“It’s the Friends we meet along the way that help us appreciate the journey . . . . . .”

I would like you to meet

some of my Playhouse friends….. They are so awesome! 

Meet my new friend Nikki.😀.  She recently joined GiGi’s Playhouse when her mom was reminded by Ms. Denise N., a GiGi Fit volunteer about this wonderful organization, her mom said! So far, Nikki’s favorite programs are one-on-one speech therapy with Ms. Linda and group speech therapy with her adult peers, lead by Ms. Sarah L. Her mom says they can tell she enjoys going to GiGi’s because when it’s time to go, she enthusiastically gets ready. And, as a treat she gets a happy meal from McDonald’s afterwards. Nikki is not a picky eater, which is good because eating seems to be her favorite pastime (her mom says she takes after her!) Her favorite foods include Mexican burritos, pizza, McDonald’s chicken nuggets happy meal with a mango-pineapple smoothie, spaghetti, stir-fried tomatoes with sweet peppers and beef over rice, and for desserts, Jello, and anything with chocolate. Nikki’s formal name is Nicole, but we call her “Nikki”. Her Chinese name was chosen by her paternal grandparents (a customary tradition in China) as “Di Ju” which means “little jewel” in English. To her family and friends, Nikki fits her Chinese name. Her photo was taken shortly after celebrating Chinese New Year where 2024 is the Year of the Dragon. Nikki’s favorite toy is her tablet, which is like her security blanket/teddy bear for her. She carries it with her everywhere she goes and when things get too overwhelming for her, she will go to her “happy place” and start using her tablet to take a break and calm herself down. Nikki likes to assemble her own Mexican burritos and helps her dad, the family chef, in the kitchen when she wants to. She also enjoys doing laundry from start to finish, where she loads the washer, then the dryer, and folds and puts away her clothes. Nikki seems to enjoy developing friendships at GiGi’s by becoming more open to talking with others, responding appropriately when asked questions, participating in both individual/group activities, etc. Nikki and her family are most grateful for the open and welcoming environment of GiGi’s Playhouse where everyone is focused on what our children can accomplish as opposed to what they cannot. They truly appreciate the dedicated staff and the numerous volunteers who give their valuable time and effort to their family and other families by helping our children reach their full potential and ultimate happiness. They say thank you❤️.

Submitted by Guess Blogger

Brett Schatzman 

GiGi’s Playhouse Phoenix Self Advocate

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