Success Stories

“I called Help Me Grow Florida because my four-year-old son, Oliver was having behavioral problems at school. His teachers complained that he was biting and hitting other children. At home, I also noticed that loud noises seemed to bother him a lot. HMGF conducted a free developmental screening and helped me understand the results. They referred Oliver to his school’s inclusion specialist who provided support to his teachers and our family. HMGF also referred Oliver to an occupational therapist to work on sensory integration. Before calling HMGF, I had no idea how to address Oliver’s behavior but now I have the right tools to help him succeed.”

“When my baby Mia started to lose weight because she struggled to eat, I knew it was time to ask for help. Help Me Grow Florida referred Mia to a pediatric feeding and swallowing program. The HMGF Care Coordinator patiently explained how feeding therapy could work hand-in-hand with Mia’s pediatrician to get her eating and weight back on track. Without HMGF, I would never have known feeding therapy existed or been connected to services.”

“When I called Help Me Grow Florida, our family was going through a really rough time. My daughter had been incarcerated, so I became the full-time caregiver for my three-year-old grandson, Julio. I was also experiencing financial problems due to a death in the family. The HMGF Care Coordinator referred us to a family stabilization unit that assisted with food, clothing, hygiene products, and Julio’s birthday gifts. The Care Coordinator also offered a free developmental screening to Julio, and it indicated a concern with his speech development. Thanks to HMGF, Julio started receiving services through FDLRS Child Find a month later. HMGF brought peace of mind to our whole family during one of the most stressful periods of our lives.”

“Thinking about Help Me Grow Florida brings tears to my eyes. I was in a very dark place when I first called 2-1-1 for help. I was homeless and about to have a baby. When I spoke to the HMGF Care Coordinator, she immediately started trying to identify resources that might be able to assist me. After we talked, I felt encouraged to find work and reach out to my family. The Care Coordinator became like a life coach, always checking on me to see how I was faring. When my daughter was born prematurely at 24 weeks and weighing only one pound, my depression was at its worst. I was terrified that my baby, Isabella (Izzie) wasn’t going to make it and I blamed myself. The Care Coordinator was like an angel, always calling at times when I just wanted to run away. She assured me that when Izzie came home from the hospital she would do everything she could to assist us. And she did. She found a medical day care so I could continue to work. She referred Izzie to Early Steps for physical therapy. When I had a setback and couldn’t afford diapers she referred me to an agency that provided them. HMGF never treated me like a “nobody” who was just asking for handouts. I was treated like a woman whose circumstances weren’t the best but who was still trying. I was educated, listened to, and empowered. Often, agencies focus on children and the mothers are forgotten, but that was not the case with HMGF. Life isn’t easy, but with HMGF I know there’s always someone who has my back.”

“I’ve always thought my son David was perfect, so I was shocked when his pediatrician referred him to Help Me Grow Florida for a free, developmental screening. I was so sure that David was fine that I declined the free screening. The HMGF Care Coordinator called back every few weeks to gently ask if I had changed my mind about a screening and patiently offer assistance with any other basic needs. After several conversations with the Care Coordinator, I realized that I’d want to know if there was a concern and finally agreed to have David screened. In the end, the screening did indicate a concern and David was referred to school-based services. Today he is thriving. I’m so grateful that the Care Coordinator was persistent and kept following-up with our family.”