At three years old, Ben captures people’s hearts with his kind nature and clever sense of humour, spreading smiles wherever he goes. Ben is passionate about ball sports and has already begun his training for Special Olympics! Born with Down Syndrome, Benjamin needs some therapies and equipment to help him reach his full potential.
The Down Syndrome Research Foundation (DSRF) in Burnaby offers programs in many areas of development for those with Down Syndrome, however, Ben’s parents couldn’t afford the cost.
That’s when Variety stepped in and provided the funds necessary so that Ben could receive the services he needs so his development can flourish. And has it ever! With the funding provided by Variety – made possible by donors like you – Ben is now able to access speech therapy and occupational therapy sessions from the DSRF experts.
Since beginning the program Ben has developed great communication skills and he’s able to sign over 100 words. While Ben only has three spoken words right now, he does appear to be on the verge of a speech breakthrough and lately he’s been babbling morning to night.
Ben’s low muscle tone has made it difficult for him to have the fine motor strength and dexterity to do something as simple as colour – and we all know how kids love to colour. After only a few sessions with an occupational therapist Ben can draw lines and scribble. He really loves art time now and gets very excited when the colouring pages and the markers come out.
Thanks to Variety, Ben has also been able to get orthotics. The low muscle tone experienced by kids like Ben presents a challenge when learning to walk. With the help of his orthotics, Ben went from struggling to stand, to couch cruising, to walking with help, to taking steps on his own.
“The best thing Variety’s support has provided for Ben is increased confidence to try the things that are more difficult for him. His face lights up when we pull into the parking lot of the Down Syndrome Research Foundation. He loves the sessions with his therapists there. We’ve also noticed significant cognitive improvements since he’s been able to more fully explore the world on his own two feet, plus the fact he now has people working with him who believe in his abilities. We are so grateful to have Variety’s help in accessing all the bridges we need to raise Ben.” – Sandra, Benjamin’s Mom