Not quite 2 years old, Madilynn Burton has a way with people and has yet to meet anyone who can resist her smile. Everyone at her doctor’s office adores her, and she always makes sure to say hi to everyone she sees. Madilynn Burton is unforgettable.
She’s also a favorite among the Riverside Early Intervention (EI) team. In fact, Riverside Developmental Specialist Kaye Sholtis jokes that she and her co-workers often “fight” over who gets to work with her. But it’s not just Madilynn who attracts people, it’s also her pillars: mom Kira and dad Cody.
From the beginning, the Burton family has done whatever was needed to support each other and families like them.
"My hope for her in general is to be her best self and live her best life. Just for her to be happy." - mom Kira
When Kira was 20-months pregnant, doctors discovered Madilynn had a smaller nasal bone and heart problems they wanted to investigate. Without more information from doctors, Kira and Cody researched on their own and discovered Madilynn likely had Down syndrome.
Kira immediately sought families whose children have Down syndrome and connected with the Miami Valley Down Syndrome Association (MVDSA), as well as joined several social media support groups, including the Down Syndrome Diagnosis Network (DSDN).
Madilynn was born prematurely shortly after and required open heart surgery at just 5-months-old. The recovery process was mentally, physically and emotionally exhausting, but eventually Madilynn made a solid recovery.
Around that time, Madilynn’s doctor referred the family to Riverside EI. With their support, Kira and Cody learned ways to support Madilynn and empower her to live a fulfilled life. Kira shares, “EI has helped me be able to help her.”
"I just think she's perfect." - mom Kira
Now a rambunctious toddler with a personality and attitude all her own, Madilynn is becoming more independent each day. Her days are filled with playing with her buddy, her dad, watching her favorite TV show, “Word Party,” and now spending time with a new baby brother.
Kira admits there have been struggles and there will be more, but she wouldn’t change a thing. She shares, “I love being her mom. She’s just such a joy and makes it so rewarding.” Kira also tells other families in similar situations, “Your child won’t be any different than any other child. Your child will love you just like any other kid. There’s going to be struggles, but in the end, it’ll be okay.”
Fun facts about Madilynn:
Favorite foods - Blueberries, chicken nuggets and flavored water
Favorite things to do - Watch "Word Party" TV show, play with dad Cody
Favorite toys - Pink & purple ball, robot toy and yellow ball
Biggest accomplishment - Standing independently in the middle of the room