Best of All – Nolan!

“GiGi’s Playhouse has helped my child and my family through their community of support, their appreciation for my child’s gifts, their respect for his challenges, and their belief in Nolan’s potential, purpose, and success.” – Mary, Nolan’s mother

Nolan is a bright and curious individual who frequents GiGi’s Playhouse Cleveland several times a week. You can find Nolan working hard in literacy tutoring, strengthening his communication skills in speech/language therapy, and achieving new heights during GiGiFIT Kids. What we love most about Nolan is his ability to try new things. This young man is eager to learn, grow, and achieve, and it’s evident in all he does.

Our Speech Language Pathologist, Libby, has walked alongside Nolan for the past 15 weeks during his Amina Grace Speech/Language session. She shares that during each session they focused on increasing and improving various modes of Nolan’s communication including, but not limited to, his verbal output, gestures, and use of his augmentative alternative communication device.  Most often, Nolan was motivated by one of his favorite interests, that is, vehicles of all forms – fire trucks, trains, and ambulances to name a few! This topic was incorporated into each of his sessions, as Nolan’s most authentic communication came about during our conversations centered around these topics.  Together, we used his communication device to improve his ability to make comments using adjectives.  For example, we described silly scenes like Thomas the Train getting “yucky” in the mud, we talked about “loud” ambulance sirens, and we worked on expanding his utterances as we watched cars pass by the Playhouse!  With Nolan’s lead, we took advantage of these simple, daily moments and found every opportunity to communicate along the way.   

During literacy tutoring, Nolan’s tutor Summer shared about the HUGE strides he achieved. Summer shares “I’m so proud of how Nolan came to our sessions ready to work. He quickly transitioned to our tutoring space and actively participated in tasks that weren’t always his favorite. While he didn’t love the matching game we do, the last time we did it together, he had 100% matching for the entire book! We put it away and focused on what he does love: phonetically speaking the sound of each letter of the alphabet and loading them into some sort of jar or dump truck! Towards the end of his session, Nolan didn’t want to load them in and instead figured out how he could physically manipulate these letters to link together and make a chain. I followed his lead and linked together the letters “S”, “A”, and “T”. I asked him to make the letter sounds for each and he read a word! This was a huge and exciting breakthrough hearing him sound out a word! I’m so proud of Nolan and love that he came up with the activity all on his own. Nolan also excelled in determining which letter each miniature animal started with. He made sure to keep the game FUN by not only making each animal sound but also, by giving the incorrect answers first so we could both shake our heads and sign “no” while laughing. I’ve had so much FUN with Nolan and I’m so impressed by him. His growth from our initial sessions to his last has been tremendous. I’m so proud of him!”

“To me, GiGi’s Playhouse means a home away from home; a second family with the biggest fan club cheering you on!” – Mary, Nolan’s mother

Nolan, we are grateful for the opportunity to continue watching you grow and achieve!

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