The NODCC provides twice-yearly grants through Olam’s Piggybank Grant Program to families and individuals that need assistive devices and technologies. This program is made possible thanks to a generous grant from the Swan Foundation. Grant applicants must be impacted by a disorder of the corpus callosum. The current grant cycle is open until October 31.
Here are 3 stories from our 2021 summer grant recipients that may spark ideas of how assistive devices can help your own child:
A Chair Device to Stabilize Barrett
“I have three other kids so I noticed right away that he wasn’t progressing as he should,” said Amy, mom to one-year-old Barrett. “I pushed for him to see a neurologist because he was having some serious feeding and development delays.”
Barrett cannot sit unassisted, crawl or stand, but this summer he started rolling from his belly to his back. After four months of pushing doctors to send Barrett to a neurologist, an MRI showed a diagnosis of partial agenesis of the corpus callosum (with his corpus callosum almost missing entirely).
Barrett attends physical, speech and feeding therapies to help him progress, but Amy knew her son needed a device that would stabilize and support Barrett to alleviate his feeding issues as he strengthens his neck and trunk muscles. The family wanted Barrett to be able to sit on the floor, play with his siblings and be better positioned to eat so he wouldn’t choke so often.
After trying many highchairs and seats, Amy and her husband applied for a Special Tomato Soft-Touch Sitter from Olam’s Piggybank and received the chair this summer. Amy shared that the seat has been a great addition. “He’s done so great with his tomato seat. He loves to sit and play in it. It definitely helps position him better for eating! I would recommend it to anyone who asked, and I am so thankful for Olam’s Piggybank for be so generous and helping us make this possible.”
Special Needs Life Jacket for Andrew
Eight-year-old Andrew is happiest when he’s in the swimming pool. It’s likely the only place without the literal weight of the world on him. Diagnosed with agenesis of the corpus callosum, cerebral palsy, autism, and epilepsy, Andrew is unable to walk or talk but he brings his family so much joy.
“When he was smaller, we could use regular floaties and puddle jumpers,” shared Andrew’s mom, Laura. “Now one of us has to help hold him which he doesn’t enjoy as much because he doesn’t have the freedom.”
With a goal of helping Andrew play independently in the pool, the family researched options for a special needs life jacket that would accommodate Andrew’s weight. The family received a grant from Olam’s Piggybank this summer to help cover the expense of the life jacket.
Laura reported the floating device has been a welcome addition. “This life jacket has been amazing for Andrew, a complete game changer for him. He loves being able to move around independently and it lets him engage with friends and his sister in the pool without me having to hold him. It’s also made him more confident in the water and has alleviated my fears. Thanks so much again to the Olam’s Piggybank team for their generous grant that has made Andrew’s life, and our family’s, so much better.”
A Wagon to Help Ben Stay Active with Family
Ben is a happy, outgoing 7-year-old boy with dysgenesis of the corpus callosum, Weiss Kruzska syndrome and autism. He had open heart surgery four days after he was born so Ben gets tired very easily. While the family lives near the beach and other fun attractions in San Diego, it’s not always easy for Ben to be active for long periods of time.
Ben’s mom, Amanda, applied to Olam’s Piggybank Grant program in the summer for a Keenz Stroller Wagon that would accommodate Ben’s weight and allow him to have more adventures with the family.
Amanda said they are using the new wagon to go all around town – to the beach, Legoland and around the neighborhood to visit friends.
For more information on Olam’s Piggybank Grant Program and to apply, visit https://nodcc.org/grants