This year four children from the center are featured on the telethon's poster. Daniel Proffer, Caleb Kapp, Zamarion Douglas and Zane Trusty will represent the hundreds of children from throughout the region who are served by the Kenny Rogers Children's Center.
Also their stories will be told in specially recorded segments shown during the broadcast which can be seen over local cable access channel or during the live broadcast from the Sikeston Field House. Viewers will meet their families and learn more about the center's efforts to provide occupational, physical and speech therapy to youngsters.
This year's poster children are:
Daniel Proffer, the son of Darin and Charlene Proffer of Matthews, has sensory integration dysfunction, which is different with each child.
Daniel receives occupational therapy twice a week which helps him with increasing body awareness and safety awareness, decreasing risk-taking behavior, visual efficiency skills, appropriate socialization and attention to task. The therapist has also worked on parent education of appropriate activities to encourage self-coping skills.
Caleb Capp, son of Brian and Kim Kapp of Jackson, is diagnosed with dyspraxia, which causes difficulty coordinating body movement and speech. Praxis is the ability to build more spontaneous, complex motor skills using previously mastered skills as a basis, therefore it is difficult to build on higher cognitive skills such as language. Cognition and receptive language are usually very high.
Caleb receives occupational and speech therapy at the center. Occupational therapy works on strengthening his arms and providing sensory input to his central nervous system to enable easier transition between tasks. Fine motor skills are also worked on to promote independence with buttoning, zipping, tying shoes or other similar tasks.
With verbal dyspraxia, speech and expressive language are affected, limiting the child's ability to communicate. Speech therapy is helping to provide him with a way to communicate through sign language or pictures while working on producing various sounds verbally. Prognosis for dyspraxia in general is good. Once the sensory issues and communication issues are addressed, he will easily transition into school and with his peers.
Zamarion receives occupational and physical therapy. The physical therapy works on range-of-motion, capitalizing on his existing strength and functional movement. Physical therapy also stimulates the bones and muscle to provide proportional growth with the other arm and body in general.
His occupational therapy works on stimulating the muscles along with the motor and sensory nerves to also assist in awareness and function of his arm and also provides splinting of the arm to prevent contraction of the joints and for protection.
Zamarion will probably undergo three or four years of therapy because as he grows, different developmental skills will need to be addressed. Without therapy, he would have decreased awareness or use of his arm and by the time the nerve was repaired, it would become a useless appendage that he would have learned to function without. Brachial plexis varies in severity but complete recovery is possible. With therapy, complete control and function of the arm is optimized to its highest potential for the child.
Son of Michael and Amy Coriell of Sikeston, Zane Trusty is diagnosed with spina bifida, which was discovered during his mother's pregnancy. He underwent surgery while still in the womb which closed the spine.
Zane receives occupational, speech and physical therapy. Speech therapy addresses communicating effectively and desensitizing his oral defensiveness to allow him to eat foods with textures. At age 3, he maintains a liquid and pureed diet but recently began to drink out of a straw, which is a great stride toward overcoming his oral sensory issues. Occupational therapy works on decreasing tactile defensiveness. When therapy first began, Zane could not stand the touch of water. Occupational therapy works on increasing awareness of where he is in space and vision therapy to help coordination of his eyes. His defensiveness is down as he can now tolerate the feel of water and is able to use his hands together at mid-lie and his visual attention has also improved.
Physical therapy works on his ability to maintain an upright posture and control that posture. Therapists also are working on strengthening and endurance to prepare him for independent walking. Initially, Zane couldn't even squat, but can now transition to the floor.
Just last week, he took four independent steps. He will walk independently. This is wonderful for a child with spina bifida, who just a few short years ago, would have been bound to a wheelchair for life.
Zane and his parents recently moved here from Louisville, Ky. His mother, who is an engineer with Noranda Aluminum, said the Kenny Rogers Children's Center played a major role in their decision-making. Had there not been a center like this, they wouldn't have considered moving.