Always Amazing: Amira

For nearly three years, Amira Payne has received Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, and Speech Therapy at Capper Foundation where she is building her abilities in a meaningful, joyful play-based environment. Diagnosed with Smith-Magenis syndrome, Amira has medical anomalies including developmental delay, low muscle tone, and scoliosis that changes when and how she meets milestones.

“When we started coming to Capper, Amira was eight months old and all she could do waslie on the floor and suck on her hands. I didn’t know what to expect because we had no idea what it meant to get PT, OT and Speech. Once we did, our fight was to make sure she got the best care she could get.”, shared Peggy Payne, Amira’s mom. A short time later, our team of therapists started an interdisciplinary approach to help Amira gain the strength she needed to start moving her body, communicate effectively, and do self-care tasks.

By April 2022, her therapy team was so pleased with Amira’s progress that they recommended her story be featured at our An Evening for a Child special event. At that time, Amira was using some sign language as well as a device to communicate her wants and needs and starting to take steps using a reverse walker. “I’d sent a scooter home to see what happens when they put her on her belly. This family was so great, they bought a scooter for all their kids and Amira watched her five siblings moving around on their scooters and she got motivated to move and that led us to being able to get her up on her feet. She’s a little fighter and once she figured out she can move, she’s all for It.”, said Kim Coker, Physical Therapist.

Today, Amira continues to make progress. She has gained enough strength and balance to take a few steps at a time without assistance, is working on going up and down stairs, and is progressing towards doing some tasks on her own such as feeding and dressing her upper body. Also, Amira now has a dedicated communication device that she uses more independently in addition to sign language and gestures to express requests, thoughts and make choices.

Many families like Amira’s are grateful to supporters like you who believe that Capper Foundation is a place where miracles happen to help every person have opportunities to reach their full potential and advance their hopes and dreams.

To read the full newsletter in which this story was published, click here.

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