ESBOCES Adds Swing for Physically Impaired Students
Swing Designed to Provide Recreational and Therapeutic Benefits
Premm Learning Center recently unveiled its new therapeutic swing for students with physical disabilities. This adaptive piece of equipment will allow many students to use a swing for the first time, providing them with both therapeutic and recreational outcomes. The swing can also be easily adjusted for use by non-ambulatory students. Premm Learning Center is an Eastern Suffolk BOCES school for students with special needs.
More than one year ago, Premm Principal Carolynn Hansen put plans in motion to purchase the Liberty Swing, manufactured by a Sydney, Australia-based company of the same name. She did so because approximately 50 percent of the Premm student body are wheelchair-bound and unable to use the school playground equipment. All students will use the swing with the help of physical and occupational therapists.
Students who have control of their upper bodies can hold onto the swing to strengthen their arms when done so in conjunction with their physical therapy. Use of the swing provides vestibular stimulation through receptors located within the inner ear. Vestibular stimulation contributes to body awareness and movement. It can influence body posture and muscle tone, enhance equilibrium and balance, and increase gravitational awareness.
A drop-down bench provides a seat for non-ambulatory students, the swing cab is equipped with a seatbelt, and a ramp that locks into place allows wheelchair access. The swing resides in a fenced-in area and is secured when not in use.
Said Hansen, “This swing makes therapy fun. When our students use it and feel the wind in their face, they are so happy they begin to laugh. For many of them, it is their first experience on a swing.”