The Magic of the Floating Frame
Saad is a young man who just transitioned to our adult services from his school program in September 2017, and even though I try hard not to have favorites, Saad tests my resolve; he never fails to brighten my day.
When Saad first arrived, he only had the wheelchair he came in. We put him in an old-style Rifton XL Pacer. Saad has cerebral palsy, involving a complex history with both his knees requiring...
Using the TRAM for Safe Transfers and Mobility in the School Setting
Our team of therapists and educators works together to provide opportunities for functional mobility to our students throughout the school day.The challenges we face include a variety of health diagnoses, behavioral management issues, and cognitive and physical deficits. These situations require team problem solving for safe and efficient physical management of the student while maximizing participation in...
No Way Jose!
“Jose! Jose! No way Jose!" Lined up on the playground, 500 elementary students chanted their support for Jose as he propelled his very own Rifton mobile stander across the platform at Mayflower Elementary. Then down the long ramp he went to the playground surrounded quickly by his friends, family, the Monrovia mayor, police officers and firemen (and many cameras). What a day!
A bright and...
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...
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...
Lincoln Developmental Center Art Project
For a few weeks in February and March of this year the students at Lincoln Developmental Center in Grand Rapids, Michigan donned paint shirts and participated in a school-wide art project. Using Rifton chairs, Pacers, or Mobile Standers, they gathered around large canvases to create paintings of figures very much like themselves - moving about and exploring their world with the help of their adaptive...
Down Syndrome in Ancient Art
Image copyright ©The Metropolitan Museum of Art. Image source: Art Resource, NY
In preparing for a presentation on disability history I gave two weeks ago to Ministry of Health and Social Service officials in Russia, I stumbled across the research of John M. Starbuck, who examined the depiction of people with Down syndrome in ancient and medieval art. His entire paper is worth looking at but one...
Born to Run
At an early age Meg Moore began attending her older brothers' cross-country meets and decided that she wanted to run also. Although Meg was born with cerebral palsy, the additional challenges from the condition did not dampen her spirits in the pursuit of her athletic goals. Today, Meg is a member of the Pomperaug High School track and cross country teams in Southbury, Connecticut.
"I was in sixth grade...
Never Lose Hope
The Keren Malki Foundation in Israel
In 1997 Malki Roth wrote an article for Exceptional Parent magazine about caring for her two-year old sister, Haya Elisheva, who had severe mental and physical disabilities. The article was called “Never Lose Hope!” Four short years later, 15 year old Malki was killed in a senseless and tragic suicide bombing at the Sbarro restaurant in Jerusalem, Israel...