The proposed developmental playground is the first of its kind for children ages 0 to 5.
CPD seeks support for a playground that stimulates development
Currently, Cache County has no playground designed specifically for children under three who are developmentally delayed—children who most need the therapeutic benefits of play. The proposed Developmental Playground at the Center for Persons with Disabilities will create a space just for children from zero to five years old.
Children who are developmentally delayed are often more or less sensitive to stimulation than typically developing children. Like all children, though, they don’t learn from sitting still. Movement activates the neurological systems of the brain, and playground experience fosters social development.
The proposed playground will encourage improved social skills, large and small motor coordination, balancing, tactile stimulation, a better understanding of weight and density, improved language, body awareness and orientation, visual and spacial awareness, and better coordination of the eyes, hands and body.
The children who play there won't worry about all that, though. They will just have fun in a colorful, accessible space that is designed for people their size. The new playground will give them an opportunity to splash, climb, slide, swing, explore and touch a lot of different textures—and to do it all safely.
For more information on the playground or how you can help make it a reality, visit the Developmental Playground page.
Robert and Brenda Anderson are in the Logan TBI work group.
Work to improve services for people with traumatic brain injury pays off
Robert and Brenda Anderson started attending the Traumatic Brain Injury work group in Logan because they know first hand how destructive an undetected TBI can be.
Both of them sustained traumatic brain injuries. Both of them watched as the effects of those injuries devastated their personal lives. They lost memories, the ability to concentrate, jobs, relationships.
Years later, they are working to spread awareness about TBI by participating in a work group in Logan.
Sometimes even those who have received a blow to the head might not recognize the severity of their injuries, said Sue Dubois, community TBI coordinator for the Utah Traumatic Brain Injury Partnership Grant at the CPD.
Sometimes professionals miss a diagnosis, too. “A picture of the brain … doesn’t show at the microscopic level what has happened,” said Dr. Wes Spencer, a psychologist at Bear River Mental Health. Another complication is that professionals in smaller towns may be unfamiliar with TBI, its effects and its treatment. Specialists are usually found in larger communities.
Dubois has set up workgroups in Logan, Brigham City and St. George to discover the needs and concerns of people who have personal and professional experience with traumatic brain injury. As a result, communities in rural Utah have begun to address those needs that the groups identified through trainings, informational materials and better coordination.
Dubois was recognized earlier this month for her efforts, when the Brain Injury Association of Utah presented her with its 2009 Professional Advocate Award. She and other team members have worked to train health, mental health and vocational rehabilitation professionals about TBI through the CPD’s Interdisciplinary Training Division, directed by Judith Holt.
You can read more about TBI and efforts to address it on the CPD website.