The occupational therapist helping Misty after Layla was born happened to be a former Pathfinder Services employee, and she suggested Misty and Layla might benefit from programs at Kids Kampus, the child-care division of Pathfinder Services.
“Pathfinder Services is great,” Misty said. “I tell everybody. Their community services do a lot for adults, and kids benefit, too, at Kids Kampus. Layla likes it there.”
Misty was already familiar with Kids Kampus, as her son, Jeremiah, attended preschool there. Both he and older sister, Chloe, participated in school-age daycare programs whenever school was delayed or canceled because of bad weather. Kids Kampus proved to be the perfect place for Layla, too.
“I put her in a play group at Kids Kampus when she was three years old,” Misty said. “She went to preschool there, and now she’s at Kids Kampus before and after school. She’s in a group of school children of all ages, up to fifth grade; that includes those with disabilities and without.”
A thriving, talkative eight-year-old, Layla is popular with all the Kids Kampus teachers. She loves movies and enjoys reciting movie dialogue, acting out scenes and singing.
“Layla has someone with her all the time to provide assistance as needed, so she gets one-on-one care in a group setting,” Misty said. “In the summer, she’s there more, so she has even more fun then.”
In the summer, the children are taken on field trips, such as going to movies and the Splash Park in Huntington. “Kids Kampus also has a great playground for the kids,” Misty said. “Usually on Fridays they have ‘water day.’ They fill buckets, get wet with the hoses and just have a good time. I never worry.”
Always confident that Layla is well cared for at Kids Kampus, Misty says, “From the beginning, they accepted Layla and made her feel part of the family. When we walk in, they all know us and say hi. It’s a very welcoming place. You never feel scared for your child there. I’m very protective of Layla, but I never worry. They’re always great with her.”
Misty, who once worked in a group home with special-needs adults, later worked at Kids Kampus after Layla was born. Today, she does volunteer work for Pathfinder Services, taking a special needs adult with her to church every Sunday.
While all of her family’s experience with Pathfinder Services has been positive, one memory stands out for Misty. She says, “It was really neat to see Layla on stage with her peers when she graduated from preschool. To see her dancing and singing, with her little cap and gown on, was very heartwarming. They’ve never looked at her as being different.”