Published On: December 5, 2022

Harrison’s family knows him as a kind, loving child who is very social; they never know what he is going to say or do next. Harrison’s mom Amy describes her pregnancy with Harrison as typical, but once he arrived, a heart murmur was detected. This lead to open heart surgery along with some other medical issues; eventually Harrison was diagnosed with Williams syndrome, a genetic condition that is present at birth and characterized by medical problems, including cardiovascular disease, developmental delays and learning challenges.

At around 6 months, the family knew that early intervention services were critical for his development and started with physical therapy and occupational therapy. Speech-language services began later.

Williams syndrome is rare and we learned to take it all one day at a time because the range of ability with Williams kids is so broad. We realized we couldn’t control outcomes, but we could provide Harrison resources to advance, said mom Amy.

When Harrison aged out of early intervention services at 3, his family wanted to continue his therapy appointments at Easterseals Crossroads. Now 8 years old, he is working on occupational therapy skills that include buttoning, zipping, tying and holding a pencil to write. He continues to work on conversation, chewing and swallowing with his speech-language pathologist.

“It was a game changer for me when I could see that Williams syndrome did not have to define Harrison; he is Harrison first and everything else comes second to that. He can still do what he wants to do; it just may be a little harder. This does not have to define who he is for his life,” said Amy.

Learn more about Harrison’s early intervention services by watching the video below.