Taylor is two years old. He lives with his mother and extended family on the island of Pohnpei in the Federated States of Micronesia. He is an only child and is well loved by all of his family members. Move On Taylor has hydrocephalus and cerebral palsy. Hydrocephalus means that the fluid circulating around his brain and spinal cord is blocked and cannot drain properly. Fluid builds up in his head causing his head to get bigger. Excess fluid also puts pressure on his brain causing brain damage and cerebral palsy. Cerebral palsy is a non-progressive disorder of posture and movement caused by damage to a developing brain.
Taylor’s hydrocephalus was treated when he was young by placing a shunt- a tube that runs from his brain, under his skin to his abdomen. This tube drains excess fluid. Unfortunately, either the shunt was placed too late to stop any brain damage, or the shunt stopped working after it was placed. It is too expensive for Taylor’s government to send him off island to see more specialist doctors and have surgery. Happily though, his head is no longer growing too fast, and Taylor is learning and progressing in his developmental skills. Click Here To Move On
Taylor is getting services from the Related Services Assistants (RSAs) in special education in Pohnpei who are working with him to develop his skills, and to provide him with appropriate assistive technology. He is beginning to learn to communicate, and is learning to sit up. He wants to learn, and his family members want to teach him with the help of the RSAs. Click Here To Move On
Taylor lives in simple surroundings, and his family does not have much money to buy expensive equipment. His mother carries him most of the time and he is getting heavier. Positioning is important for him so that he can learn to sit alone and to move by himself. Click Here To Move On
The RSAs designed three options for Taylor’s positioning. Click on a picture to see how the object was made or used. Go on with Slide Show To go to the next slide, click here.
Making An Adaptive Wooden Chair Click Here to Return to Slide Show 1. Get plans for chair from website www.hawaii.edu/rsa. 2. You need access to a saw, measuring tape, and a screwdriver. You need plywood. 3. If you don’t know how to work with power tools, get help! 4. Pad the chairs with soft fabric or pillows.
Making a bean bag positioner Click Here to Return to Slide Show 1. First we break up computer box Styrofoam into small pieces. 2. Then we sew two vinyl table- cloths together leaving a hole. 3. Then we pour the Styrofoam into the tablecloth bag and sew up the hole. Hint: Old plastic grocery bags work well to fill small beanbags too. 4. Then we enjoy our products!
Click Here to Return to Slide Show This plastic swimming pools was bought at Ace Hardware, for ten dollars. It will last for a long time. Taylor uses it for: 1. Positioning (he sits up with the side as a backrest), 2. Sensory play (play in the water), 3. Relaxation (warm water is relaxing to tight (spastic) muscles), 4. Social play (put several kids in the pool!).
Click Here to see Taylor’s Communication System Click Here to go on with Slide Show Taylor does not talk yet. He is learning to point to pictures to communicate his wants. He also uses gestures (pointing), facial expressions (smiling, frowning), and vocalizations like crying, laughing or grunting.
Taylor’s Communication System Return to Slide Show Taylor enjoys reading books which helps him identify pictures. The RSAs chose pictures that have meaning for Taylor. These pictures were mounted on firm cardboard to make a communication board. He points to pictures to make his wants known.
Click Here To Move On Taylor loves trucks. The RSAs made him two trucks out of Styrofoam with wheels from soda cans that really turn. These trucks are light enough that he can move them by himself. He is learning to identify colors, size, direction, and is getting stronger by moving his truck across the floor.
Go Back To Beginning of Slide Show End Slide Show All children need toys and equipment, but Taylor’s toys and equipment are helping him to learn to sit up, move around his environment, interact with other people and objects, and learn pre-academic skills.