Pooling their efforts

Locking arms to create a spinning motion.

During the summer months, Matheny students have had the opportunity to increase their independence in the outdoor swimming pool through new individual and group strategies introduced by therapists and educators. The Matheny staff members used resources introduced by master clinician Jane Styer-Acevedo PT, C/NDT. Styer-Acevedo suggested that students be encouraged to explore the pool and equipment, “while learning about their bodies.”

Some of the activities have included:

• Locking hands and arms with students to create a spinning action.

• Passing students in the water from staff person to staff person in a clockwise motion.

• Using a pool noodle to sit on or hold while doing stationary rocking and balancing.

• Volleying a beach ball while in the pool.

Phys ed teacher Jim Hintenach and physical therapist Erin Guidera help student Jenna Poleyeff manage the pool noodles.

All of these activities are designed to increase communication and develop more independent skills.