Sandy Arrives

We are so delighted and honored to have Sandy Itzkowitz a newly retired life skills teacher supporting us in the classroom for five weeks. She has been with us for just one week and has already shared so many great strategies, and built delightful connections with the children. Sandy’s years of experience are a true gift to the children, families and staff of CIELO de Amor. Sandy was able to bring a computer donation from Next Step recycling. This will help enormously with accounting, wheelchair inventory, data collection and for our photos. Sandy brought along fabulous donations from numerous people including a stander from Douglas County ESD, puzzles and toys from Wendy Friedman, wonderful musical books from Patty and Sandy finds the best wind up toys. Thanks to all our generous donors.

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Sandy starts by observing the strategies we are currently using.

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Sandy shows us how to stabilize Darling so she can participate more actively and Darling giggles with her whole body as we play hide and seek.

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Sandy uses our resources, evaluates the children, and teaches new strategies such as  use of penny boards, the power of structuring tasks, and importance of starting at the level of the child. Derling loves the new wind up toys.

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Re-positioning Elias against the wall and providing simpler tasks helps his attention and behavior tremendously. Magical to watch Sandy teaching and the differences she is able to elicit. Previously his attention was very minimal and he was frequently throwing items.

Sandy quickly builds a relationship with Nelson, and is able to teach him how to imitate simple actions. He loves to work.

On weekends we have been visiting the local nature reserve, enjoying our friends and a visit to Granada.

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Inauguration of book and toy lending library

Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous trust we now have a book and toy lending library for families and teachers. We are thrilled, as we now have a wide variety of books and toys to address varied interests, abilities, and developmental levels. As we can currently only offer services in the classroom twice per week, per child, having toys and books to practice with at home will make a huge impact on the development of the children. MANY THANKS to our generous donors. We will also be making toys to loan from easily found items, and teaching families how they can make their own toys.

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Something a little different, sandals created for untreated club feet

Leonel is a delightful gentleman who was born with club feet. This is a relatively common birth defect occurring in every 1000 births. With treatment, the vast majority recover completely during early childhood and are able to walk and participate in athletic activities. Unfortunately Leonel was not treated, and did not attend school due to his club feet. We took him to an orthopedic Dr who said there was nothing that could be done. I sent an e mail to my contacts and the talented Richard Parnell kindly offered to make some customized sandals in the USA, with the help of Ruth Jansen’s casting expertise. Dave O’Brien and Elaine Toper supported the transportation of the casts and sandals.Wilmer helped bring Leonel from his home to ours for the casting and fitting. Leonel has now had the sandals eight months and is thrilled with them. He walks on inclined dirt roads from his home, 5km to visit his family in a nearby town! What an impact on his life. Thanks Richard and the team that made this possible.

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