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Student spreads wings through D86 TC


Last updated 12/4/2019 at 2:46pm | View PDF

Jim Slonoff


Hinsdale's Maddie Maturino held up the birthday card she had just printed out at the Hinsdale High School District 86 Transition Center. The balloon-emblazoned card will be among numerous items for sale at a holiday craft fair tomorrow from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Lake Park High School.

Asked how it felt to help produce the card, a smile widens across Maturino's face.


She took time out from her labor to share a little about her experience at the Transition Center, which provides job and life skills training for people with disabilities after they graduate from Hinsdale Central and Hinsdale South high schools. Preparing goods for the craft fair is one way the young adults learn about executing projects and contributing to the marketplace.

Maddie, a self-admitted avid shopper, said she enjoys this gift-buying season.

"I like winter," she said.

Where do all the presents go that she purchases?

"Under the tree," Maturino replied.

She said small stores are her preferred destination for shopping excursions with mom Amelia, showing off the boots and barrette she recently bought to complete her head-to-toe ensemble.

"Maddie's very stylish," remarked special education teacher Heather Riggs, who joined the conversation.

In a seemingly tailor-made arrangement, Maturino works at Kelsey Resale Boutique in Hinsdale two days a week, keeping the shop nice and tidy for customers.

"Vacuuming and dusting," she said of her duties there.

Suddenly activity can be heard in the hallway outside through the half-open door. Maturino stands to close it, playfully declaring "Privacy!" to the noisemakers.

Among the classes she takes at TC, she said movement therapy is her favorite. To put it simply, this woman likes to dance. As for what tunes get her moving, Mariah Carey's "All I Want for Christmas" is at the top of her Christmas season playlist. Just don't ask her to sing it.

"No!" she exclaimed.

Her dog Coach is a constant companion.

"On a leash," she said, gesturing Coach's effort to break free during their walks. But her commands are usually heeded. "Coach, come on. Let's go!"

A tablet hangs from her neck, a instrument Maturino can employ to express thoughts when vocalizing is difficult. Riggs said she doesn't use it as much as she once did.

"She's definitely become more verbal on her own," Riggs said. "She's doing great!"

With a bevy of extended family members in the area, holiday gatherings are especially lively, Maturino said. She looks forward to the homecoming of her collegiate cousin Renee, with whom she shares an especially close bond.

Maturino has participated in Special Olympics, competing in basketball, swimming and track. Basketball ranks first, but those hands need to look good when playing. She shows off the pretty shade of pink adorning her fingers.

"I do my own," said the amateur nail technician.

She's painted the nails of Transition Center staff, too, and soon many will be happy holiday recipients of her card-crafting talent.

Author Bio

Ken Knutson is associate editor of The Hinsdalean

Email: [email protected]
Phone: 630-323-4422, ext 103


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