Fun News Friday! For Special-Needs Students, Custom Furniture Out of Schoolhouse Scraps

A rare informative article about a school physical therapist!

Highlights from the article:

Whenever Michael Konstalid visits a school, he makes sure to pay a visit to the basement.

There, Mr. Konstalid, a roaming physical therapist for the New York City Education Department, gives his phone number to a custodian and asks that no broken furniture be thrown away until he is called. This protocol keeps him in the supplies he uses to build custom physical therapy equipment, out of things that would otherwise end up in the trash.

Among his creations have been tiny hurdles made of PVC pipe, intended to help children improve their coordination. He has turned a discarded bookcase into a small set of steps, used to help a little girl get on and off the school bus by herself


If there is a demonstrated need, the Education Department is responsible for buying physical therapy equipment for students. Both Mr. Konstalid and Laura Scott, the principal of P.S. 10, where he works two days a week, say that while they have had no trouble getting what they need through official channels, what Mr. Konstalid offers is different


“He gets that these small changes are huge for kids in their environment, and it really doesn’t have to be complicated,” she said. Her only criticism of Mr. Konstalid is that “there’s only one of him,” she said. “I’m hoping there be will be 30 of him at some point.”

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