The following piece is from one of our GiGi’s Playhouse Moms expressing what GiGi’s Playhouse means to her Family.
“Hello! My name is Marlene and I have a 25 year old son, Brett, who has Down syndrome. He is all done with school and we were facing the question, now what? Most young adults move on to college or full time jobs. This is not usually the case with young adults with special need but as parents, we feel it should be. These young adults should be able to do what other young adults do; there should be no reason they can’t. They have amazing potential with the right training and somewhere to go that understands this. The answer to this question was answered when we found GiGI’s Playhouse and Down Syndrome Achievement Center in Phoenix/Scottsdale.
Brett now has a place to feel at home, where he fits in and is so appreciated and understood. He partakes in all the programs for young adults: Music Therapy, Dance Mania, Art Explosion, Literacy and Math Tutoring, Rock Band, and Fantastic Friends. He is also a teachers aide for the Program for small children with Down syndrome, where he sings, reads, and teaches them sign language. He also volunteers in the office
Now, GiGi’s Playhouse Phoenix/Scottsdale is expanding to open GiGi U and GiGi Studio Cafe. Brett has learned many important life skills in previous programs and GiGi U will reinforce these skills in previous program. GiGi U will reinforce these skills so he and his friends can work in the retail store that will be attached to the Playhouse. He will learn interview skills to work in the community, cooking skills, healthy eating skills, he will keep fit in the fitness center, and much, much more! Now here is the amazing part (as if the above wasn’t enough), all of this is FREE to participants with Down Syndrome!
GiGi’s Playhouse Phoenix/Scottsdale is Brett’s 2nd home and 2nd family. He loves going to GiGi’s and is so proud of all he does. For us, as his parents, this is all we can ask for. Without this special place, he would be a bit lost. Really for many young adults with Down syndrome, there is not much for them to do, but there is no reason whe this should be the case. With this special place, Brett has blossomed, his self esteem and leadership has grown leaps and bounds. He is so involved and has embraced his life at GiGi’s, he is known around the center as the Mayor of GiGi’s.
What Jennifer Gage, the Founder of GiGi’s in Phoenix and her group has done for my child and so many others can not be said with words, there is simply no way to express how grateful we are.”
Marlene – Brett’s Mom
Thank you for sharing your thoughts, Marlene!