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Safe haven for special needs children [HD]

Kimber Westphall
Safe haven for special needs children [HD]

“It’s difficult to find people that really care for your child,” said father Roger Brooks.

Roger Brooks is Juliana’s father who is a four year old with rett syndrome, a disorder of the nervous system that leads to developmental reversals, especially with language and hand use.

“We really feel like Our Children’s House is an extension of our family,” said Brooks.

At Our Children’s House at Baylor in Irving Juliana and other kids spend their days with playtime, education and therapy. Our Children’s House is also a beneficiary of Texas Fest.

“The Irving Healthcare Foundation supports several nonprofits here in the area and Our Children’s House has been a part of that for several years,” said Chair of Texas Fest Amanda O’Neal.

Community members and groups recognize the impact Our Children’s House is making and strive to raise funds for the organization.

“The biggest thing about Texas Fest is really the ability to get out, visit, network, and meet with other professionals in Irving,” said O’Neal. “A lot of the medical community tends to be there and people that have the same heart for philanthropy.”

Texas Fest is April 16 at the Irving Convention Center. Along with Our Children’s House several other nonprofits will be beneficiaries of the event.

“Our Children’s House gives us the flexibility to work and get the things we need so she can have the services that she needs,” said Brooks.

Juliana attends therapy sessions six times per week at Our Children’s House.

“I decided to do this profession because I can make a change,” said Special Pathologist Lilianette Rodriguez. “I can help those kids to have a better life.”

Juliana’s parents and therapists have noticed progress in her development.

“We were able to intervene early enough and teach her the skills and coordination that she needed to eat appropriately and use her tongue, teeth and muscles,” said Brooks.

Because of Brooks’ proactive approach to determine their daughter’s diagnosis, Juliana does not require a feeding tube for meals. Mandy females with rett syndrome do.

“Children with special needs need these services in order to live a functional life,” said Brooks. “If they don’t they will literally wilt up and die.”

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Kimber Westphall

This story was reported by: Kimber Westphall (19 Videos)

Kimber Westphall is a journalist with the Midwest gal charm. She grew up in Wichita, Kansas where she honed her journalism skills from an early age, always on a quest for that breaking story. When attending the University of Kansas, Kimber put her design skills to the test, spending many late nights in the newsroom as The Universtiy Daily Kansan’s Design Chief. Kimber was a member of the KUJH-TV news staff, both in front of and behind the camera. She started out as a stage manager and audio operator, eventually being promoted to Host and Web Producer of Jayhawks Sports Talk. Through out her Journalistic endeavors, Kimber completed freelance assignments for The Wichita Business Journal and Splurge! Magazine; both Wichita, KS publications. Then, Kimber was offered an assignment she couldn’t pass up. This assignment involved her passport as she traveled on an international press conference to London, representing Adjourn Magazine, based out of Los Angeles. Kimber now works for an advertising agency in Dallas, TX in the Creative Department. Kimber’s main focus is on designing print and web materials. When she is not hitting hard advertising deadlines, she is teaching fitness classes at LA Fitness. In conjunction with teaching five days a week, Kimber recently completed the Washington D.C. Marathon. Kimber is documenting all her fitness adventures, from flying trapeze lessons to Zumba classes on her column, “Blogging Fitness with Kimberly Westphall” on the site midwestsportsfans.com.


One Response to “Safe haven for special needs children [HD]”

  1. Cameron Says:

    a touching story, Kimber. and you’re becoming a natural in front of the camera! so professional.

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