Leighton’s Story

“M

y son and I are so grateful to be a second generation Boyer Family. I was born in Seattle, WA 36 years ago, and I immediately exhibited very concerning signs of developmental and/or cognitive delays. I stayed in the NICU for a number of months after my birth, and needed assistance and intervention with breathing and swallowing. My mom had had a healthy pregnancy with me, and her Doctors as well as my Pediatrician were stumped. I was an otherwise healthy baby that struggled tremendously to complete basic elementary tasks of daily living. Everyone was concerned that I would live my life with severe gross motor and developmental delays. It was predicted that I would need extensive assistance throughout my entire life and not be able to live independently. My parents were introduced to Boyer when I was a toddler. They say that it’s thanks to Boyer that I learned to sit, hold a bottle, roll, crawl, walk, sign, then eventually speak. However, what my parents recall most from that time was not only the compassionate care that I received, but the reassurance and loving support that they received as well. I eventually caught up developmentally, and my parents credit the amazing Therapists at Boyer.

Boyer came back in my life through my son, Julian, about 6 months ago. Julian was born in Colorado in May of 2021 at 5 weeks premature. I first started noticing delays when Julian couldn’t/wouldn’t crawl. We were then referred to a local Hospital in Colorado for outpatient P.T., which we attended once a week. Julian made progress in Therapy, and we attended weekly sessions, but it felt a bit robotic/cold. I sometimes wondered if I was doing something wrong as a mother.

At just shy of 2 years old, Julian and I fled from a very unhealthy situation in Colorado and came to Seattle. I was traumatized, feeling tremendous guilt and confusion, and was coping and adjusting to a new life as a single mother. Once we established care in Seattle, Julian’s Pediatrician and I agreed he could benefit from a referral to various therapies to help him with his development. We were then introduced to our team – Suad, Amy, Janelle, Ellie, and everyone behind the scenes who helps make it possible for Julian to receive the services that he does, at no cost to us. The enrichment to our lives because of his Therapists and the care that we receive has been incredible. To watch Julian learn and progress, develop new skills and language and meet his goals has been so wonderful. As a first time mom who is on a healing journey of my own, our Boyer providers have met not only Julian but myself with love, compassion and kindness. Julian has made steady and consistent strides and where I used to see him get frustrated and shut down, he is now able to communicate his needs.

What sticks out most to me about Boyer is the family-like values and care they give. Because Julian didn’t have the easiest or most nurturing home life for the first two years, I’ve at times wondered if I’ve done something wrong or failed him in some way. If maybe not leaving sooner could have contributed to the challenges he experiences. Amidst my own guilt and doubts I’ve received loving reassurance and affirming support from the team. His Therapists have met me with grace, compassion and competency. I know for sure that Julian wouldn’t be where he is today without the support from Boyer. My parents are certain that I wouldn’t be where I am today without the Intervention I received from Boyer. We are a second generation Boyer Family, and we feel so grateful and lucky to be able to say so.”

-Leighton
Boyer Alumni & Current Boyer Parent