Evansville mother awarded for special needs advocacy

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EVANSVILLE, INDIANA (WEHT)– Tubefeeding serves as a medical intervention for many children and adults. Paula Guzzo said her son Scott was born with special needs.

“When Scott was born- he still doesn’t walk, he talks, which we understand pretty much so now, but there was no walking, no talking, and no eating,” Guzzo said.

As a result, he has lived his entire life with a feeding tube. Guzzo said she’s had to become an advocate for her son as he’s gone through school and grown up over the years. She said over the years, she’s discovered a love for Real Food Blends, a company that specializes in making healthier meals for those with a feeding tube. The company partakes in National Tubefeeding Awareness Week, and they kicked it off by giving Guzzo the 2021 Brian Liebenow Award.

“From what I understand, it just has to do with us being us,” Guzzo said.

Guzzo said she’s taken her son’s needs and has used that as a baseline for what she advocates for. She said her son Scott did not react well to the typical meals prescribed, and finding a company like Real Food Blends to provide healthier options has helped. She’s advocated in the school system as well.

“Feeding table based foods versus formula foods is one of the areas. My forte where I’ve spent most of my time has been for inclusion of students with special needs into the general ed classroom other than just in special education settings,” Guzzo said.

Guzzo said at the end of the day, she’s blessed to have Scott and is blessed to have the feeding tube.

“I spend every day grateful for Scott and the feeding tube that keeps him alive,” Guzzo said.

(This story was originally published on February 8, 2021)

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