News and Events

Company Commander Will Run Philadelphia Marathon for HMS Students
Proceeds Donated in Honor of Childhood Friend, HMS Occupational Therapist

PHL Marathon_Article PhotoOn November 22nd, Patrick Knight will run the Philadelphia Marathon. An ambitious goal in-and-of itself, the personal reason he committed to this physically strenuous feat is especially inspiring: he is raising money for HMS School for Children with Cerebral Palsy to honor his childhood friend and HMS Occupational Therapist, Annabeth Martino. Click here for the full story.

 

 

 

HMS Assistive Technologies Program: Helping Students Find their Voices
By Diane L. Gallagher, PhD

_Lauren

Recently, our Assistive Technologist Dawn Rainey gave me an update on HMS’s Educational Technologies Program, its current impact and how she sees it evolving.

For our students, communication is key. Many of our students are nonverbal, so they depend on a myriad of assistive technologies for activities of daily living. From navigating their power wheelchairs to communicating, they use these technologies to advocate for themselves and maintain as much independence as is possible. The process of equipping our students with the proper devices is time-consuming and complex, as each of our students has unique abilities and needs. For many years, HMS has recognized the complexities of this detailed process. As a result, we have established a long-term lending library of assistive devices that allows students to try any number of alternatives for an amount of time far exceeding the 6-week maximum time offered by state sources. Click here for the full text.

 

HMS Dance Collaborations Community Outreach Programs Allow Students to Flourish
By Diane L. Gallagher, PhD

_Kyle

Just last week, I was walking through the Gowen Educational Wing at HMS, when I came upon our after school dance collaborative with Drexel University. While watching the seven HMS student dancers and  seven Drexel dancers warming up together, I focused on Kyle. Wearing his “Just Do It” shirt, he is the perfect example of how collaborations like these can help our students grow and flourish.

When Kyle first came to HMS, he avoided most social outreach programming, Dance Movement Therapy  (DMT) and the recreational dance program, in particular. He was frustrated and did not want to engage  and occasionally disrupted other participants. At first, it was unclear why Kyle was so disinclined, but as  it turns out, Kyle just wanted to hear more up-tempo music – beats more in line with his favorite genre of  music: WrestleMania scores. Once more varieties of music were included, his outlook on participation  started to change.

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HMS Functional Life Skills 
An Opportunity for Personal, Interpersonal and Community-Focused Growth
By Diane L. Gallagher, PhD

_Skyler

At HMS, we know that functional life skills are vital to ensuring our students reach their potential. As they transition from childhood to adulthood, we have our students participate in our Functional Life Skills (FLS) program to help them develop key skills that will allow them to maximize their independence.

HMS’s Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant Millie Connelly oversees the FLS program. She explains, “It’s about small gains that over time can make all the difference. As our students grow, we encourage them to develop personal independence and take initiative. Our goal is to promote self-advocacy, encourage community living, foster the development of meaningful choices, and inspire self-confidence in our students.” As a result, the program focuses on four topical areas that promote social and emotional development: sharing feelings and emotions, interviewing and social interaction, party planning, and community engagement.

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