Meet Dad's beautiful and independent eleven year-old girl, Deja. Deja's doting Dad describes his little girl as sweet, fun loving and determined! This father daughter duo have worked through some challenging times together but they are coming out ahead with each other side by side.
Diagnosed with Autism as a young child, Déjà is hypersensitive to all kinds of internal and external stimuli. Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and autism are both general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development. These disorders are characterized, in varying degrees, by difficulties in social interaction, verbal and nonverbal communication and repetitive behaviors. They include autistic disorder, Rett syndrome, childhood disintegrative disorder, pervasive developmental disorder-not otherwise specified (PDD-NOS) and Asperger syndrome.
Deja was nominated by her teachers at school in hopes of giving this lovely little girl and growing pre-teen a special place all her own. The goal was to provide a space that would grow with Deja and provide her with a sanctuary for her to be creative, to play music, make art and enable her life to be easier and ultimately bring more joy! Deja's teachers describe her as a beautiful girl with many endearing qualities. She loves to laugh and play, and even the smallest things bring her joy. The team at Children's listened to the teacher's input and provided Deja with a relaxing pea pod chair to help her feel safe and provide that sensory integration she desires. This inflatable chair provides deep-touch pressure to help calm children with sensory processing needs. It provides a cocoon-like calming effect and helps assist with defining special boundaries. Its flocked surface provides a velvety feel for comfort and sensory processing.
Dad's wish was Deja was for her to have a safe haven that made his little girl feel special, loved and supported. Over the last two years Deja has suffered with separation anxiety and has had trouble being the independent, free spirit his Dad knows his little angel to be. Contrary to the stereotypes of what it means to have Autism - Deja likes social interaction and chooses to be with people. His hope is that with a new room, Deja will once again become more independent and spark her musical creativity. As Deja enters the pre-adolescence phase, this room will provide her with privacy she needs and the sensory comforts she needs to make her happier, calmer and safe.
Thank you to Children's Physicians Medical Group, dedicated to caring for more than 70,000 San Diego and southern Riverside children, for volunteering to participate in Cecily's Closet's first annual Mission of Giving Program.
Thank you Linda and Katie for serving as the Project Mangers on this room! Newcomers to Cecily's Closet, these devoted women jumped in feet first and stayed motivated and excited throughout the entire project! In addition to the huge donation of their time and talent, the team at Children's Physicians Medical Group internally fundraised to bolster the Cecily's Closet provided funds. We are so proud of this team and the results they provided for this family!
In addition to the beautiful room, the Deja was provided with a host of new clothes and accessories - perfect for back to school! The team also donated money to ensure the carpets throughout the home, not just Deja's room, were professionally cleaned.
Thanks to Jon Ray at Paint
Green for generously agreeing to donate your time and service and
for coordinating the free paint from Dunn-Edwards for Deja's room. The Sweet Sixteen paint was just perfect!
Thank you to Hanna of Hanna's Murals for being the lead artist on this room. We've had the pleasure of working with Hanna many times before and her style, professionalism and amazing results never disappoint! She took the theme and really ran with it! Thank you for creating such a beautiful space for growing pre-teen, Deja!
And thank you to San Diego Family Magazine for donating so many toys for Deja.