Woman Finds Beautiful Way To Give Kids With Disabilities The Gift Of A Lifetime.

PT from NYC helps disabled girl

Working with children who have severe disabilities is not an easy job, but one woman from New York City has found a way to make a lasting difference in their lives.

In a story she shared with Humans of New York on Facebook, a physical therapist named Martha described how the kids she works with in the South Bronx may not be able to express themselves physically or verbally, but their unique personalities are still clear as day.

“Their observation skills are so keen,” she told HONY. “They understand more than you know. But they rarely get spoken to, or hugged. Often they aren’t even treated like humans. When the world can’t understand what you want, it kind of ignores you.”

She went on to describe a student named Tamisha, who uses a wheelchair and can only move her eyes. Even though she is 100 percent nonverbal, she can convey her intelligence and sarcasm with just a quiet giggle or eye roll.

The two of them became good friends during the years they worked together. “On Halloween I dressed her up as a butterfly, because that’s how I saw her,” Martha wrote. “She was trapped in this body, but she was a soul with so much depth and so much future.”

Martha noticed that after kids with disabilities graduate, their support system tends to vanish overnight. Distanced from their friends, they can feel like prisoners in their own homes. Martha became determined to do something to help these kids transition, and she and her husband, Alex Gold-Dvoryadkin, started with Tamisha. They decided to do something that would make her smile each day she was at home.

“We went to Home Depot and got paint, and butterflies, and rainbow decals,” Martha said. “And we completely transformed her bedroom. We wouldn’t let her look. We made her sleep in the living room. But at the end of the weekend, when Tamisha’s father carried her in — she started going wild. Her eyes lit up. She’s making all kinds of vocalizations. Her father is holding her, and he’s crying. It was a miracle.”

Now, they make it a habit to do a bedroom makeover for as many graduating kids as they can through their nonprofit, Blissful Bedrooms! They’ve done about 20 so far, spending their own money and finding unpaid volunteers to help with the labor.

“Our process always begins with an interview process,” Martha said. “We ask the person: what makes you happy? What colors do you love? What are your favorite things? We figure out exactly what they want. We let them design their dream room. Then we become the instruments who bring that dream to life.”

Each custom bedroom is more beautiful than the last! We love this one that has a full-sized motorcycle mounted on the wall. How cool is that? Any kid would adore a room like this.

This is such a beautiful way to celebrate a big milestone in a child’s life. We’re so grateful that there are people like Martha and Alex in the world — people who don’t wait to be told how to help, they just find a solution on their own.

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