Meet Laila

Three-year-old Laila Busby is a bubbly child who loves to play outside with her family.

“Just being here makes her happy,” said Tamara, Laila’s mother.

Laila was born prematurely at 25 weeks. She spent five months in the NICU, and as a result of being intubated, her left vocal fold is paralyzed.

Last fall, Tamara and Dennis Busby, Laila’s parents, brought her to the Callier Center to receive speech-language therapy in Talking Toddlers, a group program designed to improve communication in young children. Laila is pre-verbal and has an expressive and receptive language delay (delayed use and understanding of verbal language).

Before coming to Callier, Laila received individual speech-language therapy through home health. She began communicating by using sign language and then progressed to making noises.

“The therapist said that she felt Laila would benefit more from group therapy and interaction,” Dennis said, “and that is when she recommended the Callier Center. She said that Callier would get her ready for preschool and help her develop verbally.”

Unfortunately, the Busby’s insurance only covers 12 speech-language therapy sessions per year. To achieve developmental milestones, a child typically needs one to two sessions per week or about 50 to 100 sessions per year. Because Laila was receiving two sessions a week, her insurance was depleted after only six weeks for an entire year.

Thankfully, Laila benefited from the Talking Toddlers program through the generosity of donors.

“It’s a blessing to know that the financial part is covered, so your child can get the assistance they need,” Dennis said. “We thank the donors for the financial aid, and we plan on donating ourselves. We may not be able to donate a lot, but every little bit helps.”

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