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A step up: New ACA coverage seen as advance for disability community

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CHATTANOOGA, TN (Times Free Press) - Even the subtlest motions that 5-year-old Jeremiah Williams makes in the therapy room are loaded with importance.

Shifting his weight on a swing. Rolling a beach ball across the floor. Learning to push a small walker. To his therapists at Siskin Hospital for Physical Rehabilitation, each exercise builds a bridge in the little boy’s brain, forging a network of skills that most people take for granted: Balance. Hand-eye coordination. The ability to adjust the weight of his 40-pound body on his feet, so he can take one step — and another.

Jeremiah cannot walk on his own. He is completely deaf, has chronic lung disease. Since birth he has had a developmental delay that doctors are still trying to understand.

He’s been in and out of therapy since he was 3, but just started at Siskin a couple of weeks ago. From physical therapy, he’ll head to occupational therapy to work on tasks like brushing his teeth and dressing himself. From there, he goes to speech therapy to learn sign language.

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