“Our family was out of control. My youngest two boys had developmental and behavioral needs. My oldest two were fighting and screaming constantly. My relationship with my husband was ending. That’s when we got help.” – Ilse, Any Baby Can client
It’s an intimate experience to welcome someone into your home. In this closeness, you begin to understand where someone is coming from and what the family may be facing. This was true when Megan Dreyer, an Early Childhood Intervention Case Manager and Early Intervention Specialist, walked into this particular home.
Megan had been called to do an evaluation of the family’s youngest son, who at the time was experiencing delays in his gross motor development. When she came to the home, it became apparent that there were other issues at play.
“Out of control” are the words that Any Baby Can client Ilse used to describe the home that she shares with her husband and their four boys, ages 2 to 10 years old. Stressors were creating a difficult family environment. The kids’ fighting had a ripple effect, with one mimicking the other. Tension between Ilse and her husband was at a breaking point. Finances were tight and unstable.
The two oldest sons were fighting and having issues with discipline. Ilse and her husband’s relationship was broken. They weren’t communicating and there was a lot of anger toward each other and toward the children.
“We need to nip this in the bud,” said Megan. In addition to working on the youngest son’s developmental delays, his brother began receiving behavioral and speech therapies. To address underlying family dynamics, the two oldest boys, Ilse and her husband all received in-home counseling services through Any Baby Can’s No Estás Solo (NES) program.
When Ilse’s husband lost his job and Ilse couldn’t pick up more shifts at her work to cover their expenses, Any Baby Can was able to secure utility assistance and stabilize their housing through our Family Support Services program. Any Baby Can was there to support the entire family every step of the way.
Motivated to Provide a Childhood Different Than Their Own
Ilse gets emotional when she talks about her own upbringing and the tattered relationship with her mother. Her husband had a troubled childhood as well. He was hit by a car and hospitalized several times, undergoing multiple surgeries. His father was incarcerated and his mother passed away when he was still young. By all statistics, this family should be in shambles. But instead, these wonderful parents wanted something different for their children.
Ilse and her husband are eager to support their kids’ developmental, behavioral and emotional needs. They are motivated to learn, adapt, and do better. “They’re the type of parents where if you gave them a suggestion, they follow through. They did the work,” adds Megan.
In addition to all of the support they received through Any Baby Can’s in-home services, Ilse attended a parenting class offered through Any Baby Can’s Family Education Program. “I was really thinking maybe I didn’t need this, but I went and he [Mr. D, one of Any Baby Can’s teachers] said every single thing I needed hear.”
“My sons’ development improved. All our relationships improved. We had to put in a lot of work ourselves, but we saw a huge change in our family. I feel like we have what we need for the future.”
Empowering All Parents
Over the course of one year, Any Baby Can supported Ilse and her family through incredibly difficult circumstances. We worked together to turn around a family’s trajectory.
“It’s really amazing what you can do if you try. As parents, we have to put in work if we want things to change.”
This is one family’s story. More than 3,000 clients receive Any Baby Can’s services each year.And we believe every single parent should feel supported, valued and empowered to give their children the best chance at a bright future.
Any Baby Can empowers parents by giving them skills, confidence and resources when they need it most, including comprehensive services that range from healthcare and education to emotional support and basic needs.
Make a difference in the future of a child and family by donating to Any Baby Can.
“The vibe in our house is more peaceful. Thanks to Any Baby Can, I feel like we have what we need for our future.They changed our lives.”