“Special Needs” is an umbrella underneath, which is a staggering array of diagnoses can be wedged. Children with special needs may have mild learning disabilities or profound cognitive impairment; food allergies or terminal illness; developmental delays that catch up quickly or remain entrenched; occasional panic attacks or serious psychiatric problems. The designation is useful for getting needed services, setting appropriate goals, and gaining understanding for a child and stressed family.
Sue Sines has been helping in some area of special needs for several years and Monday was no exception. She presented a check for nearly $1,000 to the school to provide some extra funds for the multiple handicapped classrooms at Portsmouth West Schools.
“We will let the teachers in each of the three classrooms meet with their students and I’m sure they will have options for the kids and they will decide what each classroom will want to do,” Wilma Erwin, special education director for Washington-Nile Schools, said. “So this will actually be some funds, a little over $300 in each classroom, that the kids will pick things. I suspect maybe some new apps for their Chrome-books, but who knows. It’s exciting that in today’s schools we don’t hear that very often.”
Sines sold puzzle pieces for $1 each with the name of the person in support of special needs and placed each puzzle piece on the wall at The Complex in West Portsmouth. The wall is now half full, an estimated 600 pieces on display. She said the shops at The Complex and the football team, the Tanks, participated in raising the funds and she took the opportunity to thank The Complex for donating their facility.
“I also had a walk just this past April,” Sines said. “It was for special needs for all three West schools.”
T-shirt sales profits also went to the special needs fund. Sines said the money was to provide anything the students need in the classroom.
Erwin thanked Sines for the check in the hallway at Portsmouth West High School Monday morning and said Sines’ efforts set a high standard of paying it forward.
“I think about Mrs. Sines and what she has done here,” Erwin said. “It was just out of her heart and the passion of her heart that she wanted MD, multiple handicapped kids to have some extra funds.”
Reach Frank Lewis at 740-353-3101, ext. 1928, or on Twitter @franklewis.