Dylan Vongrej was born with Canavan disease, a disorder that causes progressive damage to nerve cells in the brain. Dylan is non-verbal and unable to walk, but, according to his mother Noreen, “He understands everything you’re saying.” He’s also learning to communicate, thanks to speech therapy he’s receiving from Matheny.
When Larissa Garcia was born, everything seemed normal. Then, a few days later, she had difficulty breathing. Genetic tests revealed that she had Trisomy 13, a chromosomal condition associated with severe intellectual disability and physical abnormalities in many parts of the body. Because of the life-threatening medical problems that present themselves shortly after birth, many Trisomy 13 patients don’t survive past infancy, but Larissa is now nine years old and attending school in Mount Olive, NJ.
If there’s one message Maryanne Tortorello of Randolph would like to deliver to parents of children with disabilities, it’s “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Tortorello’s daughter, Mary Rita, was born three months premature in 1995. When she was almost two months old, Mary Rita experienced bleeding in her brain, which developed into cerebral palsy. After three years of early intervention, she attended the P.G. Chambers School in Cedar Knolls, graduating from eighth grade in 2011. The Tortorello family visited The Matheny School as a possible option for high school, but the transition from the ambiance of an elementary school to that of a school located in a hospital setting with adult patients, was somewhat disconcerting.
Matheny’s Memorable Moments & Bright Spots of 2020
When we wrote our “Best of 2019” post around this time last year, we had no idea what we...Read More
Hanukkah at Matheny
All of us at Matheny wish a Happy Hanukkah to all who are celebrating this week! Want to learn...Read More
Charles “Chuck” Matheny – Model of Possibility
Charles H. Matheny, age 76, died on December 14, 2017 – three years ago today. A native of Minnesota,...Read More