Services That Work

Noah's Success Story!

Plus One Foundation helps so many people and we love doing it. The thing that makes us truly happy is when we hear stories such as this one and it's such a wonderful story that we just had to share it!  My name is Trishana and I am the proud mom of a special needs child named Noah.

Noah is 15 years old, and has struggled a bit more than the typical child with Autism, club feet, Spina biffida acolta, scoliosis, Somatic dramatic language disorder, and dyslexia.

With that said he is such a compassionate, kind, loving child. When Noah sees a disabled person struggling he always says "Mom I just pray that other people don't make fun of them the way they made fun of me." Noah has always wanted friends so badly. It has certainly been a struggle for him and such a strong desire.

I'll never forget the day a few years back when three neighborhood boys who have always ignored my son and teased him throughout his childhood, knocked on our door asking Noah if he would like to ride scooters with them. Before I could stop Noah, he was out the door with his new birthday scooter and a giant smile on his face. Noah ran inside 5 minutes later Saying “Mama, mama they really want to be my friend now. They just asked me to check the time for them.”

When he returned with the time..... they were gone and so was his new scooter. Needless to say Noah was heartbroken and devastated.

Shortly after we found a program called Little Bit Horse Therapy and signed Noah up for riding lessons. He sure loved grooming the horses and looking in their eyes and learning their body language.

Noah finally found friends who loved him unconditionally. They were in the form of animals, but friends no less.

Due to financial struggles we could no longer afford little bits lessons. Noah was heartbroken as he had to say goodbye to the horses that truly became Noah's friends. I still remember Noah kissing goodbye to his favorite horse Sunny on the side of the face and a tear started rolling down Noah's cheek.

I called Little Bit to explain our situation and due to a lack of funding they couldn't help Noah at that time. The gal at Little Bit told me about an exciting new foundation called the Plus One Foundation and gave me a contact number and said you never know, maybe they can help Noah out.

Within 3 hours of me leaving them a voicemail message explaining our situation, I received a phone call back from Kacey Kroeger, from the Plus One Foundation. I'll never forget that compassionate, female voice on the phone. So excited to talk to me. Within the two minutes of our conversation, all Kacey could say over and over was: “We really want to help you. We want to find a way to help Noah.”

She began to say “This is exactly why we are starting this foundation. This is why we've spend all of these long hours fighting to get this foundation off the ground. For all the other Noah's in the world.” Kacey said “We can't give up on Noah. He deserves to experience all the same things other typically developing children do. Friendships, good self esteem and success.”

Because of Plus One Foundation’s generous donation Noah is still riding horses at Little Bit as of today. Noah's self esteem has improved tremendously. He has fallen in love with several horses and even made real human friends there.

Thanks to the Plus One Foundation we've discovered that Noah is really a very good rider. Noah even went on to compete in two horse shows. Noah's face lit up with such pride and amazement as he heard his name being called as the first place winner. Not once, but twice.

As you can imagine these ribbons are so proudly displayed in our home and most importantly in Noah's heart and his self-esteem.

This story that I share with you is bigger than just a special needs child, riding a horse. It's about a child who will now carry with him his entire life the feeling of success, true friendship, and the most importantly the knowledge that a group a strangers at the time, now known to our family as the Plus One Foundation, believed in Noah and his dream to ride.

Thank you Sincerely, Trishana

To help more children, like Noah, and adults with neurological disorders, diseases, or injuries check out our homepage at http://www.plusonefoundation.org/

Also we have our Retro Bingo Fundraiser coming up in less than a month. This is NOT your grandma’s bingo. Join us for a night of food, bingo, and fun to support a great cause! You can register online!

Or if you can’t make it you can always donate here

To hear more success stories check out our YouTube channel

Making Connections - Music Therapy

April is a big month for Plus One Foundation. We, as a team were able to take a moment and reflect on our first anniversary -- what has been accomplished and the positive feedback we have been receiving from not only our Grant Recipients but also the service providers we work with. From art therapy to therapeutic horseback riding, we are still always surprised and pleased at how non-traditional medical methods can produce positive results for individuals living with a neurological condition. One approach that has garnished some recent media coverage is that of music therapy. Below is an overview of those who have seen positive effects, what music therapy is, and the Plus One Foundations support of this therapy. Earlier this year congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, was interviewed in a few different segments by CBS and ABC focusing on how music therapy was able to help her regain parts of her speech and the ability to walk again. What is important about Giffords recovery is that it brought music therapy to the forefront as we are able to witness first hand her struggles with speech, to her overall progress of stringing words together. This is a pretty remarkable feat and all accomplished with the love of music. For a more detailed account on Giffords recovery and the use of music therapy I would suggest this article written by Emily Sohn from the Discovery News: http://news.discovery.com/human/gabrielle-giffords-photos-111116.html.

Defined by the American Music Therapy Association (AMTA), Music Therapy is the clinical and evidence-based use of music interventions to accomplish individualized goals within a therapeutic relationship by a credentialed professional who has completed an approved music therapy program.

Music therapy interventions can be designed to: Promote Wellness Manage Stress Alleviate Pain Express Feelings Enhance Memory Improve Communication Promote Physical Rehabilitation

It seems pretty evident while there are case studies that support the theory that music therapy can produce positive results, the medical community is still split on whether there is enough concrete data that music therapy does indeed work. However, this has not stopped the growth of music therapy even in the Seattle community. Swedish Hospital uses music therapy to treat their cancer patients, and complementary therapies including art, massage and meditation: http://www.swedish.org/Services/Cancer-Institute/Services/Complementary-Therapies/Music-Therapy#axzz1rrpK1l98

I watched a great video about Seattle local David Knott and his work over at Children's Hospital. Watching the short news clip leaves no doubt that music therapy can help alleviate pain and anxiety, but also allow a child to connect the dots. To read more: http://www.seattlechildrens.org/videos/healthlink-music-therapy/.

A great resource for Washington State certified Music Therapist is the Music Therapy Association of Washington (MTAW). http://www.musictherapywa.org/info/. MTAW is dedicated to providing resources and a connection point for professional music therapists, students, and others interested in learning about and promoting music therapy in the state of Washington. Included on their web site is a directory for Music Therapy providers: http://www.musictherapywa.org/info/directory-of-music-therapists.

Reading further, I found that the first and only program for becoming a certified music therapist in the state of Washington is at Seattle Pacific University. http://www.spu.edu/depts/fpa/music/therapy/. According to the programs documentation Music Therapy is a growing field where finding a qualified/certified therapist can be challenging. For more information on SPU's music therapy program visit: http://www.spu.edu/depts/fpa/music/therapy/index.asp.

What does this mean for Plus One? Well it means we are excited for the opportunity to help our grant recipients take advantage of music therapy, and the positive effects it will have on the recovery process. If you or someone you know is interested in a music therapy program please feel free to contact us for more information, or fill out our Occasions program application http://www.plusonefoundation.com/occasions.html.

If you are also a trained music therapist we would love to talk to you about your services.

Mark Nieves Board Member Plus One Foundation