Janelle and Rick Farrell discovered their beautiful baby girl, Vanessa, had Down syndrome the moment she was born. They loved their daughter without reservation, and began to learn as much as they could about her condition. They watched and learned from Vanessa, who taught them truckloads about how simple a thing like joy can be.
It can be as easy as spending an hour pouring water in a sandbox to make mud, and as effortless as climbing up stairs and whizzing down a swivel slide. For Vanessa, who has grown into a 3 ½ -year-old sprite with energy enough for an entire playground of children, playing at the Rotary Park Boundless™ playground in Simsbury is as natural as signing for her mother to “Come, come” or horsing around with her big sister, Adriana.
“It takes longer to learn things,” explains Janelle. “We have to do more exercises with her to stimulate her muscles to make them stronger, and have used physical therapy to get her to roll over, to sit up, to walk up and down the stairs…I do things with Vanessa during the day that are therapy for her, helping her learn and reach her goals…That in essence is what these playgrounds are doing: Helping children with special needs.”
“I’ve noticed a change in my daughter, with all the physical activity throughout the day from the Boundless™ playground. It really makes a difference. And she’s interacting with other kids, which is just wonderful. Now she’s playing on the Boundless™ playground unassisted. I’m still there as a worry-wart parent, but she’s very self-sufficient.