The six, according to the Center's Director Michelle Fayette, are representative of the area and the range of services provided to the more than 300 children currently receiving treatment.
The Center's goal is to raise $300,000 during this year's telethon, scheduled from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. March 24 and 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. March 25 at the Sikeston Field House.
Moriah, the 4-year-old daughter of David and Angela Doria of Scott City, was born with amniotic banding on her right arm. These bands decreased the circulation and nerve development in Moriah's right arm before birth which makes it more difficult for her to use her hand and arm normally.
Moriah receives occupational therapy to work on strengthening and movement in her right hand and arm. A Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation unit provides stimulation to those muscles in her arm that are weak and underdeveloped.
In addition, occupational therapy focuses on skills such as handwriting, cutting and tasks that require both hands. "These activities all encourage use of Moriah's right hand when completing everyday tasks that many of us take for granted," her therapist said. "Moriah continues to show improvements in therapy and becomes more independent everyday."
The son of Trevor Williams of Cape Girardeau and Callie Williams of Clarkton, TJ was diagnosed with epilepsy shortly after his birth. In addition, it was also discovered that his brain was not developing properly.
TJ, 4, takes medication daily and has had brain surgery to help decrease his seizure activity. As a result, TJ's development was delayed and he is currently receiving physical and speech therapies at the Center.
When he began speech therapy, he was unable to talk and express his needs. Currently, he is working with a communication device that allows him to push various buttons that "speak" what he wants to say to others.
In physical therapy, TJ's goal is to walk. According to his therapist when TJ started at the Center, he was having difficulty sitting up by himself. Today, he has completed the intensive Suit Therapy program at the Center which has allowed him to take five steps in a walker for the first time in his life with little to no assistance.
"TJ has made phenomenal progress in the time that he has been receiving therapy at the Center," the therapist added.
Diagnosed with spastic cerebral palsy, Julia McMillen, the 9-year-old daughter of Jim and Katie McMillen of Sikeston has been coming to the center since she was a toddler and has made many changes over the years.
In physical therapy, Julia's goal is to walk with forearm crutches rather than her walker. Also she would like to be able to stand and take steps without any assistive device.
To help her achieve these goals, Julia completed the Suit Therapy program in December 2006. Now, she is using the crutches at home and at school with little assistance.
"While she wears a special belt for safety just in case she loses her balance while learning this brand-new way to walk, the crutches make the world much more accessible to Julia," her therapist explained. "With them, she is able to move about in tighter spaces, get in and out the car with greater ease, and the crutches are much easier for Julia's family to transport and manage throughout their busy week."
In occupational therapy, Julia has improved bilateral coordination of her hands and fingers for the manipulation of fasteners, laces and utensils for writing and play.
Carson, the son of Joseph and Tricia McClarty of Lilbourn, was diagnosed with global developmental delays which limit his ability to gain new skills as other babies would.
Currently Carson receives physical and speech therapies at the center to address his delays. During his time with the speech therapist, he works on eating from a spoon and drinking from a bottle and a sippie cup. In daily physical therapy he works on sitting up and getting on his hands and knees.
Therapist note the youngster very much enjoys movement and exploring his environment. "When Carson first came to the center in November 2006, he could not roll or hold his head up when someone was holding him. He can now sit for short periods of time, he rolls all over the floor at home and he is beginning to hold himself up on his hands and knees preparing to crawl," the therapist said. "Carson has come such a long way in a short time at the Kenny Rogers Children's Center."
The son of Brooke and Joe Williams of Sikeston, Mason is diagnosed with verbal apraxia and receives occupational and speech therapy at the Kenny Rogers Children's Center.
Occupational therapy focuses on hand skills and motor planning to promote play skills and independent performance of activities at home. Tasks are performed in a manner to promote organization of the central nervous system to improve processing of sensory input to his body.
Speech therapy addresses increasing Mason's communication skills as well as working to make his speech more understandable to others. Verbal apraxia impacts Mason's speech movements for words to come out clear.
When Mason started receiving services at the center, he was saying only a few words and disliked loud noises and touch to his body, the therapist noted. "He is now speaking in long sentences with more sounds that are easier to understand. He now likes to get and receive hugs and is tolerating other novel sensory input as well," the therapist said.
Diagnosed with autism, 6-year-old Lakyn currently receives occupational therapy services at the Center and at her school. She is the daughter of Chad and Brandi Grissom of East Prairie.
During occupational therapy, Lakyn participates in activities to promote increased independence with daily living, to advance play and social skills, and to provide input to help organize her central nervous system.
Her therapist stated Lakyn has made noted improvements over the years with increased tolerance with wearing clothing, following directions, playing with peers, and attending to set tasks.
Lakyn's occupational therapist also works closely with her family and school staff to make accommodations that will increase her independence and to provide continuing education on new procedures.