Meet Oswald…he is a very smart 18 year old who has cerebral palsy. He uses a power wheelchair to navigate the world. Using a wheelchair to get around complicates life. He has to have an adapted van with a ramp. Oswald’s mom drives him around the community in the adapted van.
Oswald is not able to sit or stand unsupported. So he has special supports built into his wheelchair to help him sit up. He feeds himself everything except soup; he avoids soup because it is too messy for him to eat. He can use the microwave, but has to be very careful as his hands and arms are not as strong or coordinated as a person’s without cerebral palsy.
Oswald completes all of his school work on his computer as he cannot handwrite well. He is starting college in September. He will be the second member of his family to attend college; his older brother was the first. Oswald was referred for Elks therapy because he was graduating high school and would no longer receive school occupational therapy. His Elks therapist is helping Oswald get ready to become a more independent adult. He is learning to budget his money, use the bus, grocery shop, and cook!
Oswald is a great example of the Elks Therapy Program stepping in when needed because he received therapy with our program when he was younger, too! At that time, his family lived in a rural area with few services, so Oswald was seen by an Elks therapist for several years until he started school. Oswald could not ride bikes with his brother due to his disability, so the Elks in his area held a special fund raiser, and Oswald received a specialized tricycle to ride alongside his older brother. Oswald and his family are and will always be thankful to the Elks!