stephanie and David Bratton of East Prairie, has a diagnosis of developmental delay.

Brayden receives physical, occupational, and speech therapy services to work on strengthening, advancement of gross and fine motor skills and visual efficiency skills, as well as increasing socialization and vocabulary skills. Activities have also been incorporated to aid in organization of the central nervous system to improve body awareness and awareness of his surroundings. These activities also advance coordination, balance, safety awareness and attention to task. According to his therapist, Brayden continues to display vast improvements throughout each area of therapy he receives.

The son of Robyn and Jerry Gates of Sikeston, Carter Gates is diagnosed with developmental delays in gross and fine motor skills, as well as speech and language.

At the Center, Carter receives occupational therapy to work on his visual efficiency, motor-planning, coordination, strengthening his arms and providing sensory input to his central nervous system to enable easier transition between tasks. His physical therapy seeks to facilitate motor-

planning, stability and trunk control. Finally, speech therapy primarily addresses Carter's expressive communication skills.

"Carter's prognosis is very good, especially with the rate of progress he is currently exhibiting," said his therapist. "Carter should easily transition into school with his peers."

Fifteen-year-old Madelyn Ressel was injured in a sledding accident five years ago. The daughter of Dennis and Brenda Ressel of Kelso, Madelyn was unable to sit for longer than 30 minutes at a time and was unable to walk after a certain point each day due to pain. Madelyn lived with her back pain because she did not think there was another alternative without insurance coverage.

When Madelyn's brother began coming to the Center for development of motor skills, her mother learned the physical therapist would evaluate Madelyn at no cost to the family. Since beginning therapy a little over a year ago, Madelyn's low back pain is almost non-existent and she is able to sit throughout a class period without having to get up and move around. She continues to work on stabilization of her sacroiliac and lumbar joints to prevent her from having low back pain as an adult.

Jacquelyn Roth, the daughter of Paul and Diane Roth of Cape Girardeau, finished chemotherapy for acute lymphoblastic leukemia in September 2003. Born eleven weeks premature and weighing less than three pounds at birth, Jacquelyn was hospitalized 76 days, which combined with the prematurity further delayed her motor skills.

Jackie is seen by physical, occupational and speech therapists at the Center and also receives physical therapy services provided by the Center at Alma Schrader Elementary, where she is an energetic kindergartner who loves books, songs and school. Current physical therapy goals include improving Jackie's gait pattern, her independence in walking around obstacles and on different surfaces, and standing from the floor independently.

The Universal Exercise Unit, also known as the "Spider Cage," is her favorite piece of therapy equipment. The "cage" allows the child to be suspended in the middle with support received through elastic cords and to perform skills "independently." In this unit, the therapist can work on not only the performance of the skill, but also the quality of the skill. Since coming to the Center, Jackie is now able to walk by herself around her school.

Diagnosed with developmental delay, a broad diagnosis for children with delays in many areas including fine motor and gross motor skills, David Waggoner receives occupational and physical therapy services. The occupational therapy addresses David's fine motor skills to promote development of preschool skills such as pencil grasp, writing and cutting. Physical therapy addresses activities that will improve strength and participation in age-appropriate skills such as climbing, jumping and balance activities. Both therapy services address David's sensory motor delays with activities that provide overall body strengthening and sensory input to his central nervous system to enable easier transition between tasks and improved attention to activities.

The therapists also work with his parents, Jody and Jennifer Waggoner of Bloomfield, on appropriate activities to facilitate David's fine motor, gross motor and sensory delays.

Ellie Williams, the daughter of Lauren and Shane Williams of Kewanee, receives occupational and speech therapy for speech delay and overall motor planning concerns with both fine and gross motor skills.

"Ellie knows how things should be said or done in her head so our goals are working on how to make the correct sounds or do the correct movements to do what her brain wants her to do," explained her therapist. Occupational therapy works on sequencing different activities and putting things together and doing new activities with her hands and body and figuring out how to carry that process through. Also, occupational therapy works on visual acuity.

Overall, therapy has helped build Ellie's confidence in herself and makes her feel more comfortable around her peers as she grows, her therapist explained.

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