Lightening Reminders

Sometimes life gets a little crazy. We get wrapped up in the everyday stresses and commotion, and tend to forget or overlook why we do what we do. Suddenly a lightening bolt of a reminder hits us, and our hearts, passion, and compassion are overflowing again. The following is one of those lightening bolts… Grab some tissues, you’re gonna need them.

My son is Logan. He’s 27 years old and has been out of the education system for five years. In those five years I searched high and low for a program in which to enroll him where he could have a social life and be challenged, but I failed. Like a computer slowly running out of room on its hard drive, Logan’s energy and responsiveness began to slow. We were praying for a miracle when we first heard about GiGi’s Playhouse possibly coming to our area. It sounded FAR too good to be true, but from the first moment he stepped through the door he came back to life again. The activities here are the highlights of his week, and he becomes more verbal and animated just hearing the word GiGi’s.
Logan’s challenges are complicated by autism, and at home he does not speak unless forced to do so. He relies on the family reading his mind at every turn, even though we try not to. But GiGi’s Prep Academy has lit a fire under this young man. He wants us engaged in his homework. He wants to talk about school and the food we’re eating. He is so excited the night before Prep he can hardly sleep, and for all the giggling he does you would think he was headed to Disneyland.

His eye contact is much improved, which for a kid with autism is a miracle in itself. He is voicing opinions we didn’t even know he had. We are all waking up to the hope that there can be more to his life than hanging out with mom.

I cannot thank you people enough for your service and volunteer spirit. If GiGi Prep were held every day, Logan would be there with bells on.

Are you familiar with the show Life Goes On? It was about a teenager with Down syndrome who was always up and ready before everyone else, sitting on his bed, holding his backpack, eager to jump into the day.
That was Logan back when he was in school. After a long downward spiral, thanks to GiGi Prep, that is Logan once more. Although no one’s life should be limited by the programs available to them, it is sadly true. I can only thank Heaven there is GiGi’s for us.

Thank you all!
Lesli, Logan’s mom.

Thank You!

As our Birthday Month draws to a close, we would like to express a huge THANK YOU to all of our participants, volunteers, and donors! You all truly make GiGi’s what it is, and we could never do it without you! This month has been a great birthday month for sure, with the start of… Continue Reading

Happy Birthday GiGi’s Playhouse Layton!!!

Two years ago today our world got a little brighter, happier, and just plain better! Through dedication, hard work, and sheer stubbornness in some cases, we opened GiGi’s Playhouse Layton. Over the past two years we have served hundreds of individuals and families thru our purposeful programs. We have raised awareness, changed expectations, and impacted… Continue Reading

Sarah Buti with #tuesdaytips

oral motor functionality So many of us my not be aware of the crucial importance of strong oral motor functionality. It is important for our kiddos to have strong and mobile articulators. Articulators include our lips, cheeks, jaw and tongue. Children with Down syndrome, due to low muscle tone, often have decreased strength when it… Continue Reading

Speech Therapy Activities

1. “Me In a Bag” Activity Give all of your participants a paper bag with the cute poem attached here on it. All you have to do is cut (if you have time, plain bags are great too). Share your “Me” bag and talk about how each item represents you before explaining the activity. Have… Continue Reading

Tips from our speech therapist

Thanks to Sarah for sharing the following tips about speech. Although a child may only know ten or twenty or thirty words or signs at this stage, that does not mean that these are the only words you should use with him or her. On the contrary, children need to be exposed to a rich… Continue Reading

Facts about Down syndrome

Facts about Down syndrome

I recently came across a wonderful blog called Ellen Stumbo Hope and Encouragement for parents with kids with disabilities.  She focuses her blogs on Down syndrome the month of October in celebration of Down syndrome awareness month.  She shared this fantastic list of 31 facts about Down syndrome.  I wanted to share it and make… Continue Reading

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