Thriving at Matheny

Julie Gordon, speaking at The Matheny School Open House.

Scott Gordon is a 14-year-old student at The Matheny School. According to his mother Julie, Scott is “a caring, sensitive young teenager who is thriving at Matheny, thanks to the wonderful people who fill its halls.” Julie Gordon made those remarks at The Matheny School’s Open House, held May 21. Speaking to representatives from public school districts and other parents, she pointed out that Scott had been diagnosed with cerebral palsy and a developmental delay when he was about one year old.

“If I could sum up the Matheny experience in one phrase,” she said, “it would be ‘no limits.’ Simply put, the educators, therapists and caregivers at Matheny view my son, and all the students there, as capable children, with no predetermined limits on their achievements. There is no ‘one size fits all’ learning approach at Matheny. The educators know Scott and figure out what will work for him. The therapists push him to achieve all he can.  Scott is experiencing life to the fullest. I do not have the words to express the gratitude I feel to all those who work with our son.”

Rolling along

Julie Gordon with Scott in his classroom.

Thanks to the work of a creative speech therapist, 12-year-old Scott Gordon is now able to communicate despite his inability to speak due to cerebral palsy. “I’ve been amazed at the things Matheny does,” his mom, Julie Gordon, says. “The therapists work really hard creating strategies.”

For example, speech-language pathologist Jaclynne Dietrich has taught him to choose symbols. “We give him two choices,” explains Dietrich, “and he will grab one of the symbols. In art class, he will select a color. Just before lunch, he will select food.”

Dietrich also created a communications book that Scott can take home with him so that he can make choices by selecting picture symbols when he isn’t in school. “I’ve seen tremendous improvement in his communication skills,” Julie says. “We feel like we’re moving toward something.”

The Gordons, who live in New Providence, NJ, with Scott’s twin siblings, 8 1⁄2-year-old James and Whitney, have formed a team, That’s How Scott Rolls, to raise money for Miles for Matheny, the annual fundraiser and community event being held Sunday, April 22, at Liberty Park in downtown Peapack. As of March 26, That’s How Scott Rolls had raised $2,288.

The Gordon family will be walking with Scott in the Lu Huggins Wheelchair Walk at Miles for Matheny, which  also features five different Cycling Courses, a 5K Race and a Kids Fun Run. All funds raised will help support the Matheny Center of Medicine and Dentistry, which provides medical, dental and therapy care to Matheny inpatients and to people with disabilities in the community.

Major Miles for Matheny sponsors are:  The Poses Family Foundation, Affinity Federal Credit Union Foundation, Archer & Greiner P.C.; BP Fueling Communities; WCBS-TV and WCBS Newsradio 880; Partlow Insurance Agency; Peapack-Gladstone Bank and Porzio Bromberg & Newman P.C.

For more information or to register, log onto; to contribute to That’s How Scott Rolls, click on Search for Participant and type in the team name.