Special Projects Grant from Federal Government funds walkers, training and tools

(April 18, 2018) — The Summit County Health Department’s Early Intervention program received a $24,000 Special Projects Grant to aid in its work with childhood mobility training and development.

Using equipment purchased from the grant, Early Intervention specialists can help the children they work with be more mobile, social and progress in other developmental domains. Project funds will be used to purchase walkers, KidWalk Gait trainers, tools to measure and monitor progress, staff training, assessment materials and more.

“We’ll be putting these grant funds to work right away in our programming,” Summit County Early Intervention Coordinator, Suesanne Bond said. “The lives of the children we serve in Summit and Wasatch counties will be changed forever because of the equipment and training we can provide.”

Funding for the grant was awarded based on information from a study (https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4289257/) showing the pivotal role that independent walking and moving plays into social development and psychological function. Young children with complex physical or developmental delays are often less mobile and interactive with their family and peers. This lack of mobility has an impact on overall development, social status, and could lead to pain, deformity, and weakness, considering a typical child will take more than 14,000 steps per day.

Summit County Early Intervention is a multidisciplinary assessment and development service for families of children birth to three years of age who meet or exceed the definition of developmental delays in a variety of areas such as physical development, hearing and vision or language. Early Intervention follows a family-centered model of service delivery that empowers the family to help their child continue to develop and learn. Services are provided in the child’s natural environment (home and other familiar settings) through the coordinated efforts of parents, Early Intervention professionals, and community agencies. In 2017, the Summit County Early Intervention team provided more than 2,611 visits in Summit and Wasatch counties.