January 9, 2013
To Our Wonderful Benefactors at FOCUS of San Diego:
We just wanted to take this opportunity and give you such thanks for the swing set you provided for our family. If you didn’t already know, all three of our children have moderate-to-severe autism. Garrett is 9 years old, Caiti is 7 and Jason is 4. We previously had a swing set that was handed down to us from neighbors, and it was amazing to see how calming it was for them to be able to swing. When that swing set gave out, we were so disappointed not to have that sensory input for our children. They seemed lost and didn’t know what to do to calm their bodies in a healthy way.
My daughter Caiti has been tantrumming and injuring herself this entire Christmas break because she has a hard time with change and not knowing what is coming next. It has affected our entire family to see her that unhappy. She was going crazy being cooped in our house and was seeking the sensory input in unhealthy ways, like when she was hitting herself. It was very distressing for us, as her parents to see her do this and not know how to stop her.This all changed because of the blessing you sent our way. You should have seen her face when she saw the swing set. It instantly brightened into a giant smile. She is someone who doesn’t like the feeling of clothes on her skin, and it is very hard to keep her clothed when she is at home. We have shown her that the only way she can use the swing set is to have her clothes on. It is amazing how much less we are seeing of her birthday suit now. She is so happy and is much calmer now that she is getting that sensory input in a happier, healthier manner.
Our son Garrett swings super high on the swings. He gets this huge grin when he’s up so high. He and Jason, our youngest, love to swing at the same time. It is interesting to see this interaction because my kids don’t normally play together. They don’t understand social interactions/play, and it is easier to be by themselves. It is cute to see them together on the swings, both so happy.
I loved the first day we had the swings out, and Jason would not get off of them. He kept a tight grip. It was neat to see him figure out the leg motions to continue swinging. He didn’t have that skill down before. I was a proud mama.
As a mommy of these cute kids, it has been an amazing help and stress reliever to have this swing set that we normally wouldn’t have been able to afford. It brings me great joy to know that my kids are getting the sensory input they crave in a healthy way. They are all in such great moods now too. That is definitely needed after the first couple weeks of our Christmas break.
Thank you so much for your generosity. It is very appreciated, and we will get SOOOOO much use out of that swingset. I hope you know that it is such a blessing for our family, and we are beyond grateful that you were willing to help us in this very wonderful way.
Love the Roach Family
**** Addendum: We couldn't have enjoyed our swingset without the awesome missionaries who took LOTS of time out of their week to help get the swingset set up. We are very grateful for their help too!