Local students with special needs prepared last Friday for the upcoming Region B Spring Games held by Special Olympics Illinois.

The Spring Games will take place later in April at Prospect High School. Students at High Road School of Mount Prospect, 580 Slawin Court, have been working tirelessly, showing remarkable dedication and enthusiasm for the Special Olympics.

Students train under the guidance of PE teacher and coach Patrick Hurst, known as “Mr. Pat” to the kids. Mr. Pat’s involvement with Special Olympics dates to his late teens. With a background in therapeutic recreation, his journey began as he worked at a rec center during summer breaks, engaging in activities within park districts.

Over the years, Mr. Pat found his calling and passion for coaching, ultimately leading him to High Road School in the fall of 2020, where he enjoys spending time with the students outside the classroom.

“Special Olympics has provided a platform for our students to shine independently. The school community rallies around these athletes, celebrating their victories and fostering friendships,” said Mr. Pat.

High Road School of Mount Prospect serves students with an array of exceptional needs. Programs provide individualized attention and a curriculum that is based on each student’s cognitive ability, learning style, and interest.

The goal for students who attend High Road School of Mount Prospect is to make progress on their individual goals and objectives as stated in their Individual Education Program (IEP) so they may reintegrate to a less restrictive environment as soon as possible.

Students are referred by their school district to attend High Road School and range in age from 3 to 21. They face disabilities in a variety of areas, including autism spectrum disorders, mild and moderate intellectual disabilities, specific learning disabilities, speech-language impairments, emotional disabilities, traumatic brain injuries, and developmental delays.