Bella always seemed to be a “gap” kid -- everyone could agree she needed services, but she may not qualify for specific therapies.
At the age of 19 months she started having meltdowns -- different than tantrums -- usually much worse and for lengthy amounts of time. Her meltdowns could last anywhere from 15-45 minutes and would include screaming at the top of her lungs, thrashing on the floor with no regard to her personal safety, and hitting, kicking, and biting anyone close enough to reach. Bella did this daily, but didn’t qualify for occupational therapy, physical therapy, or speech therapy. Due to these meltdowns, there was no way Bella could have been enrolled in a regular daycare.
Thankfully, Bella had access to ECCEL, a Developmental Day Treatment Clinic Services (DDTCS) program, which she attended from the age of 2 months until Kindergarten. She They had trained staff that could take Bella to a sensory room with dim, color lighting, with padded floors, and soft music to help calm her. Their staff did this daily until she graduated from their program prior to Kindergarten. That summer after ECCEL graduation, Bella received the autism diagnosis. It had been suspected since she was 2-1/2 years old, but again she never hit the threshold for the diagnosis until then.
The TEEL FAMILY
Cori and Josh Teel are the parents of two fraternal twins with developmental disabilities that attend Friendship Pediatric Services in Bryant, Arkansas. Their family is an example of the many across the state who will be forced to find another child care facility if the one therapy rule requirement passes legislation.