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Sensational Families and Supporters

What a Difference Kids Can Make!

In this issue of Sensations, we wanted to spotlight some sensational kids who are truly inspirational. They all just happen to have chosen their Bar/Bat Mitzvahs as an opportunity to do something special for the SPD Foundation.

According to the Jewish law and tradition, boys and girls at age 13 celebrate a Bar (boys) or Bat (girls) Mitzvah (translated as "son or daughter of the commandment" or "coming-of-age"). Many children complete a Mitzvah project, which is typically organized and completed prior to the Bar/Bat Mitzvah day. The purpose of a Mitzvah project (which not all synagogues require) is to teach children a sense of personal responsibility to their community and engage in a project that is hands-on, resulting in a total understanding of Tzedakah ("more than charity"). A Mitzvah project can be considered a gift beyond the ones you wait in a line for during the holidays. It is a gift that gives indefinitely, offering people the opportunity to learn, educate themselves, and understand the world and the people in it a little more clearly. It also represents reaching a new level of maturity while teaching the importance of thinking of others instead of only one's self.

Abi Fisch surrounds herself with books to be
donated to the SPD Foundation's resource library

Abi's Resource Library

When the time came for Abi Fisch to decide on her Mitzvah project, she knew she not only had to come up with a great idea - one that touched her soul deeply - but also something that affected her or someone she loves in a way that made her feel a sense of personal responsibility. Abi's brother has Sensory Processing Disorder. Her passion for the SPD Foundation inspired her to help the Foundation create a resource library for families.

Abi wrote an email to her family and friends, telling them about her project and asking them to either donate money or a sensory book for her cause. To date, Abi has collected over $1,000 towards the purchase of books and has received 116 books having to do with Autism, Asperger's Syndrome, and SPD! She hopes to exceed her goal of 200 books by January 2012. In an effort to make it a useable lending library for the Foundation and STAR Center, Abi is cataloging each book and attaching pockets inside the front cover for a due date card. That way, clients, visitors, and staff can check out books to read.

If you would like to help Abi with her project, please make a donation to the SPD Foundation and be sure to write "Abi's Book Project" in the notes field at checkout (PayPal) or on the donation form (mail/fax). We'll make sure your gift gets to her.

Alexander's first book

Alexander's second book

Alexander's Books

As a young boy, Alexander Fields-Lefkovic struggled with sensory issues, which affected his coordination and made tasks requiring motor planning difficult. Alexander was determined to overcome his challenges and embraced exercise as a means to strengthen his motor abilities. Alexander's former occupational therapist, Carolyn Murray-Slutsky, MS, OTR, and former physical therapist, Betty Paris, PT.M.Ed, said, "With enthusiasm and drive, he pushed the boundaries of traditional exercise and welcomed challenges wholeheartedly, expanding them continually, setting new goals for himself. Not only did he push himself to new levels, he also inspired others around him."

For his Bar Mitzvah project in 2007, Alexander wrote an exercise book for kids called Get Strong! Have Fun! He worked with Carolyn Murray-Slutsky to create these exercises. They are designed so that kids of all ability levels can participate, be successful, and have fun.

Now, at the age of 17, Alexander is an honor student at one of the top high schools in Florida, a member of the varsity tennis and debate teams, a trumpet player, a black belt in Tae Kwon Do and the author of a new book, Get Stronger! Have More Fun! He worked closely with Carolyn Murray-Slutsky and Betty Paris in testing and evaluating the exercises in this book, which target key areas such as core stability, motor planning, and balance.

A portion of the proceeds from the sale of these books is donated to both the SPD Foundation and the Make-A-Wish Foundation. In February, the Foundation received a generous donation of $1800 from Alexander!

Order one of his books today!

Donations In Lieu of Gifts

Our last story is about a family that have been long-time benefactors of the Sensory Processing Disorder Foundation and whose daughter received treatment at the STAR Center. (They requested to remain anonymous.)

For their daughter's Bat Mitzvah, they suggested that friends and family make a contribution to the Sensory Processing Foundation in lieu of gifts. The result was more than $1,000 donated to the Foundation in their daughter's honor!

Mazel Tov and many thanks to her family for their continuous support over so many years.

Thank you to our three sensational kids for their determination and desire to help other sensational families in need.

Save the date - Florida Symposium 2011

The S.O.S. (Sequential Oral Sensory approach to feeding conference

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