LIFE is excited to offer many enhancement programs! The Clinical Enhancements Team (CET) consisting of our Adaptive Activities Facilitator, Adaptive Music Facilitator, and Assistive Technology and Environments Facilitator run many of these programs. Some enhancement programs are also provided by other staff members or by external contractors. Please see below for more information.

Enhancement Programs

Adaptive PE Program

Classrooms receive individualized physical education lessons to promote participation and improvement in physical activities led by our Adaptive Activities Facilitator.

Adaptive Karate Program

Classrooms receive individualized Karate lessons to promote coordination, discipline, and self-esteem given by Master Walter of Red Bear Karate for Kids.

Adaptive Recess Program

Classrooms receive recess support and consultation by our Adaptive Activities Facilitator to help engage all students in appropriate play activities.

Special Olympics Programs

L.I.F.E. is in the process of becoming a Special Olympics Unified Champion School. We have run a number of Special Olympics programs including Healthy Leap Into Fitness and the Young Athletes Program and we hope to add new programs in the upcoming academic year.

Adaptive Art Program

Classrooms receive individualized art lessons to learn art concepts, explore art mediums, develop skills, and express creativity led by our Adaptive Activities Facilitator.

Visit Art Gallery

Adaptive Music Program

Classrooms receive individualized music lessons using music therapy and music education approaches to promote progress in total communication skills, general music knowledge, and meaningful social interactions. Sessions are led by our Adaptive Music Facilitator who is a certified Music Therapist and Speech-Language Pathology Assistant.

To learn about our 1:1 Music Therapy services check out Music Therapy

Social Emotional Learning Program

Classrooms receive individualized SEL lessons utilizing Diane Alder’s A Little Spot of Feelings & Emotions Educators Guide led by Ms. Margaret CEO. Topics include identifying and managing emotions such as anger, anxiety, sadness, happiness, love, and confidence. All LIFE departments participate in this program to support the concepts across campus. 

Regulated Classroom Program

LIFE believes it is important to help all students exist in a calm ready-to-learn state (regulated). Our teachers utilize frequent movement breaks throughout the day as well as provide a calm corner students can use when they need help to calm themselves. We also have a specially designed sensory gym to help students achieve a regulated state.

Wednesday Hot Lunch Program

On Wednesdays students can choose to receive a hot lunch.  Our employment program takes orders, shops, prepares, and delivers the lunches to classrooms. Along with the entree the lunch includes a different fruit and vegetable each month to promote healthy eating.  Nursing students that participate in a clinical rotation at LIFE from University of Arizona assist in creating nutrition flyers for families to further promote the fruit and vegetable of the month. Staff also follow mealtime guidelines to assist students in learning dining skills and promote trying new foods.

Total Communication Program

Our Total Communication Campaign launched this school year with the objective of ensuring that all our consumers have the ability to get their wants and needs met in a socially appropriate way. We recognize the differences between each consumer and encourage all staff to model multiple modalities to increase communication (including American Sign Language, Picture Exchange, AAC, etc). There is no one correct way and here at LIFE we want all of our consumers to be heard!

Flexible Seating Program

LIFE believes it is important for students to have a range of seating options throughout the day. We have an inventory of many options including floor cushions, flex seats, wobble stools, therapy balls, bean bag chairs, chair swings, and wobble discs. Our Assistive Technology and Environments Facilitator manages this program and works as a team with teachers and therapists to determine what best supports each classroom and particular students.

Assistive Technology Program

LIFE recognizes that many of our students could benefit from assistive technology.  Some examples include using a more supportive chair with hip and trunk supports, using a stander in the classroom part of the day, using a special pencil grip to help with handwriting, having access to fidgets to help with attention, and much more. We are developing a very robust AT Loan Library to support all the needs of our students. Our Assistive Technology and Environments Facilitator manages this program and works as a team with a student’s therapists, teachers, and family to determine the best way to support each student.

Adaptive Toys Program

We have a robust adaptive toy library. Our Assistive Technology and Environments Facilitator works with teachers to check-out and rotate toys for students to ensure they stay in good working order and interesting to a student. We thank the Rother family for their generous donation in memory of their daughter Brooklyn, which has made this adaptive toy library possible.

The Listening Program

All our teachers have the ability to utilize The Listening Program with students they believe may benefit. Teachers are supported by our Assistive Technology and Environments Facilitator to facilitate the program with selected students. Our occupational therapists also serve as resources for this program.

Specialty Environments

We have numerous specialty environments to support our programs including a sensory gym, swimming pool, splashpad, sports court and more.

Learn More

CLINICAL ENHANCEMENTS TEAM (CET)

Noel McCluney PT, DPT, AT Specialist
Noel McCluney PT, DPT, AT SpecialistExecutive Director of Service Administration

Role:

I serve a number of roles at LIFE one of which is serving as the direct supervisor for the Clinical Enhancements Team (CET). I assist the team in the development and execution of their current and new programs. My other roles at LIFE include assisting with administrative oversight of the Service Leadership Team and management of many of our digital communications (website, staff portal, social media platforms).

Education and Certifications:

  • Assistive Technology Graduate Certificate, Bowling Green State University, August 2016
  • Doctor of Physical Therapy, A.T. Still University, August 2006
  • B.S. in Exercise Science, Summa Cum Laude, Florida State University, May 2003
  • American Council on Exercise Youth Fitness Specialist, August 2016
  • APTA Board-Certified Pediatric Specialist (PCS), May 2011
  • 200hr Level Certified Yoga Teacher, Southwest Institute of Healing Arts, May 2008
  • American Council on Exercise Group Fitness Instructor, August 2000

Career History: 

I began working at L.I.F.E. when it first opened in 2007-10 as a staff physical therapist. I immediately felt LIFE was my work family. Unfortunately, in 2010 my husband’s career as an academic required us to move for him to complete a post-doctorate position in Colorado. Fortunately, we were able to return to Arizona 2011-13 for him to complete another post-doc position and I was able to return to working at LIFE. Then once again we had to move to North Carolina for another post-doc position and then finally landed in Bowling Green, Ohio at Bowling Green State University where my husband secured a tenure-track facility position in 2014. I missed working at LIFE and in 2017 returned for a summer to work again as a staff physical therapist and to provide a continuing education course to staff Introduction to Assistive Technology for the Pediatric Population. In 2018 Margaret Travillion CEO asked if I would be interested in returning to LIFE in a management position that had recently opened. Unfortunately, my husband’s university did not allow us to move back to Arizona. However, LIFE decided to be creative and we worked out a position for me to work remotely and travel to Arizona each month. Thus, I joined LIFE again in 2018 as the Director of Clinical Programming. In that role I oversaw the development of many different programs and projects and assisted the therapy department in many areas. In 2021 the Clinical Enhancements Team was officially created with me serving as their supervisor. In 2022 I was promoted to Executive Director of Service Administration which now expands my role to include assisting with administrative oversight of the Service Leadership Team. 

Although moving so much was difficult it did allow me to work in a number of different settings and I gained valuable skills and experience. I have worked at two intermediate care facilities (ICFs) for children and adults with medically complex developmental disabilities, and at a children’s hospital. At these facilities, I gained a lot of experience working with wheelchairs, standers, and other AT devices. I have also provided school therapy in OH and home-based therapy in CO and NC learning some of the nuances of early intervention and school therapy and the differences between states and schools.  

Personal:

I live in Bowling Green Ohio and travel to Arizona monthly. I love Arizona and most especially enjoy all the restaurants, yoga studios, and hiking trails. I am married and my husband is a researcher and professor in biology (community ecology) at Bowling Green State University. I have two children ages 10 and 7.

 

Zachary Price SLP-A, AT Specialist
Zachary Price SLP-A, AT SpecialistAssistive Technology and Environments Facilitator (ATEF)

Role: 

I manage programs related to assistive technology as well as oversee many of the specialty environments on campus.

Education:

  • Certificate in Speech Pathology Assistance, Northern Arizona University, 2014
  • B.S. in Speech-Language Sciences & Technology, Northern Arizona University, 2014
  • Graduate Certificate in Assistive Technology, Bowling Green University, 2022

Career History: 

My time at Lauren’s Institute for Education started in 2015, and in those seven years I have filled a variety of roles around campus and across departments. I have worked as a habilitation & respite provider in the community while finishing my undergraduate degrees. As an original member of the Academy Resource Team, I provided a variety of support services including those in speech & language, reading, and later as the AAC (augmentative & alternative communication) support. Starting in 2019 I was part the LIFE therapy team as a speech-language therapist assistant (SLP-A), providing direct therapy services on campus and via telehealth through the height of the 2020 pandemic. Upon joining the new Clinical Enhancements Team in 2021, I began serving as the support for assistive technology and the specialty environments across campus. Over these years, I have also had the opportunity to head a number of projects including our first Academy yearbook and most recently, the renovation of our Sensory Gym.

KAREN ALWARD MT-BC, SLP-A
KAREN ALWARD MT-BC, SLP-AAdaptive Music Facilitator (AMF)

Role:

As the Adaptive Music Facilitator, I provide music therapy and music education for the academy classrooms. By incorporating speech goals such as developing expressive and receptive language, the music intervention can help address functional communication skills and focus on meaningful social interactions. I also work in the therapy department part-time as a speech-language pathology assistant.

Education:

  • Speech Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA), Northern Arizona University, 2019
  • Music Together Teacher Training and Internship, 2016
  • B.M. in Music Therapy, Radford University, 2001

Career History:

While providing skilled music therapy services to children with developmental disabilities for over a decade, I’ve had the opportunity to use interventions to motivate children toward reaching their highest potential. During my career, I have worked in the medical setting, day treatment clinics, and home-based therapy. After completion of coursework for Speech Language Pathology Assistant (SLPA) certification through Northern Arizona University in 2019, I have worked in the public school system and private school for children with autism.

Teaching Philosophy: 

I am passionate about combining my skill sets by customizing speech therapy goals and music curriculums for each classroom. Striving for quality music therapy with a speech therapy focus translates into practicing core words and encouraging academic concepts through spotlighting different instruments.  Creating meaningful peer exchanges are fostered through social groups such as handbell ensembles and drum circles as well as engaging students through movement and sensory activities.

Personal:

Besides my passion for making music, seeing live music, and generally all things musical, I enjoy cooking and the outdoors. Running and hiking are frequent activities, as well as overlanding and camping with my husband, two kids, and dog.

REBECCA BAGWELL
REBECCA BAGWELLAdaptive Activities Facilitator (AAF)

Role:

I serve on the CET and facilitate the Adaptive PE, Adaptive Recess, and Adaptive Art programs. I also help develop Special Olympics programs at LIFE and assist with the staff Wellness Program.

Education:

  • B.S. in Clinical Exercise Science, Arizona State University, 2021
  • This fall I begin my second bachelor’s degree in Communicative Disorders at Eastern New Mexico University.

Career History: 

I had the pleasure of interning at Lauren’s Institute during my last semester at Arizona State University and knew that I was not leaving anytime soon. I spent the last six months working as a therapy technician in the therapy department and recently transitioned into my new role as an Adaptive Activities Facilitator. I have always had a passion for kids, and I cannot wait to start my first year of teaching!

Personal Teaching Philosophy:

Children do their best work when they are in a safe and encouraging environment to express themselves and feel confident in who they are.

Personal:
I am originally from Woodstock, Illinois, and moved to Arizona when I was younger. Outside of working and studying, most of my time is spent working out, reading, baking, and planning my next travel adventure!

Contact Us for More Information About L.I.F.E.

call us at 480-621-8361 EXT 136 or complete this form

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