Special education worker helps keep kids in their regular classrooms

By WEEK Producer

May 29, 2013 Updated May 29, 2013 at 9:49 PM CDT

LEROY, Ill. -- Students with special needs often times can stay in a regular classroom if they have the right tools.

A special education worker in the heart of Illinois is helping to make that happen.

Dorene Solava is a physical therapist with Tri-County Special Education. Solava and her co-workers travel to rural-area schools to work with students that have disabilities and special needs.

"They are smaller schools so they cannot afford to hire therapists on their own because there isn't a big enough need. So this way we can go from one school to the next school and serve the needs of many children,” said Gayle Hanlin, of Tri-County Special Ed.

One of the goals is to keep children with special needs in a regular education classroom.

"What the physical therapists and the occupational therapists have figured out is how do these children learn best? And they figured out that it's by allowing them to have some movement for their body system,” said Solava.

That is why Solava would like to purchase wiggle seats. The specially designed cushions help children focus and move around without disrupting the entire classroom. The seats also help improve handwriting.

"The variety of children that might use this could include someone with arthritis, could include someone with spina bifida, someone with a diagnosis of cerebral palsy, someone with attention deficit or someone with a diagnosis of the autistic spectrum disorder,” said Solava.

The seats are mostly used in preschool and primary schools. Solava is planning to purchase about 30 of the seats to disperse to the schools that need them.