February 2016, Horsham, PA. It’s 8 am and 10 year old Caleb is ready for speech and occupational therapy. And not only is he ready; he’s excited! Caleb and his family live in Nepal and are staying in the United States for 6 months to visit family and friends. While here, Caleb and his sisters are being homeschooled, but Caleb, who struggles with speech and sensory challenges, has been coming to Theraplay, Inc. for additional services that he does not have access to in his home country.
In Nepal, Caleb attends an international school that occasionally employs traveling therapists. With limited treatment sessions available and a schedule that sometimes allows only one visit per year, the most therapists can do is give Caleb and his family a home program. Caleb has traveled to other countries to see therapists, but distance keeps this from being a viable alternative.
“One of the hardest things about this,” says Caleb’s mom Nancy, “is that you are standing by watching your child struggle with things like being able to sit and focus in school, or eat food that is different from what he is used to.” She goes on to say that there’s no class on how to be a parent, let alone how to be a parent to a child who is struggling.
That’s when mom started looking for an alternative while they were in the United States. Nancy, who is originally from Southeastern Pennsylvania, did some research on pediatric therapy facilities in the area. She came across Theraplay’s website and was pleased to find that not only did they have several pediatric therapy locations; they also had occupational, physical, speech and feeding therapies all under one roof.
Caleb has been coming to Theraplay since arriving in the US, and mom says he couldn’t be happier. He has fun at his sessions and loves making his therapists laugh. Nancy says it’s been an extremely positive experience seeing the connection between the therapists and their patients.
Being able to observe the sessions is especially important, considering once they return home the onus is on Nancy and her family to keep Caleb on track with his program. Caleb and his family will be leaving Theraplay with ideas and suggestions to help him adapt to the classroom and everyday life once he returns home. His therapy team is constantly making, meeting and re-evaluating goals. Achieving success encourages him to keep working hard.
This dedication to his therapy does not go unnoticed by his therapists. Kelly Marion, SLP, who works with Caleb, says: “Caleb is a hard working and creative young man who always comes to Theraplay with new stories from places he has traveled. He is motivated to work towards his goals and always has a great sense of humor.” Once again, Theraplay’s therapists have proven the value of incorporating functional play into their therapy sessions. Because of their dedication, passion and clinical expertise, Caleb now has the tools to realize success.
Theraplay, Inc. was founded by physical therapist Lisa Mackell in 1991. For 25 years they have been providing exceptional pediatric physical, occupational, speech and feeding therapies to children from birth through age 21. For more information contact the center nearest you or visit theraplayinc.com.
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