That's How Scott Rolls Raises
Money for Miles for Matheny
Julie Gordon visiting Scott in his Matheny
Twelve-year-old Scott Gordon communicates by grabbing a symbol. “We give him two choices,” explains Jaclynne Dietrich, speech-language pathologist at Matheny, “and he will grab one of the symbols. For example, in art class, he will select a color. Just before lunch, he will select food over a picture of a beanbag.”
Scott has been a student at Matheny since last summer, transferring from the Horizon School in Livingston because his parents wanted to put him on the Matheny waiting list for residency. “As Scott began getting bigger,” his mother Julie explains, “we began to think about residential. Nobody wishes that for their child, but, given his size and his needs, we realized this was the best thing.”
“I’ve been amazed at the things Matheny does,” Gordon continues. “The therapists work really hard creating strategies.” For example, Dietrich has created a communications book that Scott can take home with him so that he can make choices by selecting picture symbols when he isn’t in school. This is designed to reduce frustration at home. “I’ve seen tremendous improvement in his communication skills, “Gordon says. “He’s making real progress; we feel like we’re moving toward something.”
When Scott was born, Julie and her husband Andrew had no idea anything was wrong. “At five months,” she recalls, “he would be in a playgroup, and the other babies would be happy, and he was crying. Our pediatrician just said he was colic.” By the time Scott was 2 ½ years old, he had been diagnosed with a form of cerebral palsy. He attended preschool at Childrens Specialized Hospital until he was seven when he transferred to Horizon.
According to his mother, Scott “has adjusted beautifully at Matheny. We feel so comfortable. The therapists have been wonderful, and there’s something else that’s really neat about the curriculum. They don’t baby him. Right now, for example, they’re learning about the Civil War, the music and the stories. He’s happy. He never gets off the bus hysterical. He has a big smile, and he’s happy to see me.”
The Gordons, who live in New Providence with Scott’s twin siblings, 8 ½-year-old James and Whitney, have formed a team, That’s How Scott Rolls, to raise money for Miles for Matheny, the annual fundraiser and community event being held Sunday, April 22, at Liberty Park in downtown Peapack. As of March 20, That’s How Scott Rolls had raised $2,288. “We’re very fortunate,” says Gordon, “to have friends and family who support us. We’re excited; our kids are excited. We’re very touched.”
The Gordons will be walking with Scott in the Lu Huggins Wheelchair Walk at Miles for Matheny, which also features five different Cycling Courses, a 5K Race and a Kids Fun Run. All funds raised will help support the Matheny Center of Medicine and Dentistry, which provides medical, dental and therapy care to Matheny inpatients and to people with disabilities in the community. Major Miles for Matheny sponsors are: The Poses Family Foundation, Affinity Federal Credit Union Foundation, Archer & Greiner P.C.; BP Fueling Communities; WCBS-TV and WCBS Newsradio 880; Partlow Insurance Agency; Peapack-Gladstone Bank and Porzio Bromberg & Newman P.C.
For more information or to register, log onto www.milesformatheny.org; to contribute to That’s How Scott Rolls, click on Search for Participant and type in the team name.