Xavier’s Transformative Journey at AdventHealth for Children’s West Lakes Early Learning Center

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Xavier began attending AdventHealth for Children’s West Lakes Early Learning Center (ELC) at eight months of age. The ELC provides high-quality early childhood education and comprehensive health, wellness and social services for children six weeks to 5 years of age, and their families. Xavier joined the ELC to be closer to family and because it was more cost effective for a single mother.

Xavier’s mom, Imani, shared, “I was excited to have an option that was a part of AdventHealth. Not only did it make me feel more comfortable, but they also provided diapers, food and more for my son.”

Over time, Xavier really began to enjoy his time at the ELC thanks to his first teachers in the infant classroom, Ms. Timika and Ms. Kisha. Before the ELC, he would play alone, but now he is more social and knows his friends’ names. Instead of crying when handed off for the day, he even hugs his teachers in the early preschool classroom!

The extent of Xavier’s disability was not as evident at first, but at 18 months old, he was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy. The staff begin to train themselves to help continue and apply the exercises Xavier learned during his therapy as they became more familiar with him and his engaging personality. In addition to his external therapy sessions, the ELC has provided the time and space for his therapists to come in once a week to help him with motor, speech, and behavioral skills. Given Imani’s work schedule, it is a relief that the ELC is flexible enough to allow therapy on-site during the center’s hours.

During his time at the ELC, Imani and the teachers have seen Xavier make incredible improvements. “Xavier, now just over 2 years old, has gained more independence and confidence at the ELC. No one stifles his growth due to his disability,” Imani shared.

AdventHealth will provide on-site therapy at the ELC to care for children where they are. In partnership with Community Health Centers, Inc., a federally qualified health care center, the ELC now has a pediatric primary clinic to support families. Like many in Imani’s position, it can be difficult to maintain consistent work and take your child to a variety of appointments.

In Xavier’s case, he sees eleven specialists. When he gets sick, it could result in a larger issue so Imani often has to take time off from work to care for him. Through the support and partnership of the ELC and AdventHealth, Imani feels relieved to have a nurturing environment caring for Xavier in mind, body, and spirit.

AdventHealth Foundation Central Florida and the greater Central Florida community remain grateful for the support and generosity provided by Bainum Family Foundation for the ELC.

To learn more about how to support AdventHealth’s West Lakes Early Learning Center click here.

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