October 3, 2018

On today's show, Bev brings us an interview with Helene Prokesch, the Founder & Executive Director and Ellen Lindemann, the Assistant Director of Atlanta's Lekotek. Later in the show, Bruce Gale talks with today's Kid Hero, Kayla Abramowitz.

The prevalence of children diagnosed with any developmental disability increased significantly in recent years, from 5.76% in 2014 to 6.99% in 2016, according to new data from the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Developmental disabilities are a group of conditions due to an impairment in physical, learning, language, or behavior areas. According to the CDC, about one in six children in the U.S. have one or more developmental disabilities or other developmental delays.  

Developmental disabilities include:

• autism spectrum disorder
• cerebral palsy
• hearing loss
• intellectual disability
• learning disability
• vision impairment
• and other developmental delay

Children with disabilities face challenges interacting with family members and participating in school and community activities.  Each child is unique, and every child can learn. Look beyond a child’s disability or label, and get to know him or her as a person.

And this brings us to today’s charity, Lekotek…

Located in Atlanta, Georgia, Lekotek is a nonprofit with a vision of a world where children with disabilities are included and empowered through play. Their mission is to facilitate the inclusion of children with disabilities into their families, schools and communities by providing accessible play, adapted toys, technology, information and resources. @lekotekga

Using adapted toys, educational materials, computer equipment and iPads, Lekotek provides opportunities for kids to have fun and learn along the way. It is a safe haven from medical appointments and therapies. It is a place where there are no expectations to perform, a place where parents find resources and support.

All children learn through play and Lekotek provides a recreational environment to meet the special needs of every child. Lekotek’s philosophy is that every child can be successful with adaptations. Adapted toys, software and computer input devices are our tools to help any child with a disability.

At Lekotek, learning  and success is made possible for every child.  

Bev had the opportunity to sit down and talk with Helene Prokesch (Founder and Executive Director) and Ellen Lindemann (Assistant Director).

Kayla Abramowitz is the Founder and CKO (Chief Kid Officer) of Kayla Cares 4 Kids, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization.  @KaylaCares4Kids

She began the organization, at age 11, by collecting entertainment and educational items to donate to children’s hospitals in an effort to help children feel better. The now 16-year-old came up with the idea after extended hospital stays of her own, in addition to her 12-year-old brother Ethan’s numerous hospital trips, due to chronic illness.

They have already delivered more than 17,000 DVDs, video game consoles, video games, DVD players, handheld electronics, books and arts & crafts supplies to nearly 450 children’s hospitals and related facilities in all 50 states, Washington, D.C., and Puerto Rico and have donated items to every Ronald McDonald House in the country.
In today’s Kid Hero segment, Bruce Gale talks with Kayla about her efforts to make children feel better.

Kayla and Volunteers
Kayla and Volunteers