Trying out adaptive equipment

Peapack-Gladstone resident Donna Brooten learns about an alternate positioning device from Matheny School director of curriculum Jim Hintenach.

Although virtually all Matheny students and patients are in wheelchairs, they can often benefit from spending time in adaptive tricycles, standers and other alternate positioning devices developed by our physical therapists.

At a recent meeting of Matheny’s Community Advisory Committee, some local residents had an opportunity to try out some of this equipment and learn about its benefits. They also heard about Matheny’s adaptive physical education program which enables Matheny students and patients to play adapted versions of traditional sports such as basketball and soccer.

Judy Silacci, a resident of Peapack-Gladstone, tries out a stander and learns about it from Matheny director of physical therapy Cindy LaBar.

Adaptive equipment for schools

PT Marda Herz consults with Matheny rehab technician Jon DaSilva about a Belmont Runyan student’s seating needs.

Matheny has dozens of highly skilled professionals with unparalleled depth and breadth of experience, who are available to work with special needs students at all levels of ability in public school districts. In a program we call “Matheny Solutions for Schools,” we can provide specialized evaluations, therapy services, home-based  services and adaptive equipment and technologies.

Matheny has been working closely for some time with the Newark Public Schools District, specifically at the Belmont Runyan School, which has a program for medically fragile students. According to Marda Herz, a physical therapist for the district, Matheny’s rehab technicians consult with school therapists to determine equipment needs for the students. “Then,” she says, “the Matheny technicians make recommendations. The one thing that Matheny offers that no one else does is the service upon delivery. They install, they set up, they instruct. It is a pleasurable working experience, not only for me, but the teaching staff, too.”

Among the services Matheny’s rehab technicians can provide to school districts are:

• Adapting equipment to provide students access to classrooms through the use of environmental controls in the classroom.

• Supplying adaptive physical education products.

• Setting up new classrooms to ensure access for students with physical disabilities.

Free assembly and inservice is available for all equipment purchased by schools. For more information about any of our services, email Linda Newsome, Director of Matheny Solutions for Schools, at or call her at (908) 229-7342.