Casto twins are an excellent example of Horizons benefits

Brad and Michelle Casto with their twins, Randy and Courtney in their, at home in front of a saying. The Casto twins were born three months premature. Michelle calls them “my miracle kids.”

Brad and Michelle Casto with their twins, Randy and Courtney in their, at home in front of a saying. The Casto twins were born three months premature. Michelle calls them “my miracle kids.”
RANGELY I When Brad and Michelle Casto were married in 2003, they were happy and carefree, with no one but each other to care for. In February 2005 the couple bought NAPA in Rangely and began planning a family.
For three years they tried to conceive, suffering two miscarriages. The second miscarriage was twins. Twins run in their family history, so when Michelle got pregnant again, they were not surprised to find out that they were expecting twins again. What Brad and Michelle did not expect was their babies arrival three months premature.
At birth twins Courtney and Randy weighed only 2 pounds, 6 ounces and 2 pounds 13 ounces, respectively. Because the twins were not fully developed, they had to learn how to suck, swallow and breathe.
They were diagnosed with patent ductus arteriosus (PDA), a persistent opening between two major blood vessels leading from the heart. The condition causes fluid to build up on the lungs, which can lead to pneumonia or other complications. This congenital heart defect often closes on its own or is readily treatable. Courtney and Randy are still affected by PDA but doctors have assured their parents that it should clear up in the next four years.
In addition to PDA, the twins were at risk for slow development in their motor and speech skills. After spending 75 days in St. Mary’s Hospital, the twins went home with Brad and Michelle who were encouraged by the nurses at St. Mary’s to seek help for early intervention of any future problems.
After bringing the twins home, the Castos heard about Horizons and their Little Points of Light program. Horizons is a support program for families with children who are developmentally disabled or delayed. Horizons, with an office in Meeker, serves five counties in northwest Colorado and is based in Steamboat Springs.
Horizons began working with the Casto twins, sending speech therapists from Meeker or Craig each week to work with the family on Randy’s and Courtney’s speech and motor skills. They were given an adjusted development chart, which ignores the first three months of their lives on the chart. When the twins began walking at a year old, it was the same as a full term child learning to walk at nine months old.
With the help of Horizons and devoted parents, both twins now know sign language and can communicate verbally what they want or need. They are small for their age but have all the skills that one would expect from 2-year-olds.
Michelle says, “They are my miracle kids.”
Courtney has graduated from the program now and Randy is still working with a speech therapist once a week. With their second birthday coming in February, the twins are developmentally where they should be.
Brad said, “Having a great community and friends made a difference and thanks to Horizons and the community we live in.”
Horizons currently serves 16 children in Rio Blanco County in the Early Intervention Program, which is 25 percent of all the children served in Horizons’ five county area, double the number served last year. Horizons’ state contract was cut by more than 50 percent for 2011.