Adaptive Resources Helping Dreams Come True
Brighton Center’s Pediatric Clinic therapists and interventionists work every day to make dreams come true for every one of the nearly 4,000 kiddos we serve. Many times this involves creativity from parents, therapists, and interventionists to determine the kind of tool or adaptive resource a child needs. Sometimes, it is as simple as an everyday household item or as complicated as an assistive limb that will make their dreams come true. Check out the story below about a child suffering from Lissencephaly and his brother Noah and their use of adaptive resources to help make their dreams come true.
Interviewer: “Do you think you’re a good athlete?”
Noah: “I try to be.”
Interviewer: “What slows you down?”
Noah: “Definitely a lot of the stuff I’m pulling behind me.”
What is Noah pulling? 100lbs of his beloved little brother and very best friend, Lucas. When 75lb Noah is asked how he keeps pulling almost double his body weight for a full triathlon, he replies simply, “I look back and see his smile, and it fuels me to keep going.”
Noah & Lucas
Noah’s little spark of joy, Lucas, was born with a rare brain malformation called Lissencephaly, which causes severe intellectual disability, seizures, feeding difficulties, physical disability, and abnormal facial features. When only months old, Lucas’ parents were told he had a 50/50 chance of making it to age 10. Since children with his condition have a weakened immune system, parents often keep their children with Lissencephaly cloistered away from the outside world, afraid of the disaster that might happen with the wrong virus or infection.
Lucas’s parents and his brother Noah saw only abilities for Lucas. “I wanted him to experience excitement, so we decided we were going to give him a beautiful life. We were going to do everything,” remarked his mother with finality. And they did! Indeed, everywhere Big Brother Noah goes, Lucas goes, too. Up and down slides, to the park and back, in and out of the pool, you name it—they do it together.
Caring for Lucas
Caring for Lucas is a commitment from the whole family. Normal household tasks sometime take hours, but everyone comes together to make sure Lucas is comfortable and happy. As time has passed, the boys’ parents have seen them become so close, even the best of friends. The boys have adapted to an active childhood, firing away at one another with Nerf guns, competing in daring sword fights, and more. “It just takes imagination” says Noah, “but he likes to just be a part of the action, and I do too.” Noah can most often be found holding his brother’s hand. “I have a need to protect him,” sweetly comments Noah; “I want him to be a part of everything I do.”
One thing the family thought wasn’t possible was for the boys to play sports together. Then, one day, they saw a video of two brothers competing in a triathlon together. A brilliant idea was born. “Mom, I want to do that with Lucas,” exclaimed Noah, immediately. He had never competed in a triathlon before, but he wanted to do it with his brother. So, they signed up for their first youth triathlon!
The Triathalon Challenge
The initial challenge was swimming. Noah realized he needed help! They found a coach at the YMCA who saw their potential and taught Noah to swim. He even figured out a way for Lucas to be introduced to water as well. Despite the challenges, the brothers were off to the races in just a few weeks. “I went from an absolute nervous wreck to overwhelming joy over what my sons had accomplished, tearfully remarked the boys’ father.
“The best part for me,” said his mom, “was the absolute look of love on Lucas’ face as he followed Noah after the race. It was like he knew he did something that kids like him don’t normally get to do.”
Lucas still fights major health battles: hernia surgery, grand mal seizures, and painful scoliosis. As the age of 10 draws closer, Lucas’ family can’t imagine life without him. “I am so glad that when I look back, I have no regrets,” remarked his mother. “We’ve made a lifetime of memories and created a legacy for Lucas.”
Noah doesn’t like to think about a future without Lucas and their sport together. In fact, his goal is to run an Ironman with Lucas in tow, and he’s sure they’ll make that goal.
Adaptive resources like the ones that Lucas use to speed off into the distance are readily available in San Antonio!
Brighton Center’s Pediatric Clinic therapists and interventionists work every day to make dreams come true for every one of the nearly 4,000 kiddos we serve. However, we can’t do it alone. The following are some adaptive resources you can take advantage of right here in San Antonio:
NCHPAD: Building Healthy, Inclusive Communities
The City of San Antonio’s Adapted Sports and Therapeutic Recreation Program is one of the main ways you can adapt sports for your child. Offering every sport from basketball, to track and field, handcycling and sailing, the City of San Antonio will make the impossible possible for your adventurous little one. What’s more, their facilities are entirely ADA compliant to make utilizing their services as easy as possible. The program’s adaptive resources focus on socialization around athletics, so your kiddo will have all the friends they could possibly ask for!
STRAPS: South Texas Regional Adaptive & Para Sports
Morgan’s Wonderland Inclusion Foundation founded STRAPS to organize, promote, administer, and conduct various adaptive and Paralympic-style athletics for everyone, from small children all the way to adulthood. Simultaneously, they emphasize leadership qualities in sports with the goal that all their athletes become role models and mentors to others with disabilities in the program. This is turn promotes character development through athletics. Your child can attend functional fitness, wheelchair soccer, pickleball tennis, or any number of the other fun opportunities at STRAPS.
Kirkland Ministries, Inc.: Adaptive Aids & Devices
Kirkland Ministries, Inc. knows that your unique kiddo has unique goals, dreams, and needs. They’re here to find you the right tools and adaptive services to make those dreams possible! Offering financial assistance so that all adaptive resources can be accessible, they offer controls to make daily life easier and more independent, medical equipment for developmental, intellectual, and mental disabilities. Additionally, they provide provide in and out of home devices to always maintain a safe environment for your child. Lifts and mobility assistance are available through Kirkland Ministries, as well as communication assistive devices like hearing aids, Braille technology, and many more adaptive tools to make your kiddo dream even bigger than ever before.
San Antonio Lighthouse: For the Blind & Visually Impaired
San Antonio Lighthouse is available to provide you with state-of-the-art technology to assist your blind or visually impaired loved one. They provide demonstrations, evaluation, and training on accessibility aids including touch typing, Braille displays, speech recognition, note taking devices, and many more. As new innovations and technology evolve, they update their training to keep you on the cutting edge of accessibility. Certainly, your kiddo will see only possibilities with their educational services.
Mobility Works San Antonio: The Mobility Resource & Adaptive Driving Marketplace
MobilityWorks is your local wheelchair van connection! Having worked with San Antonio’s physically disabled community for years, they know exactly how to find what your family needs to live the most accessible life. Call them to find high quality handicap vans, scooter lifts, driving hand controls, and even rental vans for days or weeks. Their adaptive resources consultants will personally help you find the best option for your family. Additionally, they can connect you with certified technicians and walk you through financing and trade in. If you want the easiest way to drive your child from sport to sport, MobilityWorks is the way to go!