Hailey Jo Sullivan
Hailey Jo Sullivan is the daughter of Thomas and Dawn. Dawn (Riekert) Sullivan is a 1982 graduate of New Hyde Park Memorial High School.
On September 14, 2000, our perfect little girl, Hailey changed our lives. Hailey came into the world with so much pride and admiration. She accomplished all the usual milestones that most infants do, the cooing and smiling, to crawling and eager to walk. She was even speaking very early with words and phrases like, "Hi Mommy, ba-ba and Da-Da" at 5 months old. Then right before her first birthday, Hailey stopped talking. Her first birthday was so memorable. After all of her guests left her party, Hailey finally did "it", she walked across the room.
When we reached the first year mark, things began to change. It was then that the focus turned back to Hailey's lack of speech. The pediatrician still assured us that Hailey was fine. We weren't comfortable with that. We knew our daughter best and went with our instincts. We knew we had to be her advocate and immediately took her to see a neurologist, a psychiatrist, and early intervention. At that time, Hailey was eighteen months old and diagnosed with Autism.
Then our work had to begin. With both of us working full time, we managed to arrange our schedules so that Hailey could begin her intense therapy with teachers, O.T., P.T., speech, and ABA training. Our home soon became a revolving door of wonderful people who encouraged growth and development for Hailey. From the ages of three to nine, Hailey attended "Little Village School" where she learned to communicate with an Augmentive Device.
This school year, Hailey attends "Brookville Center for Childrens Services" where she is speaking more and using her device a little less. She's learning math, she's learning to write sentences and reading with help. Her developmental skills vary from six months to six years of age. Hailey loves to learn. At times it may take her a little longer to learn and remember things like setting the table and making her bed. This is where the help of her device is strongly needed.
Hailey continues to receive home services after a full day of school. Her days can sometimes be as long as ten hours of learning. Hailey is slowly progressing because of all these services that she receives.
Hailey is the most amazing, loving child you'll ever want to meet. A hug from Hailey is all you need to know how much she truly appreciates all that is being done for her.
We want to thank all of you for so generously giving of yourselves by attending this Annual Gladiator Fund Dinner Dance to benefit Hailey. Thank you graciously to the Gladiator Fund for choosing Hailey as this year’s recipient.