BUFFALO, NY (WKBW) — Ice skating has open the door for the future of a young girl with developmental disabilities. 7 Eyewitness News takes you to the SABAH ice rink in Buffalo where a Cantalician student is reaching developmental milestones.
7-year-old Callisto Cordero’s smile melts your heart. She was born with a rare genetic mutation. Her brain doesn't function properly. She can only speak a few words. She has Epilepsy and balance issues. But out on the ice, Callisto stands straight up in her pink ski pants. Skating gives her freedom and Mobility.
"By the grace of God we’ve seen a lot of progress," declared Nayadee Wilson, mother.
Wilson says her daughter has the comprehension of an 18-month old and is not potty trained. The mother's eyes swelled with tears as she reflected on her daughter.
"It's definitely hard. I have my seven year old and I need to change her diaper - that’s really tough," Wilson said. "God certainly helps me through it and it's difficult."
"Therapies can sometimes, for our guy not be so fun. They don’t even know they are getting therapy," explained Shelia O'Brien, executive director, SABAH. "This is an incredible confidence builder for our participants."
Sabah and the Cantalician have been teaming together for 28-years.
The SABAH skating program helps bridge the learning that occurs at the Cantlician Center.
"This is a young lady who has gone through the ranks from needing walkers to not needing a walker, to maintain her balance on the ice. She’s now been able to go out on weekends with her family," described Judy Maciolek, physical therapy supervisor, Cantalician.
Cantalician staffers say skating has improved Callisto's skills and abilities back in the classroom.
"These children show us the power of 'yet' and the power that they have that they 'can do'. You just have to give them the opportunity and the time," Colleen Christman, K-2 special education teacher, Cantalician.
Cantalician provides the tools to help student's like Callisto learn life skills. Her mom says the goal is to teach her daughter to become as independent as possible, so watching her daughter on the ice is a major stride.
"It's a tear jerker. It’s amazing and I thank god everyday for the light that she brings into our lives and to just see her progress and having fun," Wilson responded.
Callisto will be one of this year's skaters in SABAH's 2020 Celebration on Ice: "The Many Colors of SABAH", March 8 at Keybank Center at 2 p.m.