ADAPT shop helping Valley families

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by Brandy Aguilar, Special projects

azfamily.com

Posted on March 2, 2012 at 10:40 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 8 at 11:15 AM

PHOENIX -- Learning is a part of life, but for some kids it can be challenging. Well, thanks to a new shop, Valley young ones are walking away with handmade solutions to succeed.

"My goal in the back of my mind and heart is that they will reach their full potential in life," Heather Joy Magdelano said.

Soliz and Camila are Magdelano's pride and joy. But raising them hasn't been easy because they were born with a rare syndrome called Wolfer-Hirshhorn. The two are missing a key chromosome which has left them developmentally delayed.

"They both have critical vision impairment and they both wear hearing aids," Magdelano said.

While working with therapists is crucial, Magdelano discovered something else to help her kids through a Valley shop called ADAPT. It's part of the Easter Seals Southwest Human Development Agency.

"Our main focus is to help the families identify adaptations that will work for their individual children's needs," Tina Martin said. "We can adapt what they already have and the other option is to come here to the ADAPT shop."

Martin is the senior program manager at the shop. She said part of the program includes going into families' homes and identifying products kids can use so they can do day-to-day things on their own, which could mean creating custom furniture in the shop.

"It could be as simple as the happy seat all the way to a pretty complex chair adaptation," Martin said.

"A happy chair is a custom-made chair for kids, like my kids, who have low tone and multiple disabilities," Magdelano said.

Since getting the happy chairs a few months ago, the brother and sister no longer have to lay down to do activities.

"With the happy chairs set up like this, we can do activities like painting and stacking up blocks," Magdelano said.

In addition to sitting up, these chairs have taught the kids something else.

"Soliz is standing up and Camila is starting to get up on her hands and knees," Magdelano said.

"There isn’t another program that's run like the ADAPT shop where we have home visiting and direct therapy services available and no out-of-pockets costs expected from the family," Martin said.

All signs of hope Magdelano would like other families in her situation to find at the ADAPT shop.

"I have to say ever since the happy chairs our life has totally changed," Magdelano said.

The shop is open two days a week and is by appointment only. Donations are welcome to help keep it up and running.

For more information, log onto www.swhd.org and www.walkwithme.org.

 

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