From our beginnings, Rainbow Acres has always believed that we needed to provide more than a nice home and a safe place to live. As critical as those are, they are only part of the equation. Adults with developmental disabilities want to have a full life! Introducing new ideas and stimulating their brains is essential to helping them reach their highest potential. In addition to our traditional Learning Center, Rainbow Acres Ranchers also have opportunities to participate in a variety of other activities that assist them in stretching the boundaries of their worlds.
As part of our mission to provide Ranchers with holistic care, Rainbow Acres utilizes a groundbreaking form of neurological habilitation known as Neurodevelopmental Therapy. Through rigorous physical exercises and specific stimulation, Ranchers improve their visual, auditory and tactile awareness and sensitivity, and find greater comfort in the world in which they live. This program provides exceptional promise for helping adults with developmental disabilities to learn and grow in ways previously believed to be impossible.
The Health and Wellness staff at Rainbow Acres have been honored to partner with the Northern Arizona University Speech Department to provide students enrolled in the Master’s program an opportunity to develop their skills. This collaborative effort has enriched the lives of Ranchers in incredible ways! Not only have they had the chance to improve speech deficiencies and learn tools for overcoming communication deficits, they have also had two other exciting outcomes. First, their worlds are stretched through interactions with caring professionals they would not otherwise be able to meet. Perhaps of more importance, working with NAU’s Speech Dept. has provided cutting edge resources for our Caregiver and Wellness staff.
Bill provides a wonderful example. As he has aged, students have worked with him to create a “memory book.” This simple resource, filled with pictures and stories from his life, stimulates his memory and helps him retain his cognitive skills.
A critical element in Rancher health is keeping their minds sharp by keeping their bodies healthy. Through the coordinated efforts of both licensed professionals and trained staff, Ranchers are assisted in rehabilitative services and in learning adaptive means to overcome typical challenges to activities of daily living. This might include learning to eat with a special spoon designed for their hand, or learning the steps for doing laundry by viewing a series of pictures that walk them through each step. Specific care plans are coordinated by individual healthcare professionals and the Rainbow Health and Wellness team through both local Therapists in our community and onsite visits.
The Yamaha Clavinova Connection program at Rainbow Acres allows Ranchers to play music on a programmable digital piano. Keys light up to show the users, which notes to play and when to play them. Participants work alone or as a group, playing different but coordinated parts to make beautiful music together. Studies have shown that music is not just an important emotional experience every individual should have; it is also good for the body and the mind. At Rainbow, we have learned it can be a tool for assisting Ranchers to relieve stress, learn to follow patterns, and express their creativity in ways they have been unable to do through other means.