Boca Raton foundation helping individuals with special needs manage stress

“It really grounds you, it’s a reset button.”
Posted at 4:28 PM, May 01, 2020
and last updated 2020-05-01 19:26:38-04

BOCA RATON, Fla. — It’s the simple things like fresh air that brings Jaimee Sabato’s daughter, Allie comfort. Their days in self-quarantine can look like most of ours, while also looking very different.

Jaimee’s 24-year-old daughter Allie is living with a rare neurological disease. Her brain functions are similar to a 10-month-old child.

Her daughter’s condition inspired her to become a medical doctoral student at Lynne University.

“There was a period where she would have up to 200 seizures a day,” said Sabato.

After 11 brain surgeries and a titanium skull, Allie was able to start to live her life.

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“I’d bring her for walks and we’d be able to sit and socialize, which is a very important aspect and that’s been robbed from us, temporarily,” she said.

Sabato says she uses mindfulness-based stress reduction as a daily tool to confront the unexpected.

The COVID-19 pandemic has impacted many families with special needs children who depend on social interactions and routine days. The Unicorn Children’s Foundation is following Sabato's lead. They have a plan to help other families with special needs children de-stress.

“A mindfulness stress based reduction program to teach individuals strategies meditation practices and mind-body skills to learn how they can better manage stress,” said Sharon Alexander, CEO of Unicorn Children’s Foundation.

Allie on horse.JPG

Alexander said the virtual 4-week workshop is free for families with special needs children and a paid MBSR workshop will be available for the community.

“We’re doing a buy one, give one. So when they pay for that registration fee it allows us to give the session with individuals with special needs at no costs,” she said.

For more information on the program, click here.