LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — At 2-years-old, little Matthew is as playful as he is adorable.
And he’s also a very sweet child.
“You want a hug from mom?” his mother says before giving him a big hug.
Matthew’s mom tells CBS2/KCAL9 reporter Lesley Marin that playing didn’t always come easy for Matthew.
“He wasn’t talking like he would [usually needs] to talk at his age,” says mother Maria Vargas.
She noticed that Matthew has a hard time speaking and walking. At a year old, she says he also showed some aggressive behaviors.
She took him to the doctor where Matthew was diagnosed with developmental delay.
“It’s pretty hard knowing your kid has a disability,” Vargas says, “but it’s also a relief because he’s getting help.”
That help came in the form of California Mentor’ s Creative Home Program.
Once a week, early intervention specialist Natanya Brassell works with Matthew inside his home.
“We’re still working on all areas of development of a child so that includes motor development,” says Johana Caicedo, the program’s director, “cognitive development, it includes speech, social and emotional development.”
Caicedo says that right now, Creative Home Program serves more than 800 toddlers up until 3-years-old that may be impacted by developmental disabilities including autism.
The service comes free of charge to the family.
Aside from their early intervention program, California Mentor’s also has programs for teens and adults.
They are just one of dozens of organizations that will be in attendance on Stephanie’s Day.
“We look forward to Stephanie’s day every year,” says Caicedo .
This Saturday, CBS2/KCAL9 will host the 9th annual Stephanie’s Day on the Radford Studios lot.
It’s programs like Creative Homes that have helped little boys and girls like Matthew continue to grow.