Aulanda is a Special Education Teacher at Eisenhower Elementary School in Dubuque, IA and MOVE Site Trainer for Dubuque Community Schools.
The Dubuque Community School District has used the MOVE (Mobility Opportunities Via Education) Curriculum for the past three years. We have embraced the many new approaches of this curriculum and applied them to our current philosophy. After adopting the program three years ago, we have seen successes in many students. Some students have made remarkable gains.
In particular, my student Wyatt has been one of our miracles in the program. He is now a 6-year-old first grader who started the program in 2005. Wyatt has many challenges resulting from an automobile accident. Wyatt has limited use of his left side as well as other motor difficulties.
When Wyatt started the program, it was very difficult to assess his abilities or predict his potential for mobility, specifically in the area of walking. With the help of MOVE, our Keystone Physical Therapists, school staff and parents, we encouraged Wyatt to increase his skills.
Wyatt initially started using a small Rifton Pacer with most of the prompts. With motivation as the key, Wyatt began to build up his endurance from walking 25 feet to 300 feet within the school building. We were able to gradually reduce prompts. Now Wyatt has grown to use the medium Pacer as a reverse walker with the use of just two handholds.
In addition, he took his first six steps independently without the Pacer in January 2007. Two months later, he has taken up to 60 independent steps. With limited use of his left side, he does not have protective responses yet. So he uses the Pacer to be independent of adult assistance. His favorite activity is independently kicking the ball while playing in gym class. He is truly ON THE MOVE.
GREAT JOB, Wyatt! Thank you to everyone at MOVE and Rifton for your continued support.
To find out about upcoming MOVE trainings, go to www.move-international.org/move-trainings
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