Grant to help special-needs children in Milton-Freewater, Athena-Weston

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PENDLETON - A $2,000 grant from Good Shepherd Hospital in Hermiston will benefit special-needs children attending schools in Eastern Oregon.

The InterMountain Education Service District, which serves the Milton-Freewater and Athena-Weston school districts, will use the grant money through its physical/occupational therapy and assistive technology programs to buy tools that enhance learning for children with special needs.

The agency plans to buy a supportive chair that allows children to access a regular education classroom; and stabilizing pressure shirts, pants and gloves made by Spio! that help with hand-writing, scissor skills and standing balance activities, according to a news release.

Other tools being acquired include multi-directional, multi-stretch fabric gloves, vests and pants that help special-needs children use pat bells and drums to make music, which helps strengthen math skills.

Spio! gear can also be used by children with moderate balance disorders to use the Nintendo Wii gaming system, which helps address focus, balance, coordination and strengthening.

The game system, using the right supportive gear, would allow students to handle the Wii remote controls without adult assistance.

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