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Dawn’s eyes well up with tears when she recalls the moment her daughter Myah unwrapped the shiny white toy car. For the Muskego couple, it was the first time they gave their 6-year-old a gift that didn’t come from a physical therapy catalog.

Born eight weeks early, Myah was diagnosed with Down Syndrome, cortical blindness, and receptive-expressive language disorder. Within a month of being part of the United Way-funded early education program at Vision Forward, a Milwaukee-area nonprofit, Myah’s parents saw a remarkable transformation. In addition to improving her motor skills, Myah has become more social: “Myah didn’t move or talk for three years. Now she picks up her head and says ‘hi!’ to people who pass by!” says Dawn.

Last year, 80% of children who participated in United Way-funded early education programs improved in the development of both social and emotional skills.

As Myah’s parents start planning for her transition into her local school district next year, they can breathe a little easier knowing their daughter is ready for the next step.



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