By Mike and Elizabeth Lindsey, WAS Parents
We are the Lindsey family. We have four children that participate with WAS which we adopted from foster care when they were very young. They came with different challenges and while high functioning, need OT, PT and other therapies on a regular basis. We have tried multiple agencies and facilities to give our children the type of therapy they need to live a normal life. We were spending hours in these therapies each week and it felt like the therapies controlled our lives. We needed to find something that provided the therapy along with developing social skills, talents, confidence, and being able to try things they couldn’t without the help of professionals. We needed therapy through recreation.
We tried a group ski class where three of our four kids were put in the same class, but that was more frightening than helpful as we watched a group of ten children all going in different directions down the ski slope with one instructor trying to teach them. One of our kids was at the top of the hill trying to stand up and overcome fears, another had no fear and was skiing off in the trees, while another just kept falling and needed help up. We panicked as one nearly ran off a ledge because she was out of control. Clearly our youth needed more individual attention as the “one size fits all” approach for some ski classes wouldn’t work for us.
Because of the children’s development we knew we needed to find instructors and classes that fit their needs, understood their challenges and could work with them them on a more personal level. We started searching. Our kids aren’t impacted enough to be in Special Olympics, and yet, weren’t able to join a traditional class. Private lessons for them with a private instructor that understood their needs were hard to find and also cost prohibitive.
Then we found Wasatch Adaptive Sports. Finally we found something that we could afford, that would give our kids the attention and training they need, and had guides that cared about our kids. The guides are fantastic and both teach and encourage are children to excel. In four years, we have yet to see a child melting down, or laying in the middle of the run refusing to get up because they are too tired, or be injured in any way. We have done other activities besides snowboard and skiing. Our kids loved the HGGC Steve Young Classic as well as the snowshoeing activities.
WAS has been a Godsend for our family! The journey of helping these kids thrive and feel happy and confident is so hard at times. Finding WAS has helped lighten our load as parents, gives us a reprieve, and joy and excitement in our children’s eyes. The kids feel confident and capable in so many ways and that confidence is transferred to how they react with their peers in other classes and groups. They truly do love their instructors and miss them when our season is over. On top of that, the scholarships help us be able to afford the activities each year. We could not do it without that help. We love our WAS family and are so very grateful for the scholarships so graciously donated that helps provide these amazing experiences for our children. Thanks so very very much.