Monthly Archives: October 2017

Giving Thanks for What the Children Can Do

As Speech-language pathologists, Occupational therapists, and Mentors, we have the responsibility of reminding the parents of our clients that they still have something to give thanks for. They have children who are capable of communicating with the communication devices, when they may not have had this opportunity if they were living in a third world country. Communication allows the children to be in general classes and to have “typical” lives which is something to give thanks for this holiday season. As a team we work together to make sure that the clients are correctly positioned to be able to access the communication device and the controls to drive their power chairs without injuring themselves.

The children are then able to do the “typical” activities that their peers are participating in; such as sports and being in general classes. Communicating allows children to demonstrate knowledge and to call out plays in a sports game. The ability to communicate with a talker allows the individual to call out a move to their teammates while driving the power chair to play. If the families seek out various therapies when their children are at the pre-school age they are going to be able to be active at an early age. This teaches the child that anything they want to do is possible if they want it badly enough and work at achieving it. I believe that if the child can be pushed at an early age that they are going to learn that certain aspirations are expected of them from the family, the IEP team and eventually from themselves. The children who understand this from the age of seven will go farther in life than the children who never understand this concept; I know as I have worked with both types of attitudes.

The families with significantly physically disabled children must remember to give thanks for their children’s unique abilities and thanks to their custom-made equipment allowing them to be children. The children I work with have a full school day and games or practice on weekends. The assistive technologies that we work with them on independently operating, allows them to grow up doing normal kids’ activities while earning a high school diploma which the families should be thankful for this holiday season. As for us professionals we should be thankful that we are able to help our clients to reach their full potential with the help of assistive technologies.

 

Until Next Time, Enjoy Your Children

Disabilities Awareness Month

It’s that time of year again; it’s Disability Awareness Month! Although spreading awareness is fantastic, it shouldn’t be necessary. If the world understood that assistive technology enables disabled children to be on the same playing field as other children their ages. Communicating for disabled children catapults them into mainstream society at an early age, so that general education is all the child knows. Disabled children are starting at the toddler age with communicating and driving power wheelchairs allowing them to interact with their peers. This also leads to their abled bodied peers understanding at a young age that their disabled peers are no different from them.

As a result, disabled students are going to be able to discuss their interests and hobbies just like their abled bodied students. Disabled students get the opportunity to discuss how they are also required to do the same graduation requirements as they do to move on to the next grade. The students discuss how they are capable of completing their homework by being able to access the computers with their communication devices. The abled bodied students are able to understand that their disabled peers are just as bright and capable as they are with the academics.

We professionals come into the schools to educate the pupils on the technical aspect of the equipment and how each person can access it. Being a quadriplegic, my part of the “professional” presentation is to discuss how communicating with the devices is no different from talking with their natural voices. I also talk about, how the students can use their quick phrases to demonstrate that they can communicate at a natural level of speed. The occupational therapist and I will then switch gears to discuss how power chairs allows the student to get to class independently as they would if they were walking to class. In Disabilities Awareness Month, we also recognize Diverse Abilities Week. It is my personal goal for the next two generations after ours, to not have to require a Diverse Abilities Week, as our society would hopefully understand that disabled people are just like them.

  • Until Next Time, Enjoy Your Children

Driving to Independence

In light of October being Disabilities Awareness month, this blog is going to discuss independence. As occupational therapists and mentors, we have the methodology to help our clients to learn how to drive a power chair or work a control switch. The children I work with, start learning how to drive a power chair at the age of three years old, in the hope that they will be able to drive independently by the age of seven. The ability to move one’s self around by the age of seven, teaches the children despite their disabilities, they are still able to move independently.

If they are able to get from one place to another, they’ll be able to meet aides in different classes by themselves; which helps them blend in more with the general crowd. Driving themselves also gives a child the opportunity to walk to classes with their peers instead of an adult, which can help build their confidence.

All of my mentees are in general classes which means that as much as possible, they will be able to drive independently to classes. The children that I work with are able to give driving demonstrations to their peers during their school’s Disabilities Awareness week. They are able to talk in front of their classes about how driving a power chair is not that much different from walking. As occupational therapists and mentors we are able to give that freedom and independence to our clients.

 

-Until Next Time, Enjoy Your Children

Independence

In light of October being Disabilities Awareness month, this blog is going to discuss independence. As occupational therapists and mentors, we have the methodology to help our clients to learn how to drive a power chair or work a control switch. The children I work with, start learning how to drive a power chair at the age of three years old, in the hope that they will be able to drive independently by the age of seven. The ability to move one’s self around by the age of seven, teaches the children despite their disabilities, they are still able to move independently.

If they are able to get from one place to another, they’ll be able to meet aides in different classes by themselves; which helps them blend in more with the general crowd. Driving themselves also gives a child the opportunity to walk to classes with their peers instead of an adult, which can help build their confidence.

All of my mentees are in general classes which means that as much as possible, they will be able to drive independently to classes. The children that I work with are able to give driving demonstrations to their peers during their school’s Disabilities Awareness week. They are able to talk in front of their classes about how driving a power chair is not that much different from walking. As occupational therapists and mentors we are able to give that freedom and independence to our clients.

 

  • Until Next Time, Enjoy Your Children

Independence

In light of Disabilities Awareness Month this blog is going to discuss independence. As occupational therapists and mentors we have the capability of helping a client learn how to drive a power chair or work a switch to drive the chair. The children I work with start learning how to drive the power chair at the age of three in hopes that they will be able to drive independently at the age of seven. The ability to move one’s self around by the age of seven teaches the child that even though they are disabled they are still able to move independently.

As occupational therapists and mentors we have the ability to help children to learn how to drive the power chair. If they are able to get from one place to another they are going to be able to meet different aides in different classes by themselves which helps them blend in more with the general crowd. Driving themselves also gives a child the opportunity to walk to classes with their peers instead of an adult.

All of my mentees are in general classes which means that as much as it is possible we want them to drive independently to classes. The children I work with are able to give driving demonstrations to their peers on disabilities awareness week. They are able to talk in front of their classes about how driving a power chair is not that much different from them walking. As occupational therapists and mentors we are able to give that freedom and independence to our clients.

 

Until Next Time, Your Children