Meet the Kids – Franklin!


Franklin’s mom shares the first three years of her sweet son’s life:

“My kind affectionate son had an interesting first two years of life. Just a few months old, he was diagnosed with Cutaneous Mastocytosis a rare skin disease with clusters of allergy cells on the surface of his skin. He has approximately 20 clusters. Around 6 months of age we began to introduce foods starting with baby cereal, and he threw up until it was blood. He was then diagnosed with FPIES and had to be on a grain free diet. By 16 months he was receiving MO First Steps speech therapy, occupational therapy, and feeding therapy. At 26 months old, MO First Steps began providing ABA therapy. Franklin finally began to make progress in therapy and our incredible ABA provider recommended Ability KC for an ACC device fitting. My son understands direction and attempts to communicate through nonverbal cues, screeching, minimal sign language, and has less then 10 unprompted words. A communication device with the program touch chat would be giving a voice to my son. This would empower him to ask for what he wants, to consent to activities, to tell us what hurts when he is in pain, and to simply tell us what’s on his mind. In November, my son turns three and will start special education preschool and a device now would assist in his learning at school.”

It’s hard to imagine all that Franklin’s family has gone through in just three years, and what incredible gains!  Variety KC donors know just how important the proper tools are in helping kids to keep moving forward and Franklin is getting his device and apps. There are so many young kids who would benefit from their own communication device, you can help Variety KC give them a voice – donate today at  Thank you!

2020 Hy-Vee Golf Tournament Canceled

2020 Hy-Vee Golf Tournament Canceled

Hy-Vee Golf Tournament at Shoal Creek Golf Course is Canceled due to COVID-19 Safety Precautions

We are sorry to announce the Hy-Vee Golf Scramble for Variety KC will not take place next month.

Variety applauds Hy-Vee for making the health of our golfers and volunteers the most important factor in this decision! You truly are community leaders.

We are grateful for some of the generous participants who were able to donate their sponsorships and auction items even upon hearing the event was canceled. You were in it for the right reasons – playing for the kids!

COVID-19 has impacted so many people and organizations. We lost our biggest fundraiser (The Variety Show) in April. This golf tournament is our second largest fundraiser. Once again, we find ourselves asking our individual donors and partners for help. Our list of children needing help has grown during this challenging time, while our potential for funding has fallen.

If you are financially able to help us achieve our mission to help KC Kids, it would be so appreciated. Donations can be made HERE.

We leave you with this quote from Bobby Jones – “Golf is the closest game to the game we call life. You get bad breaks from good shots, you get good breaks from bad shots – but you have to play the ball where it lies.”

That’s exactly what we will do – continue to do whatever we can to make sure all area kids have the chance to Be Active, Be Social, Be Safe, and Belong.

Stay well and be safe!

Meet the Kids – Wil (Wilson)!

Meet the Kids – Wil (Wilson)!

Wilson “Wil” was born in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, in the village of Garapan. He was adopted in 2013 and his mother, Kim, moved with him to Kansas in 2018 to be closer to her family. (Welcome to KC Wil!) Wil’s therapist wrote to us and in her letter, she builds such a strong case for why every child NEEDS a way to communicate!

“Wil is lovable, funny, and social. He is a very caring friend to his classmates, greets his peers, and has concerns for his peers. He really likes being a “helper.” His diagnosis of Apraxia makes it difficult for him to form social relationships with his peers because his communication is a barrier. Wil is very athletic and active, which requires a lot of supervision in the home setting. Due to Wil’s communication difficulties, he must always have supervision because he would not be able to communicate any sort of abuse, neglect, or exploitation. By having an AAC device, this would increase Wil’s independence, self-advocacy, and social relationships for his future. He is responding to the use of an AAC device at school, but this is not a dedicated device that he owns and is able to take home with him — which is like taking his voice away from him when he leaves school. With his dedicated therapists and school team, in addition to his supportive mother, Wil could grow his communication skills exponentially before leaving the elementary school setting and build strong social relationships with peers prior to entering middle school and high school. This device would change his life!”

Variety KC’s generous partners understand the importance of communication. These partners, along with Wil’s insurance provider – BCBS – will make sure Wil gets his “voice,” but there are so many more kids in need. Help us to help all these kids, especially during this “stay at home” time. Donate today by clicking HERE – and thank you for joining our #InclusionRevolution!

Meet the Kids – Olivia!

Meet the Kids – Olivia!


Sweet and Sassy little Olivia has a lot to say – just can’t say it!

“We were blessed to meet our little Liv at two days old when she was in the NICU at Children’s Mercy, we were blessed to be able to fully adopted her 13 months later.  Liv spent seven weeks in the NICU where she struggled with feeding, maintaining her core temp, breathing and a few other life threatening conditions. Coming home on oxygen and continuous G-tube feed, little Liv fought hard and within a few short months she was able to only need PRN oxygen and only need continuous feeds over night. She had several inpatient stays the first few years of her life, it felt like at least once a month we were at Children’s Mercy for almost a week.

The various hospital stays always left us with something new to overcome. Whether that would be a surgery, new diagnosis, and one time sending us home palliative care. Liv needed open heart surgery in June, 2019 to repair one of her two congenital heart defects. Since then, Liv has had so much more energy and more lively, but the difficult part is that Liv is non- verbal. When she is upset, in pain, happy, hungry, sleepy, or just wants some quiet time – she is unable to communicate that to us, she school team, hospital staff, anyone. So being able to have Liv communicate to us would mean the world and much more.

It’s hard to describe as a mother feeling so helpless not being able to figure out what your child needs because they are unable to communicate their wants and needs. Our family truly believes a communication device will change all of our lives and caring for Liv!”

Variety donors understand the importance of giving a child a voice!  Olivia will get hers!   Help us to ensure all kids have a way to communicate, donate today at

Thank you so much!



Meet the Kids – Easton!

Meet the Kids – Easton!

You’ve just gotta love a kid whose best friends are stuffed snakes and his big sister!  Here’s the family’s story:

“Easton has a smile that brings smiles, warmth, and love to all those around him. He finds the simplest things in life interesting and worthwhile. Easton is two and half years old and was diagnosed almost a year ago with autism spectrum disorder and global developmental delays; Easton is non-verbal. Since his diagnosis, Easton has been receiving speech and occupational therapy services from an in-network provider almost an hour from our home. We make multiple trips per week (1 hour each way) to get him these services. With the transportation costs, time I must take away from work, and the in-network cap of 20 speech visits per year (Easton receives 3-4 a week), my husband and I spend a significant amount of our income to provide our son the services he desperately needs. Easton has also been on an ABA therapy waitlist for almost 8 months. With our hope of finding Easton a BCBA anytime soon, my husband and I are looking into trying to hire a RBT to work with Easton in the home. Easton’s speech therapist has strongly urged us to purchase an AAC device. Easton trialed another child’s device and responded very positively to being shown how to use it. Within two sessions, he had already mastered pressing the “help” selection. After seeing his face light up and the smile on his face, I knew we needed to do everything we could to obtain a device of his own. A device to give him a voice in his own life; a device that will allow him the ability to say, “I love you too, Mom.” Unfortunately with all the above listed expenses, in addition to our four year old daughter’s medical needs, we cannot to afford to make up the difference that the insurance company will not pay for.

Our daughter Emery also has autism spectrum disorder, as well as apraxia of speech. Emery has also been receiving extensive speech and occupational therapy services for the last two years. Due to our constant battle with insurance companies, we uprooted our daily life to move into a school district that could provide the appropriate IEP services. This move has also affected our family financial situation. I know there are so many families out there experiencing these same financial struggles, and you cannot possibly provide for them all; but whatever you can spare to help my family would be greatly appreciated and truly impact my child’s future. There are not enough words to describe what this would mean to us.

Some fun facts about Easton – he has three major loves: his big sister, the outdoors, and his stuffed snakes (stuffed animals). Easton and his sister are inseparable. While Emery’s speech still has much progress to be made, she is able to help communicate with others what her brother needs; Easton knows he can always rely on his sister to help him (even when it’s getting into trouble!). They will spend hours outside every week exploring their surroundings, playing in mud puddles, climbing into their treehouse, and laying on the trampoline. Easton is attracted to anything he can drag or whip around in the air…like his stuffed snakes. His snakes, as Emery says, “are his best friends”. He has five snakes, each 4-5 feet long. They go with him everywhere. The bring him instant happiness, calm him when his is upset or scared, and keep him company in his cubby hole (he climbs into his cubby hole when overstimulated). And only the snakes are allowed in the cubby hole.”

Giving a child a voice is really a gift for not only the child, but for their family, friends, and teachers.  To help us give Easton and all non-verbal kids a “voice” – please donate today at

Thank you!


Meet the Kids – KYE!

Meet the Kids – KYE!

Kye is a sweet little boy who is also a fighter! He was prenatally diagnosed with a heart condition (hypoplastic left heart syndrome). After birth, he had a stroke. In spite of all of his diagnoses, he is pleasant and a go-getter. He has received therapy since he was three months old and it’s suspected Kye has apraxia of speech, which limits his ability to motor plan in order to produce speech.

Because he can’t communicate his needs, Kye will whine and cry from the frustration.

In the area of speech and expressive language, Kye’s verbal communication skills are significantly limited, and he is primarily non-verbal at this time.  He has some occasional “pop out” words, but he does not typically use verbal skills as a means to communicate his wants, needs or thoughts.  Kye is beginning to communicate through non-verbal means such as taking the therapist to what he wants or by making choices with the use of pictures of objects.  The therapists have introduced Proloquo2go (P2G) on an iPad from Marian Hope Center that is used during his therapy sessions.  Kye demonstrates an understanding of how to use P2G.  With some assistance and when motivated, he is beginning to be able to scan the page and find the corresponding picture. Kye uses P2G to work on labeling pictures and objects as well as to make requests.  It should be noted that Kye’s receptive language skills appear to be higher than his expressive language, but are also limited, when compared to same age peers.

The gift of a communication device would greatly assist his communication efforts.  Although he is young, he has had experience communicating with an ipad using Proloquo2go and has had good success. His family says it would be an absolute blessing for him to have his own iPad to communicate in all of his environments.

Variety KC hears this story from about so many kids. Right now, while quarantined at home, the frustration from communication struggles is especially hard for kids and families.  Variety donors are helping Kye, but we have so many more on the list.  If you can help, please donate at

Thank you!