There is a great reason to get freezn’Imagine the challenges of living with a disability. What if you had a family member or child with a developmental disability? Having a place to turn that offers important services and programs has become life-changing to many residents within our Lebanon County community. We are here to aid, encourage and assist infants, children and adults living with a disability. It’s all about helping our neighbors to overcome obstacles and live a full, enriching and independent life.
Did you know…
- Each year, more than 400 children and adults receive much needed services through the Developmental & Disability Services of Lebanon Valley
- The majority of our programs are free to qualified participants and made possible by the generous contributions acquired through fundraising efforts including our main, yearly event– Cold for a Cause
Meet just two people who will benefit from your willingness to get Cold for a Cause. Their stories will melt your heart!
Lizzie & Ella
I’d like to introduce you to two of our girls – Elizabeth Joy (Lizzie), age 3 and Gabriella Faith (Ella), age 1 ½. They like bubbles, playing outside, water, trampoline, iPad time, music and Dora the Explorer. Lizzie has autism and Ella has developmental delays.
When we were referred to DDS, we had no idea what that meant or the impact it would have on our family. It began with Lizzie, and we started in home services before we even received the official autism diagnosis. Along the way, it was clear that Ella would need services too, and between them both they received PT, OT, Speech and Special Instruction.
When Liz was about a year old, we noticed her lack of progression. She spent most of the day playing alone in her own world. She wouldn’t make eye contact, wouldn’t point, wouldn’t even acknowledge her family, much less strangers. It was heartbreaking. When we received the autism diagnosis, that explained a lot of things, but it didn’t offer much hope for a change. In fact, they told us she might not speak and listed her as “severely autistic.” DDS gave us the tools to prove them all wrong, something Lizzie continues to do day by day! Ella had physical delays early on, and when it became clear that she was falling farther behind, our friends at DDS were quick to arrange the necessary testing and start therapy. A few months ago, Ella didn’t even walk – now she is ALLLLLLL over the place.
DDS has been a life-changer for our family. They have given us the tools and supported us in ways no one else could. They taught us to focus on the journey, not the destination. We are so grateful for the difference they have made in ALL of our lives and we are excited to give back and raise awareness for the program that gave us – and continues to give- SO much. Every day there is a new accomplishment, a new joy in the journey and we are so blessed to have DDS along for the ride.
Hyrum & TJ Fischer,
Parents of Lizzie & Ella