Freas Foundation Assists Benedictine Students

A recent Freas Foundation grant funded therapeutic seating for each of Benedictine’s special education classrooms. The project to purchase specialized seating for 13 classrooms along with two adaptive tricycles designed for people with physical disabilities, was supported by the $7,500 grant award. Specialized seating benefits the more than 60 Benedictine students, many of whom have Sensory Processing Disorder, in addition to physical limitations, Intellectual Disabilities and/or Autism.

“Sensory Processing Disorder, or SPD, often accompanies Autism and Intellectual Disabilities.  A student with SPD can find it extremely difficult to process and act upon information received through the senses, which presents challenges in performing many tasks at school,” said Benedictine’s Education Director, Julie Hickey. “We are grateful to have these therapeutic options for our students.”

Designed for individuals with multiple disabilities, the new seating options help to calm students and enhance their focus and attention.  Students now have access to Yogibo zero-pressure point seating, which resemble bean-bag chairs, helping students with SPD feel more comfortable and secure in their classroom environment allowing them to be more available for instruction.  Students can also use NeoRok active seating wobble stools which provide gentle movement allowing students to rock back-and-forth and benefit from the additional stimulation.

Grant funds were also used to purchase two Rifton tricycles. These adaptive tricycles provide relaxing recreational experiences for students, while helping to develop coordination and balance, increase leg strength, and use visual and spatial perception to steer. For indoor or outdoor use, the tricycles are often medically necessary for children with disabilities who cannot walk or who sit for long hours while in a wheelchair and they ensure all students have options for exercise.

A Benedictine student uses zero-pressure point seating in a Functional Academics 2 classroom provided by the Freas Foundation grant to fund therapeutic bikes and seating for Benedictine students.

About Benedictine

Helping more than 200 individuals with disabilities for more than 50 years offering educational, residential, vocational and day services for children and adults ages 5 and older. School programs include: functional academics; speech therapy; psychological, psychiatric, social work, counseling and case management; assistive technology; physical and occupational therapy; vocational and transitional services; and intensive collaborative programs designed for students within the Autism Spectrum. Benedictine Adult Services is a residential and vocational program for adults ages 22 to 60+ who live in the community or in group homes with peers and continue to work within the Benedictine vocational program.

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