Leah’s dreams coming true

Leah’s dreams coming true

MARYSVILLE – Children with autism can feel left out. They don’t often get invited to parties.

That’s one of the reasons Deanna Sheldon started the charitable nonprofit Leah’s Dream Foundation. Donations are spent on numerous free parties throughout the year that give people with disabilities a chance to socialize. About a few hundred people attended a recent one at Marysville-Pilchuck High School called a “Magical Holiday Event.”

2018 WASA Community Leadership Award

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Friday, May 18 2018

At this event, the District also highlighted the Community Leadership Award Winners, Amy, Ryan, Ray, Deanna, and Alex of the Sheldon Family. This award is given to community members who contribute toward the District’s educational success.

Many wonderful things in the Marysville School District would not be possible without their efforts. Through their 501c3 Leah’s Dream Foundation, they donated $45,000 to build an inclusive play structure at Kellogg Marsh Elementary. Their efforts also funded Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS) training for staff and counselors to help them assist students with Autism or physical limitations, and to help them convey their wants and needs to others. Not a day goes by where you don’t see one or more members of the Sheldon Family at a Marysville school, coordinating a family night with the Native Education or Special Education Department, helping lead a parent meeting, working directly to support a student, or cheering on a Marysville athletic team, not to mention their support of the District’s levy efforts. They are truly a staple of this community and our school district. Our staff, students and families are grateful for their love of all students, and their selfless service.

The Marysville School District is thankful to these individuals for all they do to support students, staff and the community of Marysville and Tulalip. Congratulations to all! 

http://www.msd25.org/article/50697

Leah's Dream Foundation holds Valentine's Party

On Friday, February 9th Leah's Dream Foundation held our 2nd Annual Valentine's Day Event at MPHS Commons. Families in our community came to this great event, enjoyed the food, open mic, a cake walk, arts & crafts and plenty of activities. We are so grateful for the amazing support from our community. The North County Outlook's Christopher Andersson came and took photos and wrote a great article about this event! 

A mother's perspective

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I just want to share a personal story with everyone on what Leah's Dream Foundation means to me, when I first found out I was going to have a baby girl I was beyond grateful she was something that I couldn't wait for and when she arrived her name Leah fit her to the tee! Having Leah was one of the greatest gifts from God, I loved her from the very moment, I would hold my newborn for hours imagining all the great things that this little girl was going to accomplish, I envision...ed a softball player just like I was, soccer player, a golfer just like her dad. I could just imagine what her voice would be like and would be friendly, full of energy.. I dreamt of all the things that most of all parents do when they have their little babies. Well my dreams slowly came to a end when I found out my little two year old was diagnosed with autism and was developmentally delayed. I was the mother that would take her to all these doctors searching for a answer because I was tired of constantly hearing well "let's wait and see!" Finally we were blessed to find the right team of therapist that have been devoted to us since Leah's diagnosis, they have been by our sides since the beginning.

We started this nonprofit for numerous reasons because Leah's story is not like everyone else's, each kid has a unique story or their own, as parents we had to sacrifice a lot to get Leah into the proper therapies and to pay for things that were not covered by insurance. Leah still has a lot to overcome in her life but seeing who she is completely a different child to when she was when she was first diagnosed.

So finally, there is so much that goes behind Leah's Dream Foundation it doesn't represent Leah it represents all children on the autism spectrum because each child deserves equality and to be seen as an individual and not as someone with a disability. Leah Dream represents the Dreams we have for our children to be socially accepted into this world and not be given looks when our children have a hard time responding to questions and or if they are nonverbal and or having a meltdown from being overstimulating. This past year Leah's Dream Foundation's Dream became a reality when we started creating Events that were for individuals with special needs because were we live that rarely happens! And now working with the Marysville School District to create an adaptive / inclusive playgrounds that can be used years round for families and individuals of all ages and disabilities or something that we have been Dreamed of.

Thank you for taking this time to read this post I just wanted to let everyone know the story of why we are called Leah's Dream Foundation it's because Leah is so young and she just makes us all Dream for a better future than many other kids who didn't feel supported like my niece Kelsey! Our goal is to make it better in years come for individuals with autism!

With much appreciation,
Deanna Sheldon