Rowyn was born October 22, 2007. After a typical and healthy 39 week pregnancy with routine office visits, no one in the delivery room expected a brand new baby that was only 16 inches long and weighed 4lbs. 16oz. She didn’t cry at first. She didn’t want to eat and had trouble regulating her own body temperature. Rowyn continues to surprise, shock, puzzle, and awe professionals in the medical field. She’s also got an amazing gift for drawing in the attention of friends, family and even total strangers.
As months passed, Rowyn missed developmental milestones such as eating, crawling, walking, and talking. At 6 months old, Rowyn began attending programs for children with developmental disabilities. She received speech therapy (for feeding issues), physical therapy, and occupational therapy both with the Portage County Board of DD and independently thru The Cleveland Clinic, Kent State University, and Akron Children’s Hospital. She has been to various specialist at three of the major hospitals in the Cleveland/Akron area since she was 2 weeks old. Rowyn’s status is thought to be genetic but today is still undiagnosed for any known syndrome or condition. No one has ever been able to estimate a prognosis for Rowyn’s future. When her physical therapist was asked if Rowyn would ever be able to walk, her response was “My crystal ball is cloudy.”
Rowyn was blessed with her own little 24/7 peer when her sister Hollie was born in 2012.
Rowyn began kindergarten in the fall of 2013 at Waterloo Local Schools in a classroom for children with special needs. She also attends inclusive programs and classes with her typical peers. Since being included with her peers and growing alongside her younger sister, she now eats a small portion of a regular diet, walks (can run actually) with a posterior walker, can get dressed with help, is potty trained, can communicate with an augmentative communication device and adds new words to her verbal vocabulary DAILY and most recently is working with her physical therapist to walk with arm crutches. She has an incredible sense of humor.
She loves to go to the playground with Hollie, but the only activity Rowyn can participate in at most area playgrounds is the swing, if it’s not too high off the ground. She doesn’t really understand safety and cannot anticipate danger. Rowyn is very interested in watching other kids, doing the things they do and making new friends. Interaction with both typical children and adults has taught and motivated Rowyn to make great strides in both mental, educational, and physical tasks. An all-inclusive playground will not only allow children with disabilities an opportunity for quality play and learning time with peers, it will also help typical children learn about the abilities that not so typical children possess.