Italo is the fourth of our five children. At 5 years of age we noticed that he was making some strange facial movements and stood staring for several seconds, as distracted. Then we were told by his teachers at school about his lack of concentration, difficulty with fine motor skills, language, and poor performance in general. “Distractions” episodes became more frequent and lasted longer.
After visiting many therapists, neuro-psychologists and neurologists, we learned that Italo has more than an attention deficit; it is a form of generalized seizures called “absence seizures.” This disease makes it difficult to learn and even when treatment has eliminated its conspicuous absence seizures, memory is “intermittent,” which is why Italo needs more time to learn and memorize.
As a family we have supported his development and celebrate every advance no matter how small. Currently, Italo practices Tae Kwon Do and will soon begin classes on robotics. Everyone is different because we are unique; what is important is to focus on his abilities.
Our experience as parents of a child with special needs motivated us to help other families understand that we are privileged to have the great mission of bringing our children to society, help them develop their own skills, thus becoming better adults, independent and useful.
My husband, Hernán Bongioanni, who is a doctor and worked for over 20 years for the Venezuelan Red Cross, had the great idea of creating the Italo’s Way Foundation, through which we can help other families who share our values and mission.
Italo’s Way Foundation was registered in Florida, USA, in 2013 and began operations in the fourth quarter of 2014. As part of our activities we selected schools for various disciplines such as art, music and sports, that have better facilities and more importantly, having staff with sensitivity and love that a child with special needs requires.
Many families and institutions have found in Italo’s Way Foundation a trustworthy organization, which provides the resources that allow us to ensure that children with special needs develop their individual skills without any discrimination.
Li Tai Zamora de Bongioanni