Help me give my students balance and coordination equipment to develop skills to travel independently in school and the community.
Hooray! This project is fully funded
Hooray! This project is fully funded
I work with high school students, aged 12-21 years old, in special education. My students receive physical therapy as part of their educational experience. Each student presents differently and our sessions are mindfully tailored to their individual needs.
The overarching goal is to prepare my students to be active members of their community, as well as, live the most independent lives as possible.
Together we work on skills to optimize their participation within both the school and community environments. These include, but aren't limited to, balance, coordination, stair climbing, endurance, strength, as well as, motor planning, implementation, and retention. These skills also enhance their ability to independently travel throughout the school building and in the community.
We also engage in community based programs such as a dance team and recycling program. These programs provide opportunity to collaborate with their peers, work towards a collective goal, accomplish a task at hand, take on the responsibility of a leader and/or role model for their peers. Such experiences further prepare them for their post graduation experiences, including a job placement if possible.
In order to travel safely around the school and throughout the community, my students need to develop and master various coordination and balance skills. These include foundational skills that challenge their ability to weight shift, respond to visual and auditory stimuli, use spatial awareness, and learn to plan for, execute, and retain the physical movement patterns needed for these tasks.
I design various obstacle courses to simulate the type of encounters my students will experience in the school and/or the community environments.
An example of an obstacle course made with the materials I am requesting is: walking along a foam balance beam, jumping and/or hopping on spot markers, stepping over and through hoops placed at different heights with hoop clips. As my students progress I ask them to toss and catch a ball while completing this same course. The balance pad helps with balancing on uneven surfaces. The larger therapy balls help with weight shifting and balancing in a seated position to work up to challenges in standing.
The aim is to prepare them to: navigate the hallways in school and sidewalks in the community; cross the street safely even if they need to step around or over an obstacle in their path; turn to look in response to a siren or honking horn without having to stop crossing the street; navigate gaps between the subway platform and train cars; maintain balance on a crowded subway or bus; respond to a person bumping into them on the sidewalk, train, or bus without falling.
Help me prepare my students to be able to independently and safely travel throughout their school and community environments, so that they have the opportunity to live their most independent life possible.
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