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Rehab clinic nearing reality

KEESEVILLE - Traveling to Albany from Keeseville on a weekly basis can take its toll on a person. Especially for Melody LaFountain, who does it with her 5-year-old triplets in tow.

The triplets - Anthony, Chandler and Luke-Richard - were diagnosed with spastic diplegia cerebral palsy at less than one year old.

"They've had a lot of delays," LaFountain explained of the boys. "I mean fine motor skills and physical development. Some things that they would typically do at maybe 18 months or 3-years-old, it's like we're starting to see some of that now. The progress they're making is slow progress."

But much of the progress they have received comes from LaFountain traveling to the Center for Disability Services in Albany, where the boys receive various forms of therapy to deal with their condition which affects body movement and muscle coordination.

"Eight or nine months ago, they couldn't even hold scissors," LaFountain explained. "Now, they're holding and at least can cut a circle."

"I can at least say if [they] didn't get the therapeutic services, that they definitely wouldn't be where they are today," she added.

However, the services offered in Albany are something LaFountain feels should be in this area as well.

After meeting with the village of Keeseville board Feb. 2, LaFountain received the "okay" to begin planning out what will become the Adirondack Rehabilitation Clinic, which the village is allowing to be placed on six acres of land on Thompson Road.

"I just think our community, not just in Keeseville, but Peru, AuSable Forks, Elizabethtown, there's so many kids right now not receiving services," she said.

Currently, LaFountain is working to get blueprints made up of what the clinic could look like, including both aquatic and land therapy.

"All range of disability services that would be access to not only the aquatic physical therapy pool, but some may need to have more land versus water," she explained. "It depends on their needs."

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