Durham Road School that caters for students with intellectual disabilities, physical disabilities, sensory impairments and autistic spectrum disorders received $12,000 worth of physiotherapy equipment thanks to United States company Niagara Therapy.
The equipment being donated is specifically designed for children with special needs and helps improve muscle function, promotes relaxation and increases circulation.
However this physiotherapy equipment has a twist – it is in the form of a giant toy train, a sit in toy bulldozer and a big red chair.
There are only two other schools in Australia that have this equipment and Durham Road School will be the only Western Australian school.
Durham Road School principal Linda Lane said the equipment was a great addition to the school’s purpose built multi-sensory facility and suite of tools to engage students.
The toys keep the student busy while their muscles are being exercised and their senses are being stimulated. It will also be used to “calm students down when they are up and bring them up when they are feeling a bit low”, she said.
“The equipment can be used for physical gain but it will also be integrated into the education program, for example,
a student with Autism can be involved with turn taking and gain communication skills when asking for a go.”
Niagara special projects manager Keith Meiforth said the school would receive more special therapy toys and they had other designs such as a pirate ship and aeroplane in the works.
“It is our goal to have this equipment operating in at least two special needs schools in each Australian state,'' Mr Meiforth said.
"The technology is medically proven and it does not just provide normal two-action vibrations but a full three-dimensional massage, helping with respiratory and deep tissue massage, which helps with veins and arteries.''
He said the company's technology was used at the Australian Institute of Sport for rehabilitation and recovery and by the University of Sydney to teach its medical and science students the relativity between muscle and nerve communication.