Posts Tagged ‘physical therapy’

Spring Has Sprung

Posted April 10, 2013 by pehl

Yea,  we all survived the move to our new clinic location!  Early Choice Pediatric Therapy is officially a part of the Hazel Dell neighborhood in the Professional Plaza at 9317 NE Highway 99, Suite L.  We’ve pretty much settled into our new site, although we still have many plans for hanging more swing and climbing options and prettying things up.

While we facilitated the move and cleaned out the other building spring arrived.  One day we looked around and noticed the bulbs popping up and the trees blooming out, and WOW!  Here it is, spring, in all it’s glory and including its wildly unpredictable weather patterns.

Finally, the kids can GO OUTSIDE and PLAY!  And I would love to hear from all of you what they play.  No matter what they play they’re feeding their sensory systems.  This is the time to dust of the trikes and bikes, make sure everything works, take off those training wheels that are no longer needed and go for it.  We have wonderful urban trails here in Vancouver that are family and bicycle friendly.  The Discovery Trail is miles long with parking lots in multiple places so you can throw the bikes in the truck, van, (trunk?) and go for ride.  If you don’t ride maybe you can walk and your young’n can ride.  Or for that matter you could all walk.

Long walks are great for children of all ages, and let’s face it, we adults  benefit from moving too, and getting some fresh air, wet or not.  Kids don’t mind getting wet so put on your boots and grab your umbrella.  Two miles is not too far for a 3-year-old, providing it’s fairly flat and the adult doesn’t have an agenda, (meaning a time limit.)  Some caveats: Don’t bring the stroller for ‘just in case he gets tired.’  If you do he will get tired.  Also, when he does get tired do not carry him.  This is why you mustn’t start off with a time limit.  He needs to build endurance, then strength will follow.  You can stop and have a brief rest, but stand firm.  Make him walk.  A drink of water can be magic in this situation.

Spring is also a great time to consider your plan for the summer time when school is out.  How will the children be entertained?  Robin and I both have a strong bias for swimming lessons.  Swimming is one of the best strengthening activities out there.  It also requires bilateral function, thus strengthening bilateral integration skills in a manner that few other activities do. When we ask, “does your child know how to swim?” we aren’t talking about playing in the water.  We want to see the kids able to actually swim across the pool.  In this part of the country, with so much water all around us, it’s imperative for children to learn how to swim.

Our community centers, the Marshal Center and the Firstenburg Center have great day camps of all kinds for all ages.  Sports, science, arts & crafts, they all have a lot to offer including the social skills necessary to navigate in a group of peers.  Also, don’t forget to check out the Vancouver-Clark Parks and Recreations Department programs which include both individual and group options.

Enjoy your walk, Elizabeth



Time Flies When You’re Having Fun

Posted October 24, 2012 by pehl

I received a wonderful surprise just the other day – evening, actually.  I had completed my preparations for the new week on Sunday evening and was lazing about when my phone chimed indicating a new email in my ECPT account.  I do my best not to attend to work related issues on the weekends, but I don’t often succeed.  This time my lack of discipline was rewarded with the previously mentioned surprise – an email from a former client who left our practice about 8 years ago when they moved out of town.  I truly do love it when “our kids” come back to us.  Robin and I often wonder, “…what has become of so-and-so.  Let’s see, he/she would be…what? 12 – no 15 years old by now!  Wow, time flies when you’re having fun!”

I asked the sender, J. permission to post her email as I felt it would provide hope and encouragement to those of you who are just beginning “the journey.”  It’s a long road ahead for many of you, with much hard work and often some heartache and tears.  But it also includes the joy of growth and independence gained.  In response to my request J. wrote back, “I’d be honored to help others.”  So here it is:

Do you remember helping a little three-year-old boy, S. and his family 9 years ago?

We moved from Vancouver to Southern California after we’d worked with you both for about 18 months.  Robin started with casting S. for toe walking after he’d had Botox injections in his legs.  She provided PT to address S’s toe walking.  Then Elizabeth added OT and introduced us to Sensory Integration Therapy.  Dr. Willis helped with the AD/HD and sleep issues….

You started us on a very long journey.  We knew so little at the time and all the information was overwhelming.  Not only did you provide therapy for S., you cared about the mental health of Mom and Dad too.  You both were saviors for us at this time.

Fast forward many years…..S. is in sixth grade now.  At age 5 he went thru several intense neurological evaluations and we learned that the ‘something more’ was Autistic Spectrum Disorder, specifically Asperger’s.  We went thru school district evaluations and S. has had an IEP since Kindergarten.  He has always been mainstreamed but with a one-on-one aide.  After all the hard work and thanks to a wonderful support team, S. is now in the Gifted and Advanced class, completely independent.  There are still challenges, but he has made amazing progress.

There was more, but in an attempt to not be self-aggrandizing I edited out the parts that were the most touching to Robin and myself.  My point for posting it in the first place is to provide a sense of the possibilities that lie ahead.  I am honored to have been trusted with this young man’s care, and to have had the opportunity to work as a team member with his parents and I know this is true for Robin also.  We learn from each child we touch and each family we teach, which is what keeps our work exciting and new.  It’s true that time does fly when you’re having fun.

Blessings to all of you as you walk your path, Elizabeth