PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – The day school at the Children’s Institute of Pittsburgh is being recognized internationally.
For nearly 200 students with various disabilities, the day school in Squirrel Hill is a second home.
Lindsey Carter, 20, of Hempfield Township is one of those students.
“This has been a Godsend for us. They are so good and so kind to her. The teachers go out of their way. It’s like having a second family that I trust,” Lindsey’s mother, Kathy, said.
Lindsey has Rett syndrome. It’s a rare genetic neurological and developmental disorder.
Her case is severe. She’s completely non-verbal and physically, she has the abilities of a 3-month old. She can’t sit, stand or move her hands.
But, Lindsey is making strides thanks to the day school and an activity-based program called Move.
“Being able to stretch her arm out to put clothes on, being able to sit up so you can put her clothes down over her head makes a big difference. Whatever we can get, we’ll take and this has really helped a lot,” Kathy said.
Many students are seeing success with Move.
The day school began implementing the curriculum about five years ago and now, the efforts of the staff and the students are being recognized.
The school was just named as a model site by Move International.
It’s one of only 30 locations worldwide to receive the designation.
“The program is very much based on independence for the student, giving them dignity and allowing them to own their own choices, their own future,” Julie Sues-Delaney, of Move International, said.
As a model site, day school staff will be able to train others on the Move program.
Administrators say the biggest benefit will be seeing more students overcome incredible obstacles.
“Movement is so crucial to learning. So, it has helped many of our students do things they hadn’t been able to do before,” Chief School Administrator Dr. Cheryl Fogerty said.