The Beacon 2019 Issue 4 The Beacon 2019 Issue 4 - Page 6

STUDENT SPOTLIGHT Sawyer Pittsley. By Amber Pittsley, Sawyer’s Mom Sawyer’s journey to Little Light House began on November 1, 2013, the day he was born. Our sweet, stubborn boy was a week late, and due to fears related to ingestion of meconium I was induced. After 32 hours of labor the doctors said they had to take Sawyer out via Cesarean Section. Into the world he came, and as far as my husband and I knew, he was perfectly healthy. Around 6 months after Sawyer’s birth, we began to notice that he was not meeting normal developmental milestones. We enrolled him in Sooner Start where he began Physical, Occupational and Speech therapy at home. His progress was slow, and we had no explanation as to why this was. Eventually, we heard about Little Light House from our Sooner Start therapists and at the age of 2 years old Sawyer was added to the waiting list. In the meantime, we were still searching for a diagnosis and trying to figure out what was causing him to be so far behind developmentally. At 2 years old Sawyer wasn’t crawling. He wasn’t pulling himself up, talking or doing most of the things children at his age typically do. We were referred to numerous specialists throughout Oklahoma, as well as Kansas, Arkansas and Texas. Finally in 2014 an MRI was ordered by a neurologist in Oklahoma which showed Sawyer had a hypoplastic cerebellum on the right hemisphere of his brain. This means that his cerebellum is slightly smaller on the right side compared to his left. He was also born without a posterior pituitary gland. Even though this did not give us an overarching diagnosis, it was enough to help us begin to treat each condition as individually needed. In August of 2017, we got the call that Sawyer’s name had finally reached the top of the waiting list at Little The Beacon | 6 Light House, and he was invited to start school that October. Sawyer is now in his third, and final, year. We are so grateful that he had the experience he did attending this amazing school. Since he began in 2017, we have seen so much growth and progress in his development. He has developed socially, interacting with others more. He made his first friend which is most likely the highlight of his time at Little Light House for his dad and I. As most parents of kids with special needs know, having a kid that is considered “different” can be very isolating. Learning Sawyer had a friend meant the world to us. He has also progressed physically and is now able to stand with support, take steps with help, sit independently, “army crawl” and feed himself. He achieved milestones that he may never have achieved without attending Little Light House. To those of you who volunteer, donate or support this wonderful organization in any way, we can’t thank you enough. To the teachers, therapists and all the staff I hope you realize that most, if not all, of these kids would never achieve some of the things they do this soon without the interventions that Little Light House provides. You are changing lives. Period. The head start that they receive from attending Little Light House is invaluable. As we all know, these kids are starting out life with the deck stacked against them. They deserve any help and support they can get, and the Little Light House gives them that leg up they need. THANK YOU!