An Unlikely Hero
At Rifton we talk a lot about heroes. They are the people we meet at schools and hospitals who care for people with multiple – and sometimes overwhelming – disabilities. People like Alicia in the photo at right, a physical therapist at Elizabeth Seton Pediatric Center in Yonkers, who is helping Derrick learn to walk.
But take another look. Something has caught Derrick’s eye. Notice the...
My Thanks for a Magical Moment
About 40 miles north of Chicago, in Lake County, there is a special school called Laremont, and it was there a few weeks ago that I was reminded how fortunate I am in my line of work.
You see, I’ve worked for the last five years in customer service for Rifton. And because I cover the state of Illinois, every two years I attend an event there for school therapists. This year I scheduled an extra half...
A Great Book for a New School Year
Prince Noah is back in time for the start of a new school year. His second appearance on our blog heralds the sequel to the well-loved fairy tale The Prince Who Was Just Himself, a story about a child with Down syndrome unwittingly disarming a palace enemy through natural gifts of compassion and curiosity.
In the delightfully written Prince Noah and the School Pirates, Noah continues to be himself...
Best Practices for Classroom Prompting
When teaching children with special needs new skills, therapists and teachers typically provide prompts to guide the process. According to activity-based curriculums, prompts are defined as supports, and may come in many different forms. Prompts are ever changing, depending on the activity.
A wide variety of prompts enables special education classroom staff to choose the one or combination that are most...
Beyond the Medical Model
Therapy services are provided in hospitals, clinics, homes and schools. But in the educational setting, therapy intervention is unique because it is controlled by the landmark education legislation called the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA) and by the child’s Individualized Educational Program (IEP). In this setting, school-based therapy intervention focuses on the child and how...
Teamwork in a Task-Oriented Approach
Task-oriented therapy approaches are used widely in school systems across the country. This is because students with disabilities learn and respond to their greatest potential when motor learning is incorporated into functional and meaningful tasks throughout the school day. One of the most successful and recognized task oriented methodologies is the MOVE Program. Within the MOVE curriculum, as in all task...
Mobility Opportunities Via Education
The MOVE® program helps people with disabilities learn to sit, stand, walk and transition so they can participate more fully in family and community life. MOVE® is a stepped process that helps you assess your client’s ability and incrementally teach key motor skills. And it works.
Their Name Is Today
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Their Name Is Today: “This book showed me just how connected are so many facets of living that till now occupied separate rooms in my heart: teaching, disabilities, motherhood, work, play … taking life in all its raw, beautiful, exhausting, exhilarating truth. Read it. Savor it. Then share it.” (From the review by Maureen Swinger)
Optimal Positioning with Adaptive Seating for the Child with Cerebral Palsy
Cerebral Palsy is a result of abnormalities in the parts of the brain that control muscle movements. For children with cerebral palsy, their muscle control, coordination, and posture will be affected to varying degrees by this faulty development or damage to areas of their brain. Cerebral Palsy affects approximately three out of every 1,000 children, and symptoms can range from mild to severe physical...
From the Dad of an Exceptional Graduate
Dear Rifton –
My son Alan is 18, and he has used Rifton devices most of his life. He learned to bear his own weight in the smallest-sized Mobile Stander, which we got for him on his first birthday. Slowly he progressed to walking, first with a Pacer gait trainer, then holding two hands, one hand, and finally independently.
During the last four years, most of Alan’s education has...