Meet Vilay Ortega, a regional manager from our early intervention program

Wayfinder’s early intervention program provides home visits to children with vision loss or multiple disabilities. During the current COVID-19 crisis, specialists are providing virtual visits statewide via the web or through phone calls.

How do you bring Wayfinder Family Services’ mission to life?

You don’t work only with the child in early intervention. It is challenging for parents to have a child with a disability. I see the parents’ hurt and pain. I am there to bridge the gap and see if they are okay. They need to know someone cares. When I go to a home, I comfort the family and support them.

What does being a Wayfinder mean to you?

I help families put the pieces of a puzzle together. I help them learn how to support their child’s development.

Can you share one of your favorite Wayfinder moments?

I love seeing the children who I worked with come to Wayfinder’s annual holiday event. They still look for me. They ask, “Is that Vilay?” It’s so encouraging to see they are doing okay.

How have you been providing early intervention services remotely during the pandemic?

I’ve been really busy finding resources for families. On video calls, it’s best if I break a two-hour session into separate half-hour sessions. Developing social interaction skills is working well on video calls. A girl who was born four months early turned 2 years old during the stay-at-home order. On her birthday, we did activities like “head, shoulders, knees and toes” on a video call so she can learn body awareness—how her brain and body parts are connected. I talk with parents about family health and their fears. One mom said to me, “I really appreciate you are checking in on us. I don’t know what I would do if I didn’t connect with you.”

July 20, 2020