Helen Farabee Takes Over ECI Program

WICHITA FALLS - Helen Farabee Centers hope to continue to help change the lives of children with developmental delays.

The nonprofit took over the Early Childhood Intervention, or ECI, program after the North Texas Rehab Center decided not to offer the program due to Medicaid cuts.

Since the program started 30 years ago, ECI has helped over 800,000 Texas families.

"Obviously, when a child is born into a family it's a challenge to have a new baby in the home," said ECI Program Director Charlcie Flinn. "But when you have a new baby that comes into your home who may be hooked up to wires and tubes and maybe isn't eating well, may not be sleeping well, may not be doing anything very well. That is almost a crisis situation for families."

And that's why Flinn said the Helen Farabee Centers saw the need to pick up the ECI program.

"I think what really sparked me was the fact that there wasn't a another entity within Wichita Falls and the surrounding areas that was willing to pick up that service and that contract for early childhood intervention services," said Helen Farabee Centers Director Roddy Atkins.

The program offers services for children who struggle with issues that put them at risk for developmental delays.

"It's been a wonderful experience to hear from families and community members who've benefited," said Atkins.

Flinn was the director of the ECI program at North Texas Rehab as well, and says it brings her new team great joy to see families continue to make progress.

"When you see a mom have success with her child, when she wasn't having success even getting her kiddo to follow a simple instruction," said Flinn. "But when you see that she's able to do that and have and how excited she can get, that's just pretty neat. And it really does keep us going, it feeds our souls."

Atkins said small milestones can make a big difference, down the road.

"The earlier that you can intervene in a developmental delay with a child, ultimately  impacts what their future is going to look like," Atkins said. "Avoiding a much greater cost, and not just dollar cost, but cost emotionally, to families, to the community just in general."

Atkins said early intervention pays off, especially for families who wouldn't even be able to enroll their children in this type of program, without access to the ECI now offered right here at the Helen Farabee Centers.

For more information on the ECI program at Helen Farabee, click here.


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