You might think that a diagnosis of autism and muscular dystrophy would slow a kid down but, with the help of Variety, Salem is only picking up speed. And also balance, strength and mobility.
At physical therapy, Salem is working on all of the above and more. Through various exercises, he’s learning to correct his gait pattern and build muscle strength. New orthotics, which fit in the bottom of his shoe and feature a fun super hero pattern, wrap around the sides of his feet to help keep them aligned properly as well.
This also prevents painful muscle cramps Salem sometimes endures, making it easier to do fun things such as going to the Zoo, hanging out at Six Flags or attending Variety’s Adventure Camp program.
At Camp, Salem has grown even more. His mom, Tammi, shares that Adventure Camp is the first place Salem has ever truly been social. He is able to make new friends and try new things in a safe environment, which is important to Tammi, who also says that she loves that she can truly trust Variety’s counselors.
“That has helped us both grow,” Tammi adds. “Me being able to see him be a part of things and enjoy himself, and to see al of the things he’s done at the end of the day – it’s huge!”
In addition to the therapy, orthotics and camp experiences, Variety has also provided Salem with a special stroller and, perhaps his favorite thing, a therapeutic bike. He can now ride bikes with his brother, something that wasn’t possible before.
“The support Variety Kids have, and for you guys to be able to help so many, is just amazing,” says Tammi. “We are very grateful – I don’t know what we’d do without you, I really don’t.”