Helping Children Reach Milestones Through Early Invervention


“Thanks to the Bright Beginning Early Intervention Program
and the hard work of her parents, Clare Edwards is a happy toddler.”



Everything fascinates Clare Edwards. She closely studies the faces and expressions of everyone around her. This skill, mastered from months of therapy in the Bright Beginning Early Intervention program, has helped Clare learn important things about her world in spite of being born deaf.

Clare Edwards - Barber National Institute

When Clare was nearly two months old, she began the Bright Beginning Early Intervention program, where she worked on making eye contact and developing her other senses. This early therapy helped her learn so that she stayed on target to reach key developmental milestones. Then, when Clare was eight months old, she received cochlear implants at Pittsburgh Children’s Hospital. The next day, with bandages wrapped around her entire head, she returned to her home in Erie.

The family continues to work with her audiologist and speech therapist to ensure that Clare is learning all that she can with all of her senses. “It has been amazing,” said Jon Edwards, Clare’s father. A month after surgery, Clare’s implants were turned on, and, gradually, her parents said they saw “baby steps” as Clare began turning her head toward sounds and responding when her name was called. Now, Clare loves hearing music boxes and musical toys, and listening to her father play the guitar. She comes when her name is called, and is babbling and saying her first words.

“When we first started we did not know what to expect. But we feel like we’ve hit the jackpot, everything has been so first rate.”