July 3, 2018 - Have you heard the news? Our heroes have arrived! Their capes are soaring and their powers stronger than ever. One CECO Superhero, in particular, is back and ready to conquer summer camp. Meet Brandon!
A family friend's organization offered to sponsor Brandon to attend CECO's Summer Camp. However, it was a tough decision because he and his family live in San Antonio, Texas. After the first week, Brandon was learning at such a fast pace. Initially, their goal was for him to maneuver his wheelchair better, but his conductor said she believed he could learn to walk and he needed less support.
Molly was an assistant when she first met Brandon and now she's a conductor. She was able to work with Brandon first hand when he first came to CECO.
"He was the same happy, playful boy he is now, but his interactions with people and the world around him were limited... Each summer He returns to CECO, he continues to become more independent, including walking independently," Molly said.
Now, this summer, Brandon walks up and down the hall. Coming in in a wheelchair and by the end of summer walking out of the front doors. Brandon's superpower is surpassing all expectations.
Superheroes of CECO
June 11, 2018 - Summer Camp Session I kicked off last week, and it was great to hear the giggles of our CECO Superheroes as they dove into the festivities. From the songs, steps, and smiles our superheroes are already making progress.
Have you ever considered who’s behind the training our superheroes for battle? I’ll give you a hint; it starts with ‘C’ and ends with ‘onductors’!
Our conductors were hard at work planning a summer full of challenges, games, and most of all FUN! For two weeks they were setting up their classrooms, planning the curriculum and getting the arts and crafts ready to go.
We are so grateful to have a team so dedicated to fueling our superheroes with the tools to conquer their milestones this summer. Stay tuned to hear from some of our campers and see their progression from last summer!
Con-Grad-ulations Class of 2018!
Imagine being told by doctors and therapists that your child may never walk or even stand when what you desperately want to hear are words of hope and encouragement. This was the Raymond Family's story. On Friday, May 25, 2018, all of CECO was privileged to watch as Joseph Raymond made his way across the stage in cap and gown to accept his diploma with support from a gait trainer. Congratulations on all of your hard work and success to our grad, Joseph, and to every one of the students who worked so hard this year at CECO.
Every day at CECO, you show us that "The Impossible Is Possible." You learned to say the names of your instructors and assistants and expanded your vocabulary to include seven new words. You learned to feed yourself hand over hand for the duration of your entire meal, and to communicate what you wanted to eat and drink. You also improved your motor skills. Every morning you grabbed your nametag and put it on the board all by yourself, delighted us with your arts and crafts, and made us smile when you loved being in your gait trainer. Not only have you increased your knowledge, but we have learned so much from you as well. You are the reason that CECO is here, you have impacted the lives of hundreds of families from around the world. We are so proud of you and can't wait to see what you accomplish in CECO's Adult Program!
May 5, 2018 - CECO’s halls are filled with superheroes of all different strengths and all different ages. Arel Bosko is one of our superheroes containing a superpower of no fear. Arel conquered set back after set back. He was born with two holes in his heart, and at four months old, he had open-heart surg
ery. Arel spent 83 daysin the hospital and had two code blue incidents, but he wasn’t giving up yet.
His mother Marisa was determined to find a place where Arel could succeed and be more than just a student. After searching for a “think outside the box” kind of place she came across CECO and made the call. Ever since that phone call Arel has been apart of our superhero squad.
“I love everything about CECO. Everyone is always smiling. We are greeted each day with love and kindness. Plus, my son is treated like he is the child of each member of the staff. I can’t imagine sending him anywhere else.” – Marisa, Arel’s Mom
Through individual sessions, Arel has been able to make strides in his daily life. Arel works with Paulina Duque a conductor here at CECO. When asked about Arel Paulina said, “He is a perfect example of how CECO has made such a huge impact in his daily life.” CECO strives to give individuals with motor disabilities independence in their day-to-day life.
Cerebral Palsy Awareness, Alexander's Story.
March 22, 2018 - "Alexander was born with spastic quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy and cortical visual impairment. Alexander started pre-school and kindergarten in the public school system in Tampa. The school had a great physical therapist that worked with Alexander in the gait trainer and other equipment. However, due to budget cuts and few aides in the classroom, Alexander was not given individualized attention that he needed. started pre-school and kindergarten in the public school system in Tampa.
I moved to Melbourne, Florida shortly after that and placed Alexander in a private school for children with physical disabilities. Again, the school didn’t offer 1:1 student/aide ratio in the classroom and Alexander was kept in a wheelchair most of the day. The curriculum had not changed in four years that Alexander attended that school. I felt Alexander was bored and not challenged academically.
I saw that Alexander wanted to learn more and walk more frequently. He loves a challenge, and I felt the school was not working on any skills to make Alexander independent on any level whether it was self-feeding, toileting, walking, etc. During the past two years, I saw Alexander was becoming increasingly frustrated and unhappy. He was trapped in a body he wanted to use. I knew I had to make a change for Alexander and decided to try conductive education.
Alexander went to CECO’s Summer Camp and loved it. I would pick him up from camp, and he would vocalize to me. I took Alexander to his treating neurologist who noticed the improvement with Alexander’s trunk and head control without me even mentioning that Alexander had been at a summer camp program. Alexander’s gastroenterologist also noticed that Alexander’s muscle tone was the best she ever saw.
Since Alexander has started school at CECO, I have noticed more improvement in Alexander’s trunk strength and head control. Alexander can sit up with his arm splints on and support himself 20-30 minutes. He is learning to weight bear more on his legs, and he now pushes up using his legs to stand up from a sitting position. He is also taking more consistent steps when he walks in the gait trainer. Alexander is consistently placed on the toilet after each meal at CECO to help improve his toileting skills.
The 1:1 student/aide ratio provides the individualized attention that Alexander needs. He’s thrilled when I pick him up from school now. I know Alexander has a long road ahead of him, but each small step is a giant gain for Alexander. At least as a mother now, I feel I am on the right road for Alexander’s future."
- Tricia, Alexander's Mom
To see more of our superheroes stories click here!
Preparing for Summer Camp 2018: Mason's Story
March 6, 2018 - Every individual's journey at CECO is unique. One of our summer camp students, Mason, travels from San Diego each summer to attend. With the help of summer camp sessions in 2016 and 2017 as well as individual sessions Mason has made remarkable progress.
Mason attends a typical school and attends CECO over summer. At the start of his journey with CECO, he used two tripod canes to walk, the following summer he only needed to use two single pod canes. After finishing camp in 2017, group and individual CE sessions, Mason learned how to ambulate with just using one cane.
One of our conductors, Ezster Juhasz, had a special experience with Mason through their individualsessions. "At the end of the camp he gave me his second cane, that I kept. It will always be a treasure for me, and whenever I see it, it brings back great memories of a little guy that was working so hard on to be more independent." said Eszter.
What does independence mean for Mason? Today, it means he can carry his own lunchbox to the cafeteria at school. Tomorrow - who knows! We are grateful for every step and look forward to Mason's third camp this summer. For more information about CECO's summer programs, contact email@example.com orvisit www.ceco.org.
The CECO Yellow Room Store
February 13, 2018 – We had the pleasure to welcome our community into CECO to celebrate Community Appreciation Week this February. With a breakfast celebrating our community, volunteers, and partners we got to get to know the stories of some of our key contributors. During the Valentines season, our students created custom Valentine’s Day cards to sell and help fundraise. The cards were a hit, and the teachers wanted to incorporate it into their lessons about the marketplace. Our Yellow Room students had the chance to open their classroom to our community and sell their valentines. It’s easy to say they are natural born salespeople. If you’d like to see our students in action, you can check out our Best of February Video on YouTube or check out all the photos on our Facebook page.
If you missed out on purchasing your Valentines, then you can donate here or come our to Publix on Goldenrod and University on March 24 and 25 to check out our next round of student cards.
Volunteer of the Year 2017
February 7, 2018 – An integral part of CECO’s success comes from the love and support of our volunteers. For many years now one volunteer has been an exceptional
ambassador for CECO and its mission. CECO is honored to name Bill Haggerty CECO Volunteer of the Year for 2017.
Imagine a chance encounter with a young woman in a coffee shop and networking with her, or randomly getting seated next to a man and his wife at a wedding. That’s exactly how Bill’s journey began with CECO in 2013. Bill was seated next to Joe and Vicky Raymond, CECO’s founders. He heard their story and the rest is history.
“Joe asked me to come by and see the kids and I was hooked,” said Bill “It’s been the most enjoyable thing to tell people about something they don’t know about and to invite them here to witness and experience these kids.”
Bill has been a vital ambassador for spreading CECO’s mission. He is instrumental in bringing people to experience CECO, where they can witness the impossible be achieved. Networking is an essential part of Bill’s life, as he strives to make the most of every conversation. What he’s done for CECO is continuously make the organization a point of conversation with those who have the opportunity to make a difference and spread it’s mission to change lives.
It's unique when you can ask someone what their favorite experience is with your organization and they say, “With CECO it’s just so many, it’s every time I come, observing and engaging… it’s just the most rewarding thing I’ve ever done.”
Bill is one of a kind, and if he could tell someone one thing about CECO he wanted them to know, “There is a place for children [with motor disabilities] and families to share responsibility, love, and support.”
Thank you for all you do for CECO Bill, and to every one of our volunteers.
Teacher Spotlight - Lauren Rebel
February 2, 2018 – It's no secret CECO wouldn't be where we are without the outstanding efforts of our teachers and staff. Today we'd like for you to get to know one of our Exceptional Student Educators, Lauren Rebel. Lauren's love, dedication and passion for her students and work is invaluable and essential to the success of CECO. It's your turn to get to know Lauren, keep on reading to find out more.
1) When and why did you come to CECO?
I came to CECO in October of 2013. I was asked by Vicki Briley (previous co-worker) to check it out since she knew I was looking for something out of the public school system. I was upset with such a focus on testing in the public system which did not give focus to making sure students with disabilities were learning what they would need to be as independent as possible and have some fun too.
2) Describe your role in the classroom
I plan and implement curriculum that assists students with the skills they need to be as independent as possible. This includes instruction in daily living, communication and basic academic skills. I also infuse the principals of conductive education within my instruction.
3) What's your favorite part of working with individuals with motor disabilities?
I love their perseverance. I am amazed and inspired by their ability to work so hard and with a smile to accomplish things that many of us take for granted.
4) What¹s something about you no one would know/guess?
I started writing songs at the age of 35 and love to dance.
Meet the Director
January 22, 2018 – Say hello to CECO's new Executive Director Alison Santos. We are excited to have her on our team. As a way to help you get to know Alison, we did a Q&A with her to find out a little more about her, check it out below!
1) Tell us a little bit about your life off the job.
“I have been married to my high school sweetheart, Bruno, who works with children with motor disabilities, for 14 years and we have two beautiful and kind daughters, Gabrielle (11) and Adeline (9). We really enjoy finding fun things to do around town like pottery or trampoline parks. I am an avid sports fan who is a Montreal Canadiens hockey fanatic. My office is covered in memorabilia. I also have very varied musical taste. I love Motown, Classic rock and my favorite bands are The Beatles and Led Zeppelin. Little known fact is that I love to cook and bake, usually with my girls.”
2) What has been your favorite part about working with individuals with motor disabilities?
“My favorite thing is discovering each student’s abilities and how unique they are. To discover how they feel when they accomplish a milestone, or react to positive cheering from a peer class, it’s pure elation for me. This takes me completely outside my “healthcare provider zone” and puts me in a place where I just get to appreciate all that CECO does for the families. It’s amazing.”
3) Do you have a personal connection to CECO and/or individuals with motor disabilities?
“Of course! I came into the healthcare field in Orthotics and Prosthetics to help patients with motor disabilities after working as a preschool program teacher while in college; so it’s felt very organic to merge my career passions. In 2009, my former practice came to CECO to host a brace adjustment camp for the families as a pro bono service. I’ve been in love with CECO since.”
4) If you could achieve one thing as Executive Director what would it be and why?“Nonprofits don’t have it easy. With the status of a 501(c)(3) comes many challenges. I am looking to provide fresh perspective from the for profit business world to be able to enhance some foundational issues and ultimately solidify sustainability. Ultimately, I know CECO is able to grow and with that needs to have a strong foundation. Policies and procedures in a nonprofit start up are not to the expectation I have to be able to scale just yet. So with that is a lot of work to document proper processes so that we can serve more students and families.”
5) Tell us a fun fact about yourself no one would know.
“That’s hard. I air drum (drum with my fingers, no drumsticks) to great music while in the car. If a great classic rock song comes on, particularly Rush, I become a drummer. I may be caught dancing while driving also.”
Alison has worked alongside CECO for a number of years, as she has been an allied healthcare provider working in orthopedic and motor disability specialties in the Central Florida community since 2002. Alison owned her own small healthcare practice from 2003 to 2013 with annual revenues exceeding one and a half million dollars and most recently worked with a large healthcare company specializing in providing orthopedic bracing services across the United States. Under her direction, she oversaw over 36 offices in eight states with over 150 employees with annual production of 25 million dollars. Her experience of owning and directing small and large-scale operations along with long standing knowledge of our Central Florida community will help us execute on our vision and growth initiatives.
We are so excited to have her on our team, and hope you enjoyed getting to know a little bit more about her!
CECO Community Survey
January 19, 2018 – Thank you to everyone who participated in our CECO Community Survey. We received some great responses that will allow us to grow and improve. Here is a snapshot of the responses.
January 12, 2018 – Is it a bird? Is it a Plane? No, it’s a glow ball flying to the green. CECO’s Young Professionals Committee’s Night Golf was a success! Thank you to every one who attended. We want to share the photos with you, so here are a few. If you’d like to see more head over to our Facebook page!
January 1, 2018 – CECO was rockin’ around the Christmas tree at our holiday celebration. Santa came to town and hand delivered gifts to our students. If Santa isn’t cool enough our students got to play in reindeer games and spread holiday cheer by singing loud for all to hear. We had so much fun learning all about different holidays and we want to share it with you! You can check out all our wonderful memories on our Facebook page!
Night of Dreams
November 30, 2018 - Night of Dreams 2017 was a huge success, we were able to raise over $160 thousand dollars thanks to YOU! We want to make sure everyone checks out the photos and memories made that magical evening. Click here to take a look!
Governor Rick Scott Visits CECO
On June 26, 2014 Governor Rick Scott, Senator Andy Gardiner and Senator Kelli Stargel gathered at CECO for a press conference regarding Senate Bill 850 and House Bill 561. The bills directly help children with disabilities and we were thrilled to host them all at our new facility. Governor Scott went around to visit with our students and their families. There were over 100 community friends that attended this wonderful event.
Read the RedefinED article that re-caps the event.
View pictures of Gov. Scott's visit and the press conference.
Grant from the Edyth Bush Foundation
We are so grateful to the Edyth Bush Charitable Foundation for presenting CECO with a $50,000 grant! This amazing gift will go a long way towards enhancing the independence of our students. The Edith Bush Charitable Foundation helps fund life-changing nonprofits in Central Florida, and we are extremely appreciative of their support!
Grant from the Universal Foundation
Our most sincere thanks goes out to the Universal Orlando Foundation, an organization whose mission is to make a positive impact in Central Florida. Their $20,000 grant will certainly make a positive impact here at CECO! Thank you for helping us transform lives.
New Bike Donated by Variety Florida
A very special thanks to Variety Florida Children's Charity for donating a Freedom Concepts bicycle! Our students love the extra opportunity to be active and enjoy the fresh air. We are grateful for their contribution!
Rollins Women's Golf Team Classic Beneficiary
We are honored to have been a beneficiary of the Rollins Legend's Golf Women's Classic tournament! The team raised $6,000 to support CECO's programs. We are so appreciative of their generosity!
Grant from Skansa USA Building
Recently, CECO recieved a $5,000 grant from Skansa USA Building! We are so grateful for their support!
Article in the Seminole Voice
In a few weeks, many children who crawled or rolled their wheelchairs into summer camp at the Conductive Education Center of Orlando will walk out the door.
“I absolutely could see the change in them, the amount of progress was visible, tangible, I saw them walk out,” said Vicki Briley, education coordinator for CECO. She’s watched a history of success measured in footsteps.
Continue reading the article here...