Hometown Hero Raises Awareness for Kids With Special Needs

By Melanie Chapman | mchapman@kolr10.com

Published 11/27 2013 08:20PM

Updated 11/27 2013 08:30PM

LEBANON, Mo. – A Lebanon woman works in the background, but is in the forefront of raising awareness for children with special needs.

Heather Becker is relentless in her efforts to help children with special needs.

She works tirelessly to place chairs in restaurants for the little ones who cannot sit in standard wooden high chairs. She does it for her love of children.

“The rewards is the ‘ugh awaahh’ moments,” says Becker. “When you see the kids and they finally learn something new.”

Heather knows all too well the challenges that face families and children with developmental disabilities. She's a mother of three and has two boys with delayed speech skills.

“God didn't give me more than I can bear,” says Becker. “And then I see other kids and they have so much more than what he has. So I’m just thankful but I want to help those kids and I want to reach out to them. They have so much potential inside them if you can only release it.”

Becker does reach out to those children.

While raising her own children, going to school full time to get her college degree, and working as a special needs aide for Richland Head Start, she volunteers for an organization called SCAN (Supporters of Children with Additional Needs.)

Becker has volunteered more than 500 hours this year.

“She's my right hand man,” says SCAN Director Terry Faust.  “I mean if I didn't have Heather helping me do what I’ve done for the last two years that she's been here helping us, it would have been a lot slower for us for sure. But she's just been fantastic she's been there for everything we need.”

Faust says it doesn't matter the age, or disability, any family can come to SCAN for support.
With the help of Becker, they hope to change the lives of children with additional needs so that life isn't so puzzling.

“Just those moments when you can tell that the kids get something and you can see that they are valuable and there is something inside that sometimes society has given up on,” says Becker.

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