Recognizing Our Physical Therapy Professionals
National Physical Therapy Month is the perfect time to recognize the profession and its efforts to “transform society by optimizing movement to improve the human experience.”
Our physical therapy professionals at Easterseals Crossroads are dedicated to improving the health, mobility and quality of life of the children with whom we work. Physical therapy helps individuals build muscle strength and flexibility, improve coordination and balance, and develop the control needed for movement. Our therapists evaluate a child’s motor abilities and work with the family to design a plan to develop motor skills that are important for success at home, school, and in the community. We also assist children and families in obtaining adaptive equipment such as orthotics, walkers, standers, gait trainers, wheelchairs, and other items, if needed.
Our physical therapists at Easterseals Crossroads work with children from 3 years old to 18 years old. We help children develop gross motor skills, which can be anything from hopping, skipping, jumping to learning how to walk or sit more independently.
Our therapy sessions can include working on functional activities such as getting from a wheelchair to a chair or working on strengthening activities so that a child can walk or sit for a longer duration. If being able to sit for a period of time is a goal, we can work with a child to help strengthen abdominal muscles and build postural endurance so that tolerating a full day of school is more possible.
Our therapists are very skilled with working with children. “Play is important to work into therapy sessions because that is the biggest thing that kids do. Therapy is hard work; but incorporating a little fun can be motivating for a child. We never want our kids to dread coming to see us,” said Erin Butler, one of our physical therapists.
Easterseals Crossroads works very holistically with our families. Not only do we provide physical therapy, we also offer occupational therapy and speech-language therapy, including augmentative communication services. Often times we can coordinate our service delivery so we gain a better understanding of how a child is progressing.
“I think Easterseals is a great place because it’s so comprehensive. We attempt to help our consumers in as many ways as we can through various programs. I also like how all of the providers communicate and collaborate to give the best care. I also think we are very compassionate and have our patient’s best in mind at all times,” said Kathleen Brinegar, one of our physical therapists.
“The thing I love most about Easterseals Crossroads is that everyone is so committed to doing what is best for our families. If we can make something easier for the children we work with and for their family, then that is our goal,” said Erin.
“I believe family involvement is key to the success of physical therapy. Everything I do won’t make progress if it’s not followed up at home and if the family isn’t invested in our physical therapy goals. I love when parents are involved in our sessions and can give me feedback and information about the child’s progress, personality, and abilities.
The best part of my job is seeing kids be proud of themselves for making progress on goals we are working on,” said Kathleen.
John Kelly is a physical therapy assistant at Easterseals Crossroads and works as our home modification coordinator. He works with individuals with disabilities and contractors to determine solutions that maximize independence in the home. His knowledge of therapy through years of training in a clinical practice is an invaluable resource for home modifications.
“I cannot imagine how I would be able to understand my consumer’s needs without the years I spent in physical therapy practice. I believe that modifying an individual’s home is key to improving function and quality of life,” said John.
Learn more about National Physical Therapy Month at www.apta.org