Help for Horizons | CraigDailyPress.com

Help for Horizons

Erin Fenner

Horizons Specialized Services is asking Moffat County for help.

The nonprofit provides much-needed aid and services to people with developmental disabilities. They try to cut costs for individuals and families, but they can only do that with help from grants, state money and help from the communities they support.

Horizons launched their annual Little Points of Light campaign by sending out requests for donations Dec. 1. The campaign will end Jan. 15.

All of the funds from the campaign go straight toward Horizons' early intervention and family support programs.

"The money is going directly to families," said Susan Mizen, director of Horizons.

These programs provide services to families who otherwise may not be able to afford them. The early intervention program sends physical therapists to families with infants who are up against developmental delays and need a little extra help learning how to sit up, crawl, walk and meet other typical mile markers.

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The family support program helps provide financial assistance to families who face extra costs for their child with extra needs. It helps with transportation, co-pays for mediations and special child care, Mizen said.

Brandi Shipman is a mother who said she benefited from Horizons' early intervention program. Her 8-month-old daughter’s, Kyra Rose, muscles didn't develop normally, so the infant needs a physical therapist to learn basic skills.

"She uses more muscles in her back than in her front," Shipman said. "She's had a hard time doing the normal things that babies would do in their development."

But Shipman has been ecstatic to see improvement in her daughter's development since a physical therapist, provided by Horizons, has been making weekly visits.

"Their program is wonderful. I'm so grateful that that's in place," she said.

Horizons didn't have to turn down one family in need in 2013, Mizen said.

"Between our (state) contract, this fundraiser and the grants, we were able to fund every request we received last year," she said.

As of now, Horizons is supporting 14 families in the early intervention program and about 25 in the family support program, Mizen said. But she noted that Horizons has helped roughly 25 families in 2013 in the early intervention program.

Jodi Glaisher, occupational therapist in the early intervention program, helps families in Routt, Moffat and Rio Blanco counties.

"What I do varies with as many families as I see. There's no two sessions that look alike," she said. "I basically teach families the activities they can integrate into their daily routines in playing with their children that will help them with the things they need help with."

Horizons needs extra monies from the community to help with expenses, among other things, Glaisher said.

"I travel long distances and we are not paid for our mileage. The cost of seeing families in those outlying areas is not reimbursed," she said.

Glaisher is proud of the work she does and excited to see the progress her clients make.

"I was in Moffat County yesterday, and I ran into a mom and her son who is now four. When we first started with this little guy, he wasn't moving at all, showed no interest in moving," she said. "He's now skiing on his own and they had a little preschool recital and his voice was the loudest."

Shipman didn't have to pay a dime for her daughter's physical therapy. Horizons made sure she had the service. For a mom with limited income, this was profound help.

"Horizons is a wonderful program that brings people like me assistance that is needed. So donations from the community would be a wonderful thing to receive so the program can stay strong," she said.

Contact Erin Fenner at 970-875-1794 or efenner@CraigDailyPress.com.