Grant to provide innovative equipment for special needs children

Release Date: 
7/18/2011

Eastern Oregon schools with special needs students often have struggled to find funding for leading-edge therapy tools to assist these children in the classroom. Acquiring these tools just got a little bit easier thanks to a $2,000 grant from Good Shepherd Hospital in Hermiston.

The grant has allowed the InterMountain Education Service District’s physical/occupational therapy and assistive technology programs to purchase tools for special needs children in the region. These tools include a supportive chair to allow a special needs child to access a regular education classroom, and new innovative stabilizing pressure shirts, pants and gloves from Spio!, which assist in hand writing, scissor skills and standing balance activities.

Active participation in making music has long been associated with math skills, and children with special needs benefit from making music as well. With innovative Spio! multi-directional, micro-stretch fabric gloves, vests and pants, special needs children are now able to use Pat Bells and drums.

In addition, innovative Nintendo Wii therapy with Spio! addresses focus, balance, coordination and strengthening, as well as assists children in socializing appropriately (i.e., waiting to take your turn). Spio! makes it possible for children with moderate balance disorders to safely participate with peers on balance boards and use the Nintendo Wii remote control without adult assistance.

The IMESD is appreciative of Good Shepherd Hospital’s grant award to assist the children in our area schools who have special needs achieve the same success as other students in the classroom.

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For more information about these innovative tools, please contact:
Cynder Lammers-Smith, Physical Therapy, (541) 966-3135 or cynder.smith@imesd.k12.or.us
Toni Nickell, Occupational Therapist, (541) 966-3173 or toni.nickell@imesd.k12.or.us