Support for Developmental Disability

Southwest Key Programs / Immigrant Stories  / Support for Developmental Disability
Ana success story

Each month, hundreds of children from some of the world’s most dangerous and impoverished countries find their way to the immigrant youth shelters of Southwest Key Programs. They carry with them incredible stories of resilience, courage, and hope. While their stay with us is temporary, their stories leave lasting impressions. Some of their stories are shared below, changing names to protect their identity, so you may read about the life-changing services they are provided during their stay at Southwest Key.

Ana is a 15-year-old girl from El Salvador who was placed at Casa Campbell in Phoenix with her siblings. At intake Ana was unable to have a coherent conversation with others. She was unable to write her name or identify letters or numbers. This is because Ana has a developmental disability.

In El Salvador, she received a year of Special Education, but when Ana was fourteen, her mother was murdered in front of her. She eventually fled for the U.S. with her siblings and they made their way to Southwest Key.

Shortly after Ana arrived at Southwest Key Casa Campbell, the education, clinical and case management departments gave her a comprehensive assessment. She received a psychological evaluation, speech and occupational therapy evaluations, and Special Needs Education through a partnership Southwest Key has with the local public school district.

Soon, Ana was identifying letters, writing her name, and reading short words. She also attended speech therapy bi-weekly and began the process for occupational therapy.

Soon, Ana was identifying letters, writing her name, and reading short words. She also attended speech therapy bi-weekly and began the process for occupational therapy. With the help of a Southwest Key clinician, Ana identified her trauma and, based on the results of the psychological evaluation, she became eligible to receive psychological therapy at a later date, when she is ready.

Ana and her siblings were able to be placed with a family who will support her in attending school with an Individualized Education Program (IEP) and attending speech therapy, occupational therapy, and eventually, psychological therapy.