When Summer was born in July 2016 with brachial plexus, her parents had no idea what to do or think. Lucky for parents Aleisha and Alex, the hospital staff recommended that they contact Northwest Area Education Agency for help.

The brachial plexus is the network of nerves that sends signals from the spinal cord to the shoulder, arm and hand. A brachial plexus injury occurs when these nerves are stretched, compressed, or in the most serious cases, ripped apart or torn away from the spinal cord. Summer’s left arm was kept in a washcloth pinned to her clothes so the the injury didn’t get worse.

Northwest AEA offered the assistance of Sara Klingensmith, early childhood special education consultant; Penny Schlagel, physical therapist; Judy Jansen, occupational therapist; and Judy Turner, nurse. These three employees worked collaboratively to help Summer with finger and wrist movement; learning to crawl, sit up, and walk; and medical needs throughout the process.

Aleisha says her daughter is a “fighter.” With the help of the AEA, her big sister and her parents, Summer is making great progress.

“Summer has grown to do things in a unique way to get what she needs through hard work with the AEA staff,” said Aleisha. “We want to give a big thank you to the AEA for helping Summer. We couldn’t ask for better people helping us at this time!”