Cindy’s Independence Grows
September 2, 2013
Last year, Cindy Lopez often spent much of her day separated from her classmates because of her struggles with aggression. She had a rough time going out in the community. At home, she fought with her sister and was self-abusive, sometimes harming herself.
This year, both Elim’s staff and Cindy’s family are celebrating! Cindy now joins in all classroom activities. She is able to attend community outings, takes her turn answering questions at the SMART Board, and participates in fun activities like a recent Elim bowling trip. She sits among friends for daily activities, sometimes stopping to wave at passing staff members or using her device to say hello to a classmate. She has grown so much.
This growth has spilled over to Cindy’s home life as well. According to her mom, Catalina, “Cindy is a different girl this year. She’s much more peaceful and gets along with her sister and others at school. I used to think she could not understand me, but now she brings her device home or uses sign language – she is able to ask me for ‘help’ or ‘more.’ The staff at Elim has been so helpful – both at home and at school.”
While these changes seem dramatic, they have not come without hard work. Cindy’s teachers and therapists worked to set realistic goals and expectations for her. She has learned to use a visual schedule and has even been paired with a new communication device that allows her to communicate her wants and needs. Her teacher also worked with Cindy’s family to incorporate her personal interests and hobbies into her daily schedule.
Cindy is just one example of Elim’s mission at work. Elim strives to equip over 900 children and adults with disabilities with the skills they need to achieve their God-given potential. At the same time, Elim’s staff walks alongside each family, providing training, support, and hope. This mission would not be possible without the gifts of our partners – like you. Thank you for your passion for serving individuals with disabilities!