I'm not just a PT, I'm also a parent!

I'm not just a PT, I'm also a parent!

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Help bring recreational activities to kids with special needs!

Us Too Center was founded by two mothers of children with autism in order to provide them with recreational opportunities in a safe setting.  The current state of the economy has caused their donations to dwindle to the point that they've had to downsize their facility and are no longer able to provide scholarships.  The opening of a pediatric therapy clinic right around the corner has also affected their business and they are struggling to keep their doors open.
Help support Us Too Center while shopping for Valentine's Day gifts, birthday gifts, or just a treat for yourself!

To order from Thirty-One, go to http://www.mythirtyone.com/shop/eventhome.aspx?eventId=E1372165&from=MYEVENTS

To order from Celebrating Home, go to http://www.celebratinghome.com/ and enter party code UsTooCenter235698

Thank you in advance for all of your support!

Friday, January 6, 2012

Products I Love - Fisher Price Classical Stacker

I am a huge fan of the Fisher Price Brilliant Basics Super Star Classical Stacker. (boy, that's a mouthful!)  Any ring stacker is a great toy for babies and toddlers because they help with fine motor skills, sequencing, sorting, concepts of size, and color recognition.  I especially like this stacker because it gives wonderful visual and auditory feedback when a child makes a successful or near-successful attempt to place the star-shaped rings on the stacker's base.  I use it frequently during my therapy sessions to help kids gain the skills listed above and to help with locomotion as I will have children take the stars from one side of the room to the stacker base on the other side of the room.

  • The music is enjoyable and not too loud
  • Each star has a different color and texture
  • Even if the batteries run out, this toy can still perform its intended use
  • The stars are easy to clean

  • It is not the cheapest stacker on the market
  • It's battery-operated, which adds an additional expense when the batteries run out
  • Made of plastic that may not be BPA-free
  • Made in China (for those of you sensitive to that)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Breaking Up With Your Therapist

As a PT, I've have my professional relationships with families broken off and I must admit that sometimes, it stings a bit.  Naturally, if a patient is discharged because all his or her therapy goals are met, it is cause for celebration and if patients no longer require your services because of a move or because they "age out" it is completely understandable.

But what about when the therapist and patient just don't "click?"  I have had that happen once and it made me sad to think that no matter how much I persevered, this child was just not happy with my presence.  I was not offended, but was a bit disappointed that I wasn't given more opportunities to try to build a relationship and help the kiddo make some progress.  In theory, a therapist should not be offended, but since we entered this field with the intent of helping as many people as we can, it can be a difficult pill to swallow.  If the "breakup" is handled well, with positive communication and a mutual understanding, the entire process will go much more smoothly.

Another tough situation is when the therapist doesn't seem invested in you.  I find myself in this situation currently and as a therapist myself, I am having difficulty making the break.  My son has special needs and his neurologist recommended a particular Occupational Therapist to us.  We really like this OT and think he has a good rapport with our son but his business is so disorganized that we can't take it anymore.  They have very few openings (another business venture creates many conflicts with the provision of OT services), they have cancelled or rescheduled multiple times, promised return phone calls never occur, and a comment was made about how I have "so" many children.  We paid a pretty penny for my son's OT evaluation and don't feel like we're getting our money's worth.  So what to do?

I would like to approach this therapist, professional-to-professional and discuss why I want to pursue OT from another facility.  Sounds easy enough, but I had met this OT during my contractual internship about 10 years ago and there's a bit of professional history there that I wouldn't want to taint.  I am hoping that being honest, forthright, and professional will actually help this clinician improve his business in the long-run.  But for the time being, my son's development is the most important thing to us and we can't go on like this.

Have you ever been in this situation?  How did you handle it? 

Monday, January 2, 2012

What to Say About Another Practitioner

I came across this article on my Professional Liability Insurance company's website and thought I'd share it: What to Say About Another Practitioner.

In my experience, I have seen business deals go under because some of my therapist colleagues spoke ill of other therapists in the community and the clinic owner refused to nurture a toxic work environment.  I have seen friendships lost, professional relationships severed, and patient families left confused as a result of gossip amongst healthcare practitioners. 

Now, if you have a legitimate concern, I'm sure you can find a tactful way to express it.  Namecalling and backstabbing will only serve to give people a sense of concern about you.  The therapy community is a small one, so what goes around truly comes around eventually.

I think that Bambi gives a fantastic life lesson: "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all."