For a child who doesn’t walk or talk and is also blind, play time with other children can be a problem. Luckily for Nick Jones, Luhr Elementary has come up with a way to keep him participating, even in gym class.
Gym time at Luhr Elementary means everyone participates including Nick Jones and his classmates from Joanne Will’s special needs group.
Wills says, “We all kind of help the kids hold up their arms and put their arms down. That’s about the most that Nick can do ‘cause he can’t walk so he stays in his chair.. ”
Even from his chair, Nick gets to take part. Instructor Brandon Thomas tailors these lessons to the children’s capabilities.
Thomas says, “When we’re working with special needs children we try to really focus on getting on their level and building them up from there.”
Ms. Wills says that approach is helping all the children in her class. And the benefits go beyond physical exercise for Nick.
“I think it’s helped him a lot because I think he’s been able to get motivated. I think he feels good, feels energized that he’s with all of us. It’s a social thing for him. And he loves being with other kids and being social.”
On this day Nick reached a milestone. With a little help he got to break his first board.
Nick is in the fifth grade which means that this is his last year at Luhr Elementary. Next year he’ll move on to middle school.
The 58th annual WHAS Crusade for Children is coming up June 4-5, 2011 on WHAS11 and WHAS Radio.