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Nora Laudenbach

Nora Laudenbach: Reaching important milestones through Courage Kenny Kids

Since 2012, Courage Kenny St. Croix continues its strong partnership with the Stillwater Area School District 916, providing pediatric services for youth ages eight and younger at the Early Childhood Family Center (ECFC).

Programming at the ECFC includes Early Childhood and Family Education, Early Childhood Special Education, child care, and Courage Kenny therapy services for children with special needs.

For Nora Laudenbach, Courage Kenny Kids at the ECFC has already made a great impact on her young life and her family.

"Courage Kenny has made a huge difference in our lives because when we first came here, Nora couldn't even sit up on her own at a year old," said Nora's mom, Meg Laudenbach. "And so, little things like that - we've achieved all these milestones."

These milestones for Nora included sitting up for the first time, crawling for the first time, and walking with an assisted walker.

Her dad, Andy, explained part of the success of the model of Courage Kenny Kids: "One of the great things about how they do therapy at Courage Kenny is they really make it into play therapy, so they use toys, and they do activities that Nora has a lot of fun with. And just seeing her achieve all of these milestones, and how fast she's achieving them, it really gives us hope that she's going to keep on this trajectory and keep doing awesome. It's really cool and exciting to watch."

In conjunction with our partners at the ECFC, Courage Kenny has developed opportunities for children to interact with peers through common space programming such as the gymnasium and outdoor playground where activities can take place with peers from the preschool or daycare programs side by side. The indoor play structure (as seen above featuring Nora) provides real life scenarios for youth to address, such as different surfaces and steps that replicate the measurement of a school bus step or a street curb. Not only does this allow kids to do what all kids should do - have fun - but sets them up to reach all of their goals for future success in school and in life.