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HMS School – Different Kind of School

As a child with Cerebral Palsy, education is really difficult to receive. Schools sometimes overlook the potential of the students and not provide the education that the students need. There is a school that is making a difference with students with Cerebral Palsy. It is named HMS School which is in Philadelphia, PA

How HMS School Got Started

HMS School started in 1882 and was the first institution of its kind and was founded by Helen Innes. She and her husband had custody of a boy with a disability. They had trouble finding an appropriate home for him so she decided to open a home for all kinds of children for free. When Polio was the highest, they took in children who were discharged from hospitals as hopeless cases. She took in 18 children who were provided care for the children with Polio. In the 1960s, they turned their focus on helping kids with Cerebral Palsy and they are still doing that today.


Why is this school unique? Well, they provide education to students who are not getting the right education in their school district. They take the student into their school until the district can provide the necessary accommodations for the students or the students are 18 years old. 

Another unique thing about this school is if the student lives too far away from school, the student can live there. In 2007, they expanded the living hall so more students can live there. The students live there during the week and go home on the weekend or just live there all the time. There are personal care assistants who take care of the students around the clock. I think it is so important to provide the necessary services for them. 


A child with Cerebral Palsy needs a lot of therapy because if therapy is not provided, the students will have a difficult time learning in the classroom because their bodies will become tight. HMS School has physical therapy, occupational therapy, and speech. They all help the students to be the best they can. They also help the students to communicate with others through a communication system.

Fun Activities

Like any other school, they provide art, music, and sports. HMS School puts on plays and has a yearbook club that a student can join. They take the kids out in the community to the museums and other educational places. Besides that, they bring in different people to talk to the students around certain times of the year such as black history month. So, they try to help the kids learn. 

Life Skills

When the students get close to graduating, they learn life skills so they could get a job. I don’t know if they could go to college or not. Remember that HMS School take students who are having trouble in the regular schools. Like a parent said that his son had no way of communicating before going to this school. I think communication is so important for everyone because how could a person tell someone what they want.

More Schools Like HMS School

Since HMS School is doing a great job in helping students with Cerebral Palsy, why don’t other states have schools like this one? That is a good question to ask, but I guess it takes a lot of money to run. On the other hand, I am afraid to say this but it is the fault of the regular schools for not accommodating the student. Yes, being at HMS School is a huge help. Being in a safe environment like at HMS School is good in one sense but might be bad too. It all depends on what the students will do after they leave the school. If you want more information about HMS School, they have a website that you can go to. It is

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