Children's therapy clinic holds open house

Posted: Tuesday, September 30, 2003

For those parents who have a child in need of therapy there is a new center in Kenai that has brought a variety of specialties into one location. It's called "Therapy Works," and is a pediatric sensory integration clinic located in the Salamantoff Building on Willow Street.

According to occupational therapist Kathy Gardner the center works on all the senses of the child in a collaborative model to help the child function better. The idea of bringing all the specialties together at one location is a first for the Peninsula, "We were each seeing the same child separately in our respective fields for different needs at their home, in a separate clinic, or at the hospital, so we decided to build a collaborative clinic where we can see the child under one roof," explained Gardner. The Therapy Works clinic has brought together a total of 11 child therapy specialists that deal with everything from occupational functions such as eating, to speech and motor development skills.

Linda Schaeffer is a registered nurse who is also a yoga/massage practitioner, "I teach yoga and massage to the special child which allows the child to find body awareness and relaxation that helps them to participate in activities in a more productive manner," said Schaeffer. In addition to Physical Therapy the clinic offers specialists in Speech Therapy, and Occupational Therapy, which often work together for the child with multiple health needs, "From the point of view of language and the brain, we know that any physical activity that's done overflows into the language area of the brain, so it's a wonderful opportunity to get more information in, out and around the child by working in association with another practitioner," said Mary Toutonghi SLP.

The open house Friday at the Therapy Works clinic was an opportunity for parents and members of the community to become familiar with the facility and services available and meet the team of specialists that have come together to create the collaborative model clinic. Any one, who missed the open house but would like to find out more about the unique Therapy Works clinic, can call 283-7225.

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