Jennie Marble, Director of Integrated Pediatric Therapies
I’ve been so proud of our clinicians, families and clients during the pandemic. I wanted to give a big thank you to our families who have adapted with us. This has meant many transitions from increasing hours because teletherapy was more doable in schedules, to stepping back from therapy to allow their homes the space to adapt to the pandemic. We appreciate the choices you have made and for allowing us to join you for the ride, whatever that has looked like. Here is a bit more about what I’ve been thankful for during this time.
Integrated Pediatric Therapies rose to the occasion of providing teletherapy. During the brief transition phase, we took hours of training to prepare for the virtual setting. Our clinicians have become whizzes at computer programs to make previously handheld materials into virtual magic, allowing clients to continue to engage in fun and interactive ways through the screen. They have been creative about their screen backgrounds. Picking images like dinosaurs or the beach to hone in on client’s interest. They have turned their walls into rotating works of art that change regularly to entice conversation or to play eye spy games. Our clinicians have done no contact drop offs when a vital supply or assessment needed to get into a parent’s hands. Clinicians have coached parents to prepare their homes to be even stronger, hands on, learning spaces. We know this has been a big transition for our families too. We see how hard you are working. We are so thankful and proud of you for welcoming new suggestions into your homes, and being honest about when something just won’t work, so that we can brainstorm an idea that will work in this time of our lives. Families have become creative themselves, identifying and creating the visual supports their child needs to be more successful. We’ve been able to join families in their daily routines like brushing teeth and making dinner in real time, which makes the impact on the routine even greater! We are grateful to be a part of your lives, to adapt or change our goals as this time calls for, and to see how the small things can be good enough and can make huge differences. Even if this time has meant pausing therapy, we look forward to seeing you again soon.
For clients where in person services needed to occur, families and clinicians have made measured decisions, weighing risk and clinical needs to be sure everyone stays as safe as possible. The clinicians have continued to adapt, figuring out how to make therapy not scary but fun while wearing masks and shields, and doing a social distancing dance. Technology continues to be useful as we record ourselves ahead of time to provide a cue or use programs that can give clients the real time cues they might miss with our faces being covered. We’ve also learned how little is needed to make big changes. Our clients have adapted too, wearing masks, washing hands and being coached in new ways. We’ve often heard the phrase that we can do hard things, but it’s just truly been amazing to see how wildly capable the clinicians, children and families have been.
Thank you and be well,