New resource for children with special needs

First 5 Plumas County Children and Families Commission announced the purchase of two pediatric LiteGates for young children who receive mobility/physical therapy services.

The LiteGate is a partial body weight supportive device that allows for gate training in a safe, more effective environment. It allows for those children with orthopedic and neuromuscular deficits to walk with support while the therapist’s hand can be free to assist and facilitate a more normalized gate pattern.

Julie Hammond, a physical therapist for Plumas Unified School District, explained, “I have been hoping to obtain this equipment for several years. The magnitude of the improvement in mobility for these children could be very large.”

Kevin Bean, the director of Student Services and SELPA for Plumas Unified School District, worked closely with First 5 Plumas on the purchase of the LiteGate and the set-up of the equipment at the schools. “I appreciate that First 5 Plumas is here to provide local funds for purchases that directly benefit young children when there is no other source of funding. When we work together, great things happen for kids!”

First 5 Plumas was established in 1998 when California voters passed Proposition 10, which levied a 50-cent tax on tobacco products. Revenues generated by the tax are used to fund local programs and supports in the area of health, early childcare and education and family support services that promote early childhood development for children ages zero through five years.

Plumas County receives $350,000 annually in Prop. 10 funds. For more information on the services and supports that First 5 Plumas funds, contact the commission’s director Ellen Vieira at 394-7016.

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