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Meet Pariwish, or Pari for short. This adorable toddler came to Redwood’s Prescribed Pediatric Extended Care (PPEC) program during the program’s pilot phase just a year ago at age three.
She was unable to sit or stand at that time. Although non-verbal, “she expressed herself with a smile, a whimper, a cry, or simply by turning her head away,” says Jaime McLaughlin, director of PPEC/Nursing at Redwood. Pari was born with the rare Wolf-Hirschhorn syndrome, which is caused by a deletion on the fourth chromosome. Children born with this syndrome typically have seizures, heart problems, and a shortened life expectancy.
Redwood’s PPEC program is a day treatment program managed and staffed by skilled nursing and healthcare professionals trained to care for children with chronic medical conditions, like Pari, in a safe, caring, and developmentally-stimulating environment.
Pari has been progressing famously throughout her year at Redwood. She has a smile that brightens the room. Through weekly sessions with physical therapy and daily follow through by nurses and PPEC staff, Pari now sits independently! She also enjoys experiencing the world from a new standing perspective. Pari uses a therapeutic stander 45 minutes twice a day to improve weightbearing, strength, and balance. Being in a stander allows Pari to better see and interact with other children and with educational and play materials. She also has become more vocal in communicating her wants and needs. Through the use of assistive technology, Pari is learning new ways to express herself during learning activities. It won’t be long before she is choosing a song during circle time and activating the toy animals through purposeful movements.
Pari’s accomplishments are not just at Redwood; her parents have noted the improvements at home as well. Pari’s mom is delighted she sits up at home, which is something she could never do before. She also says Pari smiles when they arrive at Redwood because Pari knows she is at school and she is happy.
Be on the lookout for future news regarding Pari as she takes future steps towards independence!
Imagine you are a parent with a precious young daughter. More than anything else, you want her to experience a happy childhood and to become a well-adjusted adult. Sadly, your child has been diagnosed with a disability that impacts her ability to understand what she hears, to focus and attend to instruction, and to use her hands in a coordinated manner. You learn that your daughter’s brain is not operating efficiently and for this reason… she will fall farther and farther behind in school and may never achieve her full potential.
Imagine your pain on hearing this news. Imagine the pain your daughter will experience over and over again as she struggles to keep up with peers, not just this year, but every year for the rest of her life.
Now imagine there is help for your daughter in the form of new therapeutic tools and methods that will not just help her compensate for her disabilities, but overcome them. These tools and methods are Technology-Based Treatments for Cognitive Rehabilitation.
In recent years, there have been amazing advances in computer-assisted cognitive skills training. Speech-language and occupational therapists, as well as developmental interventionists, at Redwood are now using these new technologies—paired with traditional therapeutic methods—to help children improve auditory processing, motor planning, attention, concentration, memory, coordination, and other cognitive or “thinking” functions.
When the brain functions in a more efficient manner, children are better able to learn spontaneously and to benefit from instruction. This, of course, supports educational achievement, social relationships, safety, and general ability to function in everyday life.
One example in use at Redwood is Interactive Metronome. This computer-based neuromotor treatment program improves overall neural timing of the brain. Children clap hands or tap feet in time with a changing rhythmic tone heard through earphones. This enhances attention, language processing, motor planning, balance and gait, sequencing, and other cognitive skills.
PointScribe is a multisensory interactive software that teaches children to recognize and produce the shapes that form letters. When a seven year old boy had trouble naming and printing letters of the alphabet, our occupational therapist guided him in using a touch screen to trace letters as the PointScribe program provided visual and auditory feedback for the correct formation of the letters. His teacher was so impressed with his progress that she asked the boy, “Did you take a handwriting pill?”
These and other innovative technologies are making a real difference for schoolagers at Redwood. To learn more, or to enroll your child, please contact Peggy Farmer, Director of Therapy & Technology Solutions at 859 331-0880, Ext. 249 or email@example.com.
The Toyota Production System (TPS) is a management philosophy for streamlining work processes to preserve resources and eliminate waste as a means of creating value for the customer. When Toyota offered Redwood the opportunity to implement TPS, we jumped at the chance. Special thanks to our good friends at Toyota for helping us improve our work processes.
A community that works together, stays together. For 60 years, passionate people have donated time to Redwood in miraculous ways. Our giving volunteers contribute to Redwood’s vibrant campus, clean and colorful classrooms, and exciting fundraising events. They celebrate birthdays, and research and construct new playgrounds, like the new toddler playground completed last year! Special thanks to GE Aviation, Jack J. Smith, Jr. Charitable Trust, PNC Bank and Karen Wachs, Co-Trustees, Western Southern Financial, Ethicon Endo Surgery, P&G, Arts Rental, United Way, and the Cincinnati Tool Bank, along with Walnut Grove Playgrounds, for this amazing community wide collaboration for our children. Both Redwood’s children and adults will benefit from volunteers like these for years.
DHL Helps Adults Soar
DHL is committed to providing equal opportunities for all. To that end, DHL Express has entered into a unique partnership with Redwood to employ up to 40 individuals with severe disabilities.
How it all began
Redwood was initially contacted in 2011 by DHL’s upper management about this partnership opportunity. Subsequently, DHL and Redwood staff toured each facility, observed various work tasks, and identified specific job possibilities in DHL’s Gateway and Operations areas, which requires data entry work or packing, shipping, and sorting, respectively. Job opportunities ranged from full- and part-time positions, complete with benefits, to casual employment with flexible scheduling.
Making it happen
At DHL’s request, Redwood provided training to DHL’s management team on best practices to support the success of individuals with disabilities in the workforce. Concerns regarding the hiring and orientation process were identified. DHL immediately addressed them by making recommended accommodations. DHL also provided security access to specialized software screens so that Redwood could create a five-week computer-based training program at Redwood for the Data Cleanse and Classification process.
Getting to work
Since launching the partnership in March 2012, approximately eight candidates have been referred for employment at DHL, resulting in employment of six individuals to date, with others in the process.
Jill Deck is a shining example of someone realizing her potential through this important partnership. Jill possesses many qualities that are easily overlooked – unless you are an employer. She is highly motivated and a hard worker. Above all, she is reliable. DHL’s management team took an immediate interest in Jill after meeting her during their tour of Redwood.
“This was a very positive move for Jill,” states Stacey Meyer, Jill’s Employment Specialist. “Her positive qualities,” adds Stacey, “such as her work ethic and her dependability, more than make up for any challenges presented by her disability.”
“It is a good fit for me because I get to meet new people and complete satisfying work,” says Jill, adding that the best part of the job is the sense of independence that comes from earning her own money. She also appreciates finding a job in her community that is close to home and near family and friends.
DHL has established itself as a leader within our community on many levels. Recently, the Commonwealth of Kentucky and the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation recognized DHL with the Employer Recognition Award for its corporate commitment to look beyond a person’s disability and not only discover but empower their abilities.
An important aspect of independence is the ability to complete essential tasks, such as preparing meals, washing dishes, doing laundry, or simply relaxing on the couch with a good book. Children and adults can now practice these tasks through the Activities of Daily Living (ADL) Room. This interactive learning environment features a working kitchen, laundry center, living room, and library where individuals can develop their independent living skills while performing everyday tasks.
Special thanks to the Kloenne Foundation, Fifth Third Bank and Narley L. Haley, Co-Trustees, for the grant that made the renovation and refurnishing of the Activity of Daily Living Room possible.
The Work Activity Center recently partnered with Chef Dennis Umburg for a restaurant simulation event. Chef Umburg worked with a group of eight adults to prepare, cook, and serve a spaghetti luncheon to everyone in the Work Activity Center program.
The event gave adults the full restaurant experience, from cooking with a chef and serving meals, to selecting items from a menu and paying a cashier for their orders with “Redwood Bucks.”
The spaghetti luncheon was a deliciously engaging way to teach service industry skills, money recognition, and appropriate social interaction – all while enjoying a great meal! Redwood thanks and appreciates County Market in Alexandria, KY for their generous support of this initiative.
Tips for Effectively Utilizing Volunteers:
Volunteers are never to be left alone with a child or adult
Volunteers are told not to bring any outside food into program areas. As a role model, please follow the same policy
Volunteers are not permitted to administer medication, provide personal care, or feed any individual (unless they are CPR Certified and specifically trained to feed a client)
Volunteers are reminded not to use cell phones while they are volunteering. Please remember to follow the same policy.
Volunteers are not allowed to surf the web or use a computer (especially a staff computer) unless their work assignment specifically requires one (i.e. data entry, board maker, etc.)
Volunteers are a great means to assist with activity planning and preparation (e.g., organize supplies, make copies, cut-outs, laminate, prep materials, etc.)
Volunteers are a great resource for maintaining a healthy learning environment. During downtime they can wipe down and disinfect regularly used items or common areas
Volunteers are a great medium for providing a little extra one-on-one for individuals who need extra encouragement and attention during group activities
Volunteers are permitted to take pictures during their service, if approved by staff and/or the client and the client has a signed HIPAA agreement/photo release
Volunteers have potential to be a future staff member, advocate, parent, or family member. Remember to support them in a manner that leaves them with only a positive impression
And finally… volunteers are a blessing. It is how Redwood began and it is what we need to continue to thrive. Thank your volunteers often and treat them with respect like any fellow employee
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