30 January 2010

Special suit giving mobility to kids with cerebral palsy

28 January 2010

No Limits to Learning: Use Fun Activites to Integrate AAC and School Curriculum

How do you teach a crystal-making project using a Dynavox V?
I sat down with an SLP last week and we began to piece together the elements of a science activity using a Dynavox V that a girl has recently acquired to accommodate her speech. (Note: these ideas could be applied to any AAC - not just a V or VMax). The team of 2 SLP's I am working with on this project are pretty innovative and have used lots of motivating activities and integrated curriculum topics to use as the medium to teach their speech concepts and skills.

No Limits to Learning: Use Fun Activites to Integrate AAC and School Curriculum

No Limits to Learning: C Print: Technology Research for Deaf and Hard of Hearing on FCTD

The Family Center on Technology and Disability has put up their latest issue for students that are deaf and hard of hearing.

No Limits to Learning: C Print: Technology Research for Deaf and Hard of Hearing on FCTD

No Limits to Learning: C Print: Technology Research for Deaf and Hard of Hearing on FCTD

The Family Center on Technology and Disability has put up their latest issue for students that are deaf and hard of hearing.

No Limits to Learning: C Print: Technology Research for Deaf and Hard of Hearing on FCTD

No Limits to Learning: i Speak It for Mac and iPhone Text to Speech

I wish I were a Mac User - but I am locked into our Windows PC world in our school districts. As I have been exploring the text to speech options within the iPhone world, I have been getting great tips from readers. The i Speak It app from Zapptek looks promising - if you own a MAC.

No Limits to Learning: i Speak It for Mac and iPhone Text to Speech

No Limits to Learning: wUnderGlow LED light: Safety and Fun for Wheelchairs

I had a late Christmas gift idea shared by a reader that I thought I would add to the gift idea list on my sidebar. If you ever are looking for a gift that has an assistive technology slant to it, check out my sidebar gift list with links.

The wUnderGlow was too fun to pass up. It reminds me of the hotrod cars with the lighting under the running boards - except a wheelchair version and it helps let someone see you coming. It could be very helpful - and I have a first-hand story to prove it!

No Limits to Learning: wUnderGlow LED light: Safety and Fun for Wheelchairs

No Limits to Learning: Raise in Autism Rates and Non-verbal Rates will Impact AT and SLP Services

In my work, I have been seeing an increase in Autism occurances - as has been reported in many studies, like this one from CDC, but I have also seen more incidences of non-verbal children in our schools. I am collabiorating more and more with our SLP's and EI/ECSE Specialists to develop AT supports and strategies. This past fall has been the busiest so far.
I was interested to see a link to an article about a poll by YouGov in the UK, that showed children are reaching the age of 3 without being able to say a word. It also showed that "boys are almost twice as likely to struggle to learn to speak than girls".

No Limits to Learning: Raise in Autism Rates and Non-verbal Rates will Impact AT and SLP Services

Assumptions & Arrogance

After another year winds to a close, I have often been moved deeply. The years, months, days and hours past through my heart and mind like a stamp stuck on paper.
It takes me back to all those moments and times that people’s arrogance and assumptions held me back from what I was trying to do.
Because of my rebelish nature, I was not only able to survive but thrive. I was able to do a lot which people in power, thought was impossible. But it would be very naïve of me not to tell you of the extra effort I have had to spend because of what people in the twentieth century were taught to believe about my disability.
I can’t help but think about these moments going around and around in my head when I reflect about how much time has had to go by. Time that I could have been contributing to a caring world- Time that could have healed all wounds by a simple gesture of acceptance- Time that could have carved out recognition for not just me, but for our whole community.
Instead, I have had to run up over and over again against the electric chair of official stupidity. Of official neglect- And, of voluntarily lowing of self!
I have had to beg time and again, as I have had to explain the obvious to every expert imaginable shape and size.
What I knew was never enough. It had to be done on their terms.
I was labeled and mislabel mentally retarded all because of an IQ test, and people in power who only pretended to know what they were doing.
Fifty-eight years have gone by. Fifty-eight years of sheer hell on earth. Fifty-eight years which I have smiled, grinned, and bared it, and made bearable. For what?
But who will give me my youth back? Who will give me the degree I was so worthy of? And, who will give me the job or recognition I have busted my buns for? Whom, I ask? Whom?
Why do I have to be tide to a stake for someone to gloat over? Why do I have to suffer for someone else’s arrogance? Why did I have to waste my whole life away?

Karen Lynn

26 January 2010

Such a young life…

This morning I was checking my Google home page, and one of the news links read that a 4th grader committed suicide. I clicked on the link automaticly, and started reading. As the story goes the young boy was hospitalized for reasons Un-known, he had told his nurse that he needed to use the restroom, so the nurse escorts him and lets him have some privacy. There’s a bit of verbal communication, and pretty soon then after, nothing but dead silence. The young boy locked the door and young himself.
The nurse grabbed a key, unlocked the door and did the best she could to revive the boy. But it was to late. My heart is in my stomach right now. Nine years old is just not exceptable, at all. An neither is any suicide, I don’t condone it nor will I EVER! I can’t tell you how upset I am today after reading that piece of news. My heart goes out to the family, I wish that I could contact them in some way. Further more, my heart aches for the nurse that found him in his fallen state.
Forgiving herself is the last thing she wants to do, but I pray she seeks the process of healing. Life is so fragile and when another human life is placed in our hands, we do our best to uphold guardianship over them. And as cliche as this sounds, were human, were not perfect and we all miss the mark. But that’s not enough to put an end to pain. Dealing with our of pain is ever so painful, yet needs to be transparent all the more.
So many people in this world think that Heaven is just wishful thinking, I’ve been there myself. However in my heart I know that the grand creator has scooped this child into his arms and carried him into a world where only tears or joy are allowed. Were love is present always. It just sucks that this poor boy never got to experience life to the fullest.
In the midst of so much cultural issues like going green and taking care of the needs of the poor, it’s still hard to tell what’s going on in ones mind. I’m not sure what it’s going to take to put up a real fight against the demon of Suicide..

24 January 2010

Goals and current thoughts..

Hey guys and gals,
just wanted to throw out some goals and aspirations for the new year.
1) I am going to attempy to write a screen play, based off a few chapters of my current book “The Emotional Struggle”. I’ve got no experience with writing screen plays, but with help of a book called “Story” it should be all that is needed. After that I am going to look into getting a camera and creating it into an indy film, make it the best it can be, and then enter it into some indy film festivals. This has been an idea of mine for a good while now, so I’m interested in how this will play out.
2) I’m gonna start throwing money into my savings acoount, I don’t think it’s ever to late to do that. (Well it might be for some) haha!
3) Be less critical of myself.
4) I wanna meet a great girl, and I won’t settle for anything less than amazing. She has to “Complete” me. that’s a joke.. Don’t freak out, I know no one person is going to complete me, but she had better be pretty darn close to it!
5) I want to be a better public speaking figure, and learn to relax more with a mic in my hand.
6) Give myself the grace I know that I’ve not allowed myself.
7) Be in better shape.
Not care about what people may think of me.
9) Face my fear of dying. (Not sure how that’s going to happen though)
10) Be able to communicate my faith better.
11) Discover what it looks like to have a faith that is not centered around polictics.
12) Learn to quiet my brain, and listen for truth about who I am.
13) Pour myself out, until I’m called home. This is something that is a life long goal.
Beyond all this I’m working on a second book still, I thought I had a general direction, but I might scrap it all together. Life is crazy, I’m goig to be an uncle, training my new dog NOT to releave himself on my bed or carpet. Please continue to pray for me, our troops, nation and that I might be able to clear my mind and heart.

What does Handicap This mean to you?

by: Elizabeth Antonucci

Handicap This to me means no judgment. There are many situations in our lives where the first thing we do in a new place is judge. Whether you judge yourself or you judge others, the most common reaction in a new situation is judgment. Many people think you can or cannot do something because of the way you look; act, talk, or they stop themselves because of what others might think of them. This show to me helps people look past the outside image and see a person for who they really are. We all have our handicaps; we all have little things about ourselves that we try and hide in order to make ourselves look “normal” so that we can fit in. Mike cannot do that. Mike cannot hide his wheelchair.

I hope everybody can come out and experience this incredible production!

See you at the show!

January 21st @ 2pm

January 22nd @ 8pm

January 23rd @ 8pm

Oakton Community College, 1600 Golf Rd.

Studio One

23 January 2010

What does Handicap This mean to you?

By Tim Wambach
It means sharing. Sharing one of the most incredible people I know, in Mike Berkson, sharing a creative and talented writer, in Molly Mulcrone, and sharing the most unique relationship that I have ever been apart of. My relationship with Mike.
Since I have met him in 2001 he has never stopped impressing me with his attitude towards life and his sense of humor. That is what Handicap This means to me. It means to have a kick-ass attitude and to have a sense of humor. When you have these tools anything in life is possible.
Our goal with this production is to reach as many people as we possibly can. If you can’t make the shows below and you would like us to bring our message to you we would love to hear from you!
See you at the Show
January 21st 2pm
January 22nd 8pm
January 23rd 8pm
Oakton Community College 1600 Golf Rd.
Studio One

What does Handicap This mean to you?

By Mike Berkson
Handicap This means empowerment to me. Living with Cerebral Palsy, too many times I have felt disregarded, chained to my condition. Handicap This gives a voice and a soul to a group of people that I feel is often overlooked and stereotyped. I am excited to share this with both the handicapped community and the able-bodied community. I hope this will open doors, not just for myself, but for others in my situation who have a story to tell. We all should have the opportunity to tell that story. Our audience will get to experience something that they would NEVER be able to experience otherwise. It is rare that the Handicap Community has a platform and a voice. This project builds a bridge between those with physical handicaps and those without.
See you at the show!
January 21st 2pm
January 22nd 8pm
January 23rd 8pm
Oakton Community College 1600 Golf Rd
Studio One

Show details

Handicap This Productions is thrilled to announce its world premiere production will be rollin’ out in January of 2010.
We invite you to be a part of this extraordinary theatrical event.
Handicap This!
By Molly Mulcrone
Directed by John Frisco
Choreography by Vanessa Passini
Mike Berkson & Tim Wambach
Kate Tillotson, Elizabeth Antonucci, and Philip Edward Hasso
Premiere Show Dates
Friday, January 22, 2010 at 8pm
Saturday, January 23, 2010 at 8pm
Oakton Community College
Studio One Theatre
1600 Golf Road Des Plaines Illinois 60016
$5.00 General Seating
Wheelchairs Free Admission!
Stay tuned for more details!


Rockin’ Conception Rolls To Life

By Molly Mulcrone
In the early morning hours of April 18, 2008, there was a 5.2 earthquake that shook Chicagoland. Later that day, I received the first of many phone calls from Tim Wambach that rocked my little world. Mike and Tim had an idea…
“Mike and I want to take our educational outreach talks and turn them into a two-man show that we can take on the road. Mike was thinking it would be kinda like John Leguizamo’s Freak, only with two guys.”
“And on wheels,” I said. “Literally.”
“Yes!” exclaimed Tim.
This is the day Handicap This Productions was conceived. Our mission is to further the cause of the Keep On Keeping On Foundation with educational and entertaining performance art that raises awareness about people born with severe physical handicaps and inspires individuals to achieve their own goals and dreams.
Our flagship project is the self-titled production, Handicap This!, wherein a series of vignettes have been strung together to highlight the incredible relationship between Mike Berkson and Tim Wambach. Mike and Tim are natural entertainers, thus the stage is the best medium to bring their poignant story to life and allow Mike to fulfill one of his many dreams – “to make the crowd go wild!”
Through a collage of moments, messages, and humor, we invite our audiences to see MIKE, not just his wheelchair. We hope our production will allow able-bodied people to see the likenesses between themselves and handicapped people, and it will inspire our audiences to pursue their own dreams, regardless of what obstacles they encounter. Most of all, we’d like to break through the fear that causes people to avert their eyes when they see a handicapped individual. Our goal is to educate the naïve, combat the spread of ignorance, and resurrect the timeless humor-through-adversity that political correctness has surpressed in our society.
Mike Berkson is always the first to make an unabashed joke or seemingly indecent remark about his handicap in a brilliant non-deprecating manner. His brazen attitude has inspired the tone of this docudramedy. What better way to disarm our resistance to what is different and learn to accept ourselves and each other than through the magic of humor?
Inspired by the work of the Keep On Keeping On Foundation, Handicap This Productions embodies the spirit of its mission. While KOKO helps a family expand the doorways in their home to allow for wheelchair access throughout their house, we are expanding Mike’s life doorway so that he can more easily access his dreams. We hope HTP will set the stage for others born with physical handicaps to showcase their talents, see their dreams come to fruition, and inspire them to keep on keeping on.

22 January 2010

Roll Out The Red Carpet

Dear Fans,

THANK YOU for your incredible support of Handicap This Productions! We are thrilled to have the opportunity to share our mission with you.

Just before Mike’s 8th grade graduation, his graduating class’ t-shirts with all the kids names were handed out to all the 8th graders. Like any kid, as soon as Mike got his t-shirt he looked for his name on it…and looked again…and again. It wasn’t there. They forgot his name.

Simple oversights like this are what Mike and other handicapped individuals are unfortunately still facing in our able-bodied world today. Our goal is to change that one mind at a time.

To celebrate the debut of our production, Handicap This! and support our mission, we invite you to join us in rolling out the red carpet for our Creative Inspiration, Mike Berkson, by making our Handicap This logo (below) your profile picture on Facebook, Myspace, etc. this weekend, January 22 – 24, 2010, and tagging Mike, and/or anyone else you know and love with a handicap.

The message behind our logo is simple:

“It’s not what you think you cannot do, it’s what you know you can do.”
– Mike Berkson

We’d be honored if you’d lend us your support this weekend.

Rollin’ Regards,

Molly Mulcrone & Tim Wambach

16 January 2010

For 25 Years, Therapy on the Slopes

DREAM Adaptive gives recreation opportunities to people with disabilities

DREAM Adaptive Recreation volunteer Bob Zahller, center, helps guide Phillip Sotello into a turn while descending Big Mountain under Chair Six at Whitefish Mountain Resort as Ryan McCoy follows closely behind. - Lido Vizzutti/Flathead Beacon

By Myers Reece, 01-12-10
WHITEFISH MOUNTAIN RESORT – The therapy is in the snow. It’s on the mountains, in the base lodge and on the bus rides.

Once a week during winter, high school students with disabilities head to Whitefish Mountain Resort to ski, train for the Special Olympics and, above all, have a lot of fun. For many of them, it’s unlike any other experience of their lives.

Their ticket to the mountain is DREAM Adaptive Recreation Inc., an organization established in 1985 to give disabled children and adults access to recreational opportunities in the Flathead Valley. DREAM stands for “Disabled Recreation and Environmental Access Movement.”

“There’s a huge amount of emotional therapy involved in being able to finally go out and finally access these things,” said Bruce Gibson, DREAM’s program director.

Twenty-five years ago, a small group of Flathead residents set out to expand accessibility to both recreational locations and activities for people with special needs. This was five years before the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990.

Among the earliest leaders of this forward-thinking group were Dottie Maitland, Larry Dominick, Dennis Jones and Jane Lopp. They collaborated with the U.S. Forest Service and other agencies to create Glacier National Park’s Trail of the Cedars, a hiking trail that is conducive to disabled access, with a paved portion and a boardwalk.

In addition, they worked on accessibility surveys, along with projects at Foys Lake and Woodland Park, Lopp said. And they created perhaps their most defining legacy, the ski program at Whitefish Mountain Resort. Lopp is pleased to see Gibson continuing and expanding upon DREAM’s vision.

“I’m so glad Bruce is doing all he’s doing,” Lopp said.

The kids who traveled up to Whitefish Mountain Resort last week attend Glacier and Flathead high schools. They represent only a percentage of the total population that DREAM serves. The organization works with roughly 200 people with disabilities each year, Gibson said, about two-thirds of whom are kids.

The nonprofit assists people of many different disabilities, both physical and cognitive. The list includes cerebral palsy, autism, muscle degeneration, Down syndrome, amputees, paraplegics and others. Gibson is the only full-time staff member. The rest are volunteers.

“We have people that can work with about anyone,” Gibson said. “It’s pretty much across the board.”

DREAM Adaptive differs somewhat from the Bozeman-based Eagle Mount program, mostly in the area of professional therapy. Eagle Mount is more therapy based, while DREAM is more recreation based, Gibson said. But Gibson points out: “Therapy comes from getting out and skiing.”

“They’re structured a little bit differently, but for the most part they’re doing the same thing,” Gibson said.

The nonprofit also started a summer program in 2009 with water skiing, tubing and kayaking at Echo Lake. The program will continue, and perhaps expand, in future summers, Gibson said.

The “adaptive” skiing movement started in Colorado in the late 1970s, Gibson said. It has grown exponentially since then. There are adaptive programs in countries such as New Zealand and France, as well as in other states, but Gibson said “almost everything adaptive comes out of Colorado.” DREAM’s program was modeled after one in Winter Park, Colo.

DREAM Adaptive doesn’t charge for any of its services. It relies on community donations, grants and a large fundraiser held each year on the Friday before Valentine’s Day. The event, scheduled for Feb. 12 at the Hilton Garden Inn this year, features live big band music, dancing, dinner and auctions – both live and silent.

Also, the organization negotiates a yearly agreement with Whitefish Mountain Resort. It receives an unlimited amount of lower chairlift tickets for its participants and a fixed amount for the higher lifts. Volunteers who don’t have season passes get free tickets. When their volunteer time is done each day, they are free to use the rest of the day to ski.

The resort also provides DREAM with senior ski instructors and storage space. The required equipment list for skiers with disabilities is fairly large, including both bi and mono sit-skis, outriggers, gadgets that can either help spread legs or keep skis together, and more.

“Sometimes we just invent something based on individual needs,” Gibson said.

Volunteers must be intermediate skiers or better. Beyond that, they need no prior experience, Gibson said. After signing up, they take a training session. Then they are paired with skiers, with the advanced volunteers taking on more difficult tasks like guiding sit-skiers.

Gibson said his organization also seeks “off-snow” volunteers. These volunteers help with tasks such as grant writing and preparing for fundraisers. Donations are always needed as well, he said.

Last week was Chuck Cassidy’s first day as a ski volunteer, though he has followed the DREAM program for years. His son, Mark, has been skiing since 2004 and was one of the more accomplished skiers on the mountain on Jan. 7, if not the most enthusiastic. The gregarious 18-year-old Cassidy, a senior at Glacier High who has a learning disability, begins preparing for ski days a week ahead of time, his father said.

Cassidy, who saw many different school systems in his travels with the Navy, said the Kalispell school district has the best recreational program for kids with disabilities that he has seen. The district’s collaboration with DREAM is just one example, he said. There are also opportunities for activities such as softball, bocce, track and basketball.

“It’s really an awesome program,” Cassidy said. “The valley should be proud.”

Of the 13 high school students who skied last week, 12 were from Glacier and one was from Flathead, said Jodie McGough, who is the special education instructor at Glacier. A few of the regulars didn’t make the trip because of the cold.

The students ski with DREAM eight days per year to train for the Special Olympics, said Jenny Griswold, who teaches at Glacier and runs the Special Olympics program there.

“A lot of our kids never even have a chance to go fast in their lives,” Griswold said. “That’s why we’re up here when it’s 10 below.”

She added: “DREAM is the only way we have access to this.”

For more information on DREAM Adaptive Recreation Inc., and how to contribute, call (406) 862-1817, e-mail at dreamadaptive@yahoo.comor mail to P.O. Box 4084, Whitefish, MT 59937.

10 January 2010

Yoga Practice Enhances Life with Disability

Monica J. Foster
BellaOnline's Disabilities Editor

Yoga, an ancient Indian practice which involves moving the body and training the mind to achieve balance and well-being, can be beneficial for individuals with disabilities or chronic health conditions through both physical postures, meditative visualizations and breathwork. It is an Eastern form of relaxation and exercise that has become increasingly popular in various forms here in the West.

If you are not comfortable with yoga, explore other mind and body-linked practices such as meditation or Tai Chi. The most important thing is to begin connecting your mind and body in whatever way works best for you and your disability's challenges.

As for yoga, each pose can be modified or adapted to meet the needs of the student. Yoga postures can be performed while seated in a chair or wheelchair. Look up yoga studios and practitioners in your area, as well as call your rehabilitation centers to see if they incorporate yoga in their work. You might be surprised what's out there for you.

Having mentioned the benefits of yoga practice, it should be noted that yoga is used to complement an individual's already established medical care, therapy program and exercise regime. Yoga should not be a replacement for any of these things and a doctor should be consulted before pursuing a yoga practice.

The overall health perks that can be gained include:

•Digestive system - Bending and stretching poses help move and stimulate the digestive system

•Cardiovascular and cardiopulmonary systems - Specific types of yoga can be a good form of aerobic exercise that increases one's heart rate. The practice of pranayama helps expand lung capacity and heart strength.

•Lymphatic system - This is a primary component of an individual's immune system. It relies on muscle activity and body movement for circulation.

Physical activity and stretching develops strong muscles that continually encourage lymph movement. Regular practice stimulates the lungs, diaphragm, and thorax.

•Skeletal system and muscular systems - Various postures encourage the individual to keep his or her body in proper alignment. Regular yoga practice strengthens the muscles and increases flexibility.

There are also various developmental benefits as well. They may include:

•Developmental milestones being are reached.

•Enhanced motor skills.

•Increased body awareness and orientation.

•Sharper focus and concentration.

•Encouragement of learning, creativity and imagination.

A welcome advantage to yoga practice is that it does not require any fancy equipment. Yoga can be practiced indoors, outdoors on the grass, or even on sand at the beach. Typically, a yoga mat or rug is used. Latex-free and eco-friendly mats are also available for folks like myself who have spina bifida and are more sensitive to latex. Yoga props such as blocks and straps aid in practicing postures safely, as well as help the individual go deeper into a pose. An eye pillow and a light blanket can be used during deep relaxation.

Your development as a self-aware individual with a disability and the growth of your caregiver (both professional and personal) are intertwined on a very deep level. Mind-body work such as yoga promotes the best outcomes for everyone involved. Yoga practice emphasizes the role of both the individual with a disability or chronic illness and the caregiver or loved one in the healing process. Also, it enhances your bond and mission to working together for one purpose -- your overall well-being.

Yoga creates an inner capacity for survival, grace, and acceptance, no matter the circumstance of your disability or chronic illness. Whether you are new to your disability as an injured veteran, born with your disability or are a parent wanting to establish a deeper relationship with your child who has special needs, yoga goes beyond the body to the heart and spirit's connections to each other forming the whole person. The practice, when kept constant, builds discipline, stamina, focus and patience in those who take on this mode of mind-body connection.

02 January 2010

Is Dance an Effective Therapy for Cerebral Palsy?

Overcoming Cerebral Palsy

By Justine van der Leun
Gregg Mozgala, a 31-year-old actor, used to feel inhibited by his cerebral palsy, a neurological condition that occurs when a child’s brain is damaged before the age of two and afflicts a million Americans — most often in the form of poor coordination, weak muscles, and compromised posture. But with a load of determination and the help of an unconventional choreographer, Mozgala is now set to star in an hour-long dance piece in New York City. “I have felt things that I felt were completely closed off to me for the last 30 years,” Mozgala told The New York Times. “The amount of sensation that comes through the work has been totally unexpected and is really
quite wonderful.” While there is no cure for cerebral palsy, Mozgala’s success suggests that a change in approach to the condition can translate into a change in the lives and capabilities of sufferers. Mozgala’s journey began in 2008 when he met choreographer Tamar Rogoff After seeing Mozgala play the lead in “Romeo and Juliet,” produced by Theater Breaking Through Barriers, a group composed of disabled and nondisabled actors, Rogoff was inspired to create a dance piece for him. At first, both Mozgala and Rogoff imagined a 10-minute performance: Mozgala, who then walked on his toes with his upper body thrown back, assumed he could not
manage much more, and Rogoff figured she would create some basic choreography for him. But as they began to work together, her imagination and his capacities began to expand.

Rogoff, who knew little about cerebral palsy, taught Mozgala techniques to release muscular tension. She helped him locate areas of his body over which he had previously exercised no control. In agonizing and illuminating sessions, they worked together to increase his range of movement, employing dance and stretching techniques, and finding his true physical limits. Soon enough, Mozgala was able to stand up straight, to place both feet on the floor, as well as to feel
his Achilles tendon, which he had never before done. He called these revelations
“eureka moments” in the New York Times interview. “There are pre-existing structures in the brain that are very receptive to music, rhythm, and moving to music, which is why at a rock concert, everyone is swaying,” explained Mindy L. Aisen, MD, medical director of The Cerebral Palsy International Research Foundation. “The innate pleasure we get from music acted as a reinforcement for getting [Mozgala’s] body re-engaged and for forging new pathways in his brain.”Mozgala had been to physical therapists for over a decade, but his dance training
was different: While before, the therapists had moved his body for him, now he learned how to move his own body. Rogoff identified some of the physical patterns he had been stuck in and gave him specific instructions on how to overcome them, both in the studio and out. His daily life has changed: His balance and strength are so improved that he rarely falls; his gait is steadier,
and he is subject to fewer stares on the street. Most important, he no longer feels
mentally constrained by cerebral palsy. As he told the Times: “Everybody told me
there was nothing I could do,” he said. “That’s just what you hear, from the time
you’re five to adulthood. Tamar gave me an option.” According to Aisen, Mozgala’s story supports an open-minded, patientcentered approach to Cerebral Palsy and other neurological impairments. CPIRF is considering funding a dance therapy program, and at their Washington, D.C. Center, they have begun to use robotics and fun, motivational virtual games to help children use afflicted muscles. “Just as musicians have to practice to hone a motor skill, a brain that’s never had a chance to develop in areas needs the opportunity,” says Aisen. “We think we
can help anyone with cerebral palsy reshape their nervous system in a way.
It’s not a cure, but it is going towards a cure.”

The miracle of Noah