Skylar is a five-year-old boy who attends the Idaho School for the Deaf and Blind. He was born at 28 weeks and weighed just 2lbs, 2 ounces. He has cerebral palsy and cannot hold his head up on his own.
“He is very intelligent, but he is restrained by his physical limitations,” says Jodie Hamilton, a teacher of the Early Childhood Special Needs Classroom and Department Head for Special Needs Department at the Idaho school.
She learned about the Headpod and thought it might help Skylar. “We’ve done neck collars that strap back to the chair and they’re pretty uncomfortable. I’m pretty far into the disability scene and work with therapists and never saw anything like [the Headpod].”
Hamilton used funds from www.adoptaclassroom.org to purchase a Headpod. She says the first time Skylar used the Headpod was amazing. “He squealed and squealed and jumped around in his stander. His classmates said ‘Hi’ to him and that was huge.”
“His feet were going, his hands were going, and his head moving from side to side,” says his mother, Carol Kitt. “When he could see what he could do, he was so happy he could see. He was trying to get over to the other kids. It was awesome to see him holding his head up. It was very exciting. He has a wonderful smile.”
“He also has a cochlear implant, so when he is laying on his side he can’t hear,” Kitt continues. “By having his head up, he can hear and he can see.”
Hamilton explains how the Headpod can help the hearing impaired. “The implications for deaf kids are huge. He can see what peers are saying. The difference with the Headpod is that there is more freedom and independence. There is less restriction than when he uses an uncomfortable head collar. He can’t wear those very long.”
Now, Skylar looks forward to getting to use the Headpod. “He gets excited and gets this big grin, a giant smile and a happy sigh,” says Hamilton.
His mother Carol sums it up best, “To have a little boy who is five and lays on the floor a lot because he can’t hold his head up, and then to find something that allows him to do that is amazing. Seeing him start using it and seeing the look on his face was very emotional and very exciting.”