Big Thanks to Patrick Remy from Easterseals MA for this joyful story of success that highlights the personal transformation and benefits possible in adaptive recreation programs. Easterseals MA is offering their adaptive pool program this summer at DCR's Bennett Field Pool in Worcester. If you live in the Worcester area, don't miss out! Contact Patrick at firstname.lastname@example.org to sign up!
Abby and her mother Michelle have shared an incredible bond since before she was born. While in utero Abby was diagnosed with Tuberous-sclerosis which has symptoms that include seizures, intellectual disability, developmental delay, and lung and kidney disease. Michelle has been Abby’s biggest advocate since the moment she learned of her diagnosis and Abby is quite attached to her mother.
Abby began attending Easterseals MA’s Accessible Martial Arts, which is a program designed for people of all ages with and without disabilities who want to learn and practice self-defense, stretching, exercise, and relaxation techniques. Abby has always had an affinity for Martial Arts, but Accessible Martial Arts was the first time she was able to practice with an instructor.
|Abby stands tall in class.
At first Abby needed her mom by her side throughout the program, but as she became more comfortable, Michelle was able to leave the room and Abby excelled. Abby immediately felt at ease with our instructors Paul Medeiros, Easterseals MA President & CEO; and Patrick Remy, Easterseals MA Program Services Specialist. She has even been asked to help instruct the other students on occasion.
“I love practicing the moves but learning meditation has really helped me cope with some of the stress I go through,” said Abby, “It really helps me.”In fact, Abby loved her experience at Accessible Martial Arts so much she also began participating in other Easterseals MA programs: The DCR funded Adapted Swim program and Youth Leadership Network. All of which have helped her socialize with her peers. Michelle credits the individualized attention Abby receives at Easterseals MA for many of her recent successes.
For example, Abby had been taking swimming lessons since she was young and a goal for her had been to work on breathing properly while swimming, something she had been struggling with. Abby was able to accomplish this goal within two weeks of participating in Easterseals MA’s Adapted Swim program.
Abby swims with good form at the pool program.
Abby was not only incredibly proud to now be swimming with her head in the water like other swimmers she had long admired, but as someone who suffers from seizures, it also made her feel safer.
“The self-confidence Abby has gained through Easterseals MA programs alone has changed our 5- year plan entirely,” said Michelle. “We cannot wait for our next Individualized Education Program meeting; the school is going to be blown away.”
To find out more about summer adaptive recreation opportunities, consider attending DCR's Adaptive Recreation Fair at Artesani Park in Brighton, MA on June 10. Easterseals MA will have a booth at the fair, along with 25 more exhibitors and many exciting activities and opportunities to kick of summer.