Who has your back?
Kyle wrote a note to our friend, Darryl Rose, who happens to be president and founder of Get Dwell. He wanted “big wood” so he could build a table. I was thinking Darryl would drop off some scrap wood from his home remodeling & repair business, like he’s done in the past, and Kyle would get to work with a hammer & nails and bang something together.
What happened instead? Darryl & Paul Koenig, furniture conservator and creator, drew plans for a mortise & tenon table using handmade pegs instead of screws. Then they invited Kyle to the Winnetka Get Dwell shop to build it himself!
Thanks, Get Dwell, Paul & Darryl, for this amazing experience.
If you’d like to contact Paul for furniture conservation and restoration, gold leaf repair or custom furniture, you can reach him at 847-772-2720.
Get Dwell & Darryl Rose can be found here.
What do you think Kyle’s going to be for Halloween this year? I’ll give you a hint… it has to do with a tool belt & a Get Dwell t-shirt.
Kyle didn’t come home the other day…well, he eventually got home 30 minutes late. He didn’t get off the school bus at our stop, even though he had all the other days. The bus driver found him quietly sitting in his seat when he checked the bus at the end of the route. He then called the dispatcher, who called me to relay that Kyle was on his way home. The poor bus driver was distraught.
Kyle thought it was hilarious. The bus driver will never forget to tell Kyle to get off the bus & I’ve asked a kid on the bus to remind him where to get off, as well.
Still trying to learn from Kyle that EVERYTHING is a hilarious adventure… Drop a plate? hilarious. Dog pees on the rug? hilarious. Air conditioner is broken on the hottest day of the year? hilarious. Forget to get off the bus & have no idea where you are? hilarious.
I hope you find your day hilarious-
This is my new favorite commercial. Hope you like it, too.
Yay, Derrick Coleman!
How can an inpatient hospital visit be fun?
Stop on by a pediatric unit and you will find the most charming, funny, hopeful, beautiful, smart, resourceful, kind people you’ll ever be lucky to know. That would be the kids in treatment and the people taking care of them.
Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago-
We love you! Kyle spent 2 weeks there this summer after hamstring release surgery & although there were hours every day of hard, intensive therapy he also had a lot of fun making friends, trying new contraptions, playing with the amazing nurses, doctors and therapists.
A special shout out to Frankie and his family for being the best roommates imaginable, keeping us laughing and in Ding Dongs the whole time.
Georgia- the Wonder Dog!
Special Gifts Theatre, is a very special place, indeed. Located in the north suburbs of Chicago, SGT provides a unique experience for children who may otherwise not have the opportunity to participate in a drama experience. For months the special ed teachers, therapists and theatre arts instructors, with the help of peer mentors, guide the two casts of children with special needs to perform in two spectacular shows. This year’s show, Beauty and the Beast, has an especially amazing actor playing the part of Chip!
See some behind the scenes of the 2009 production below:
To learn more about the history of SGT, click here.
Thanks to all the people at Special Gifts Theatre for making this such an amazing experience for the children who participate and their parents, too.
F.I.I.V.E., Fostering Intergenerational Inclusive Volunteer Engagement, is a new program matching seniors and special needs people up for volunteer opportunities. Here’s a video clip that highlights the program:
Interested in learning more? Check out this article from the Chicago Tribune.
You can also contact Center for Independent Futures, an amazing organization dedicated to helping adults with disabilities and their families plan, support and sustain new ways of living in their community.
How in the world can you make a trampoline accessible?
Thanks to one of Meredith Sinclair’s (Hoo-dee-Hoo) tweets, I found the perfect solution in an in-ground trampoline. Didn’t take much convincing of Otis Carter (Carter Albarran Landscape Group), our amazing landscaper, to give it a try. Now, our guy with cerebral palsy can walk right out onto it & bounce to his little heart’s content.
We might be the only people here in the arctic, snowy climate of Chicago to have attempted a pit trampoline- we’ll see how it fares after a blizzard or two. For right now, it’s just a lot of fun.
I came across this essay years & years ago, when Kyle was a baby, and it helped me express our experiences to our families. It still speaks for me- with hope and truth, optimism and reality.
Emily Perl Kingsley.
c1987 by Emily Perl Kingsley. All rights reserved
I am often asked to describe the experience of raising a child with a disability – to try to help people who have not shared that unique experience to understand it, to imagine how it would feel. It’s like this……
When you’re going to have a baby, it’s like planning a fabulous vacation trip – to Italy. You buy a bunch of guide books and make your wonderful plans. The Coliseum. The Michelangelo David. The gondolas in Venice. You may learn some handy phrases in Italian. It’s all very exciting.
After months of eager anticipation, the day finally arrives. You pack your bags and off you go. Several hours later, the plane lands. The stewardess comes in and says, “Welcome to Holland.”
“Holland?!?” you say. “What do you mean Holland?? I signed up for Italy! I’m supposed to be in Italy. All my life I’ve dreamed of going to Italy.”
But there’s been a change in the flight plan. They’ve landed in Holland and there you must stay.
The important thing is that they haven’t taken you to a horrible, disgusting, filthy place, full of pestilence, famine and disease. It’s just a different place.
So you must go out and buy new guide books. And you must learn a whole new language. And you will meet a whole new group of people you would never have met.
It’s just a different place. It’s slower-paced than Italy, less flashy than Italy. But after you’ve been there for a while and you catch your breath, you look around…. and you begin to notice that Holland has windmills….and Holland has tulips. Holland even has Rembrandts.
But everyone you know is busy coming and going from Italy… and they’re all bragging about what a wonderful time they had there. And for the rest of your life, you will say “Yes, that’s where I was supposed to go. That’s what I had planned.”
And the pain of that will never, ever, ever, ever go away… because the loss of that dream is a very very significant loss.
But… if you spend your life mourning the fact that you didn’t get to Italy, you may never be free to enjoy the very special, the very lovely things … about Holland.
The kids have been dying for a trampoline and I have serious reservations- the biggest is how is the 10 yr old with cerebral palsy going to get on?!? And off? And around the netting? Without, of course, breaking my back by lifting him up. We thought about building a staircase, perhaps with a platform, but it seems that might cause more problems than solutions.
Can a trampoline be any more unsafe than the way the kids are dangling, hanging, jumping, and twisting off the second story of the soon-to-be replaced play structure? As soon as I say, “You can NOT do that!” they come up with a new crazy, daredevil antic to perform.
And what floats across time & space and lands right here, on my computer, through a friend’s tweet? This! Known as a sunken, pit, or in ground trampoline.
After some initial research, it seems that a drainage system is a must, along with some type of retaining wall. Do you have any input? Suggestions? Concerns? Send me a comment & some help!