Santa’s gift for the sensory disabled

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The Christmas season can be a hectic and intense time for many people. The lights, noise, hustle and bustle are all around us. That’s why a local parents group — Parents, Let’s Unite for Kids, or PLUK — hosted a quiet Christmas event last week for children with sensory disorders and other disabilities.

The gathering was designed to create a comfortable environment for children where they could sit quietly with “Sensory Santa” and enjoy the season without being overwhelmed by lights, music and crowds.

Sensory processing disorder may be seen in developmental conditions such as autism or attention-deficit /hyperactivity disorder. We commend PLUK and its corps of devoted volunteers for offering a welcoming event where children with these disorders could feel comfortable. Volunteer Barb Sorenson aptly pointed out that “it’s really important we start to bring to the forefront of people’s understanding that every child is different. We know they have different learning styles, but their sensory needs are different as well.” That’s important for all of us to remember.

A nice rescue on ice

We were happy to learn about an ice rescue on Foys Lake over the weekend that ended with a beloved family pet safely reunited with its family.

Smith Valley Fire Department rescue crews were called upon Friday night when a dog fell through the thin ice covering the lake. Stranded 100 feet from shore, the dog was in a dire situation.

Luckily, a first responder geared up in a dry suit was able to physically smash through the ice to reach the dog and haul it to safety. The pup reportedly is doing just fine.

We’re thankful for the long hours of training put in by our local emergency responders, as well as for the investment in appropriate ice-rescue gear, that made this recovery a success. It’s comforting to know we have highly skilled professionals, like the brave folks at Smith Valley Fire Department, at the ready when called upon.

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