Meet the Kids – Maddison!

Meet the Kids – Maddison!

 

Maddison is a lovely 8-year-old who has two siblings with severe autism. Maddison herself has been having difficulty in school and home with social skills and learning. Maddison has been diagnosed with ADHD, severe anxiety, failure to thrive, and reading impairment. She has medication, but her anxiety prevents her from willingly taking it, so it’s always a struggle..Maddison is a spunky sassy girl who loves being girly, but also loves sports and Pokemon. Maddison loves ice skating, watching sports, drawing and swinging outside and in the playroom to get the sensory regulations she needs. She loves to color with smelly crayons and markers even drawing her own scenes. The family’s favorite activity together is going to the Variety playground which allows mom to let all three kids simply themselves with the safety of the fence. 

Maddison loves school but comes home crying because other kids bully her do to her learning disabilities and language disorder. She tries her best, but her grades are falling and mom is pushing the school to provide everything Maddison is entitled to. Unfortunately those services are delayed while waiting for another IEP meeting. Maddison uses a touch screen laptop at school and has difficulty transitioning to a PC computer with mouse for her homework.This transition causes her anxiety to flair up and leads to meltdowns and incomplete school work. A tablet of her own would allow her to practice more at home with text to speech and speech to text, allowing her to complete her learning websites provided by the school. She was making great progress with one program, but that program alone costs $155 each year. Every cent counts when a family is raising three kids with special needs!

An  iPad will allow her to have something to help her with her anxiety when out in the community. It would provide a communication safety net for those times that she is overwhelmed.  She has tried these programs before and it has helped her in the classroom and home. Because she has been diagnosed with failure to thrive, Maddison has a feeding tube. Her anxiety makes tube feedings very difficult and an iPad would provide a great distraction during feedings. 

Maddison’s anxiety causes her to chew anything she has access to –  she has chewed car doors after leaving the doctors, chewed her sleeves during school and on the bus. The noise canceling headphones would allow her to self regulate in the classroom, bus and home community setting. Finally, a car harness would help with anxiety and impulse control in the car – currently she gets out of her seat belt and distracts the driver. 

These items would improve Maddison’s education and life so much allowing mom to work more with her to get her to be able to read at grade level instead of kindergarten level with peer classmates are reading at 3rd grade levels, allowing her to have confidence to no be bullied for her disorders we deal with extreme bullying daily with her. The iPad headphones and car harness will provide her a safety net for her anxiety out in the community. 

These aids would be life changing for Maddison, helping her advance in school and gain confidence. 

Can you help this family who is challenged with so many extra costs while raising three kids with special needs?  Please donate today at varietykc.org/donate/

Thanks for joining our #inclusionrevolution!

 

Meet Isaiah

Meet Isaiah

Isaiah has so much energy, but that’s one of the challenges of Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, a condition that can be carried by females, but presents in males. Before boys with DMD lose ambulation, they are challenged with a loss of energy, walking long distances, and staying upright.. Over the course of the day at school or at home with our family, Isaiah wears down physically and mentally. Many families get scooters to assist in this phase, but they are hard to drive for an 8 year-old and they also lead to posture and form difficulties. A piece of equipment called SmartDrive is a vast improvement over the scooter because it encourages good positive posture, allows Isaiah independence, and by reducing the amount of walking – helps him save him energy during the day. of a lot of walking. This means more quality time with friends, family, and at school!

Help other kids like Isaiah to get the equipment they need for a more active and inclusive life. Give today at VarietyKC.org/donate.  Thank you!!,

Meet Nathaniel

Meet Nathaniel

Meet Nate, a young man with a lot to offer. Nate has been diagnosed with
Autism, Down Syndrome, intellectual disability, and hypothyroidism. He has minimal, purposeful verbal communication. However, Nate knows many words, it’s just that due to his disability, he is not able to put words together meaningfully (semantics). This has impacted his ability to participate in community activities and form social relationships with peers. He has not been able to participate in the Down Syndrome Guild STARS activities because he needs support to assist him with communicating and when he does not have the language/communication skills to initiate social interactions, then he ends up just “observing” the activities and peers around him. With this device, along with Nate’s continued therapy support, we believe he can become a participant in social opportunities around him.

Variety KC partners understand the importance of communication and the role it plays in inclusion, and Nate received the device he needed.  Please help us make it possible for all kids to communicate to the best of their ability. Give today at varietykc.org.

Thank you!

Coming soon – the first ever pop-up school “cafe” via harness system

Coming soon – the first ever pop-up school “cafe” via harness system

Coming up this December, and FOR THE FIRST TIME EVER, we’re opening the Liberty Cafe at Discovery Middle School. This pop-up style cafe offers a chance for students to practice job skills (serving Roasterie coffee) and get therapy at the same time.

Students move out of their wheelchairs and are situated in the upright portable harness system. This allows them to interact with “customers” at eye-level and experience the world from a different perspective. Our therapists point out it also is beneficial in strengthen muscle groups and for circulation.

Building strength, skills, and confidence!   Variety KC’s sponsors and generous supporters have made this possible for the first time ever, in any school!

Meet the Kids: Boston!

Meet the Kids: Boston!

Boston was diagnosed with autism and has not used any words for communication. His ABA Therapist has been working with him using the Touchchat app on her iPad and he is responding really well to it!

His parents have tried using pictures to help him communicate at home, but is just isn’t working as well as Touchchat and they simply can’t afford a device at this time. Their hope is that he continues to understand the pictures on the app and can translate that understanding into speech. The beauty of Touchchat is, even when speech begins to develop, the app is beneficial in adding new words.

All they really want is to know what Boston wants and needs!

Variety KC partners believe every child should have a voice and a way to be heard. Boston received his device, but there are so many more kiddos who need them. Can you help?  Donate today at varietykc.org/donate/

Thank you! Mascot

Meet the Kids- Noah!

Meet the Kids- Noah!

Noah is a young boy with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). ASD refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech and nonverbal communication. According to the Centers for Disease Control, autism affects an estimated 1 in 59 children in the United States today.

Noah is non-verbal and has a busy schedule. Noah splits time between mom’s house, dad’s house and daycare… as well as extended family members houses who help with childcare. At school, Picture Exchange has proven to work for him, but it is extremely hard to manage and keep the hundreds of pictures organized and together between location transfers. A communication device would be ideal for Noah to express his wants and needs. 

Despite both parents working,(they are raising 4 children, one with special needs), and it’s difficult to find the extra dollars for a communication device such as an iPad with Touchchat. 

Variety KC partners believe that every child deserves a voice, a way to communicate and alleviate the frustration of not making their needs, wants, and thoughts known. Noah is getting is device, but there are so many more who need them. Please help us give every child a voice – donate today at VarietyKC.org/donate/

Thank you!