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Local News

January 3, 2014

Delhi woman starts project to assist autism families

(Continued)

This, she said, is where the EVAN lending closet comes in.

Kruppo said the lending closet gives families time to secure funding, either through insurance, grants, or their own money, without losing valuable time for the child to benefit from the equipment. Families can also donate equipment back to the closet if and when the child outgrows it.

“If a child is not able to regulate their sensory system, they will have a difficult time learning,” Kruppo said. “With the lending closet, we are able to assist parents in helping by giving sensory input or by using calming activities if the child is on sensory overload.”

Available equipment in the lending closet includes balancing seats, weighted belts, blankets and vests, noise reduction and cancellation headphones, balance beams and stepping stones for balance and coordination, mini trampolines and crash mats, tools to help with fidgeting, a swing and a deep-pressure steam roller, a takeoff of the “hug machine” invented in 1965 by Temple Grandin.

Along with the lending closet, EVAN recently installed a sensory room which has permanent therapeutic equipment that, Kruppo said, would be difficult to hook up in a home, especially if it didn’t end up being beneficial for the child.

The sensory room features a ball pit, crash mats, stepping stones and stationary equipment, according to Kruppo. She said the EVAN crew is in the process of hanging hardware to have a swing system in the room, as well. Kruppo said that other than herself, there are two therapists who use the room.

According to Kruppo, EVAN functions under the United Ministry Church in Delhi, where both the lending closet and sensory room are located. Kruppo said she was thankful to the church for donating $3000 to EVAN to buy equipment for the rooms. Kruppo also said she could not run EVAN without her devoted committee members, Amy Andersen, occupational therapist Mindy Small, physical therapist Libby Lepinnet Kelly, Madeleine Helo and Amanda Mitchell.

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