Nine TRAM Success Stories from the Public School Setting
Three years ago, because of significant work-place injury among the region’s educational staff, I along with other physical therapists from High Desert Education Service District’s (HDESD) proposed a safe patient handling and mobility (SPHM) policy which the region’s special education directors endorsed. This involved obtaining and teaching school staff how to use mechanical devices to...
Benefits of Early Mobility
Early Gait Training: Positive Outcomes for the Long Term
Think about it. The more you practice, the better you get – at anything. As author Malcolm Gladwell explains in his book “Outliers,” the one point that distinguishes a violinist from a virtuoso is practice- at least 10,000 hours of it. This applies to any field regardless of nature or nurture. So with early gait training, a child...
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...
Tips & Advice
Toileting in Schools with the TRAM
Using the Rifton TRAM for toileting can make a huge difference for both students and staff, providing both safety during transfers to the toilet and dignity and privacy for the student. Because students with disabilities have a wide range of needs, there are many ways to use the TRAM for this purpose.
Here are some methods we’ve found here at Socorro, presented as three case studies. (I&rsquo...
Giving the Gift of Mobility
Typically developing children reach most motor milestones in a fairly predictable manner. By six months babies are rolling; by eight months they are creeping on all fours and sitting on their own and by ten-twelve months they are standing and getting ready to take their first steps.
During this part of the first year of life, typically developing babies are exploring their environment, interacting with...
Activity-Based Curriculum in Action
Students at Woodland Developmental Center are on the move all day. The hallways are busy, the classrooms noisy and full of activity as the children practice important life skills that have been incorporated into their curriculum. And that’s what’s different about Woodland. Where students with disabilities in other schools may be seen two or three times a week in the therapy department, Woodland...
Evidence Based Practice
Evidence Update: Early Intervention Stepping Practice
Because bone is dynamic and responds to positive stresses and forces placed on it through weight-bearing activity, the authors of a recent study set out to examine the effects of early upright supported stepping on bone mineral content in a population of infants (1-18 months) with a form of spina bifida called myelomeningocele (MMC). They chose patients with MMC because this condition presents with...
Adaptive Equipment for Classrooms Series: Part 3 of 3
Today’s post is the third in a series of articles on the topic of adaptive equipment use in the classroom. Adaptive equipment, used appropriately, serves as a teaching tool for students to learn motor skills such as sitting, standing, and walking, while engaged in the curriculum. This post focuses on walking, emphasizing the importance of reducing prompts to increase independence.