IsabellaStephanie was concerned that her daughter wasn’t talking yet. Family and friends commented that Isabella was just shy and there was no need to worry. But for Stephanie, the nagging doubts persisted. “I just didn’t want her to be left behind,” she said. “We were both struggling, she couldn’t tell me what she wanted and that would lead to frustration and tantrums.” She learned about ChildStrive’s drop-in play group on Casino Road when she attended the Project Homeless Connect. She and Isabella started to attend the play groups and Stephanie learned about other services provided by ChildStrive. She had Isabella screened and they confirmed that Isabella has significant delays in communication skills and would benefit from services. Isabella started at ChildStrive just before her second birthday and her speech was limited to just five words.  Only five months later, Isabella had made great strides in her communication and was up to 150 words. Ruth is an Educator at ChildStrive and is the family’s primary coach. Ruth and Isabella’s family partnered to work on her pre-verbal skills including interactive play and imitations. Stephanie says that Isabella looks forward to Ruth’s visits, “Ruth is so supportive and wonderful, and she helps me incorporate activities into our regular life that helps Isabella learn to communicate. She helps me understand how Isabella and I can play together so that we can share experiences and I can learn what interests Isabella.