Jack Walks Wisconsin

My son, Jack, and the five other students in his sixth grade special education class walked nearly 400 miles this past school year. Throughout the year, they took turns walking on a treadmill during class, starting at fi ve minutes and working their endurance up to 15 minutes. The students tracked their miles on a map of Wisconsin, and learned about the cities that were on the path. They would then visit the community's website to discover places of interest. 

This exercise helped immensely with challenging behavior, and they plan to continue the program this year as well. I asked the school to include walking on the treadmill in his IEP, twice a day: morning and afternoon. Jack lost some weight, which was great because his height has plateaued and even with a healthy diet, he wasn't getting as much exercise as he really needed. He has increased in muscle tone and hand-eye coordination during these treadmill sessions while listening to music or watching a movie on his school iPad.

The students in the class have been together since Kindergarten and are now in 7th grade. Th ey all are comfortable with each other and have learned to accept each other's diff erences. Th is summer, Jack worked with a tutor at our local library working on math, reading and life skills such as handling currency. His tutor just happened to be his teacher from 3rd-5th grade.

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