"Last night when talking to Madilynn about college, she said she wants a minor in business so that when she gets established as a PT she can open a place like Childs Play Therapy. She said, "I want a place for kids, a place that helps. I want to be a Jessi Becklenberg-Frencken." How can one person come into the lives of one family and make all the difference in the world. As a community we are so lucky to have a place like this. As a family we are blessed beyond words." - Randall Matthes
Kimberly Knowle writes a beautiful narrative about the special relationship between her daughter and their speech therapist.
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When my son started seeing Carmen, he was 3 and almost completely nonverbal. He was diagnosed with autism shortly after that, but with Carmen's help and support, we now have a 6 year old that talks... a lot! And his speech development was and is not even close to the only thing she did and continues to work on. It is hard to find people who are passionate about their careers, but it doesn't take but one meeting with Carmen to tell she most definitely is. She learned sign language right along with us when that was the only way he could communicate and I'm overwhelmed with how hard she has worked. My little guy absolutely loves her and ALWAYS gets excited on speech day. She teaches in a way that it doesn't feel like work to him. Thank you Carmen for investing in our lives and helping us through the most difficult times my family and I have ever gone through.
Where do I start? Over the last 2 ½ years we have been a part of the Pediatric Place family, and I truly mean family. When you spend 3 and 4 evenings a week in therapy, how do you NOT become family? When Rylan was a little over 2 years old, we began to notice some difficulties with everyday activities. He was still choking on his food, falling a lot, was having a hard time keeping up with his peers. He just seemed to struggle. Now looking back, he crawled, sat up and even walked a lot later than my other two children. He was kind of a chunky baby, so I thought maybe it was because of that. Who would have thought that when he was a little over 2 years old, we would have a diagnosis of having a stroke.
For the longest time, I blamed myself. How did I not know something was off? Why didn’t I push harder with his physicians when I thought something just wasn’t right? Finally, when we went in for an evaluation with Ms. Jessi, we had someone listen to our concerns. She was kind and pointed us in the right direction and we will forever be grateful for her.
After about a year of PT, we started OT with Ms. Jeanni and she was a blessing as well. She helped in so many ways. After a few months, he was able to use a pencil, scissors, and even catch a ball, just to name a few. You could just see his confidence go up. As a parent, that was the best feeling in the world.
We started speech just this last year with Ms. Carmen and what a blessing she was. He was still struggling with drooling, especially during concentration. I know this sounds crazy, but after just a few weeks...that was better!! She helped him with strengthening his tongue, he doesn’t hardly choke on his food anymore and doesn’t worry so much about the textures of his food either. You can even understand him better when he speaks and I didn’t even think that was much of a problem until after a few months of speech therapy.
I wouldn’t have been able to get through all of this without these ladies. They never once made me feel like our struggle was any less important than someone else. They listened, watch me cry...a lot! They became friends. Thank you for everything you did for our little boy! Our lives are better, just knowing you all!
Hi Guys! I have been wanting to send a "thank you" for all you have done for Luke and our entire family in the last six months, but how do you tell some one thank you, when you feel they deserve so much more? Our families journey, like many, has not been an easy one. I will never forget the day I walked into my oldest child's classroom and discovered that there was a problem. I had an inkling for awhile, but to hear it confirmed that his teachers felt the same way, is heartbreaking. I did what any mom would do, and I googled it. One word kept coming up, dyslexia. There was some denial when I saw that word; he's too old for this to just be coming up now, he doesn't see letters backwards, he doesn't write letters backwards, he's a great reader, I am in education - how could I miss this?!? The funny thing is, there isn't a whole lot of information on dyslexia and I was quickly realizing that what I thought I knew about dyslexia was the just a small tip of the iceberg. I called and talked to anyone who I thought might have any information, and through a friend, was referred to Pediatric Place. Our first phone conversation lasted almost an hour (I was an anxious mama and I poured my heart out), Walking in for the first appointment was hard, I had a very reluctant third grader and a heart full of mom guilt. But then appointment after appointment, little by little, something amazing started to happen, reading and writing and spelling started to make sense to our son, he realized (and so did we) that so many people are challenged by dyslexia and that there were strategies that he could learn to make school easier for him. Little by little, the kids who hated to write, became more confident. The therapist were extremely professional and very knowledgeable, but they also built a relationship with our son. They cared about him and not just his challenges. You get to know a place pretty well when you are there twice a week, and everyone was caring. It was such a relief to have a plan in place with goals, it was exciting to see with each goal that was meet the increase in confidence and self-esteem. But those therapists gave us so much more, they stood beside us as parents as we navigated a path that we didn't ask for and one that was sometimes scary and confusing, they answered questions, gave resources, and helped us come up with ways for our child to be successful. They reassured us as parents that we were on the right track and that we were a team. Our son has "graduated" from the services that he received from Pediatric Place, but I also know that they are only a phone call away if we should ever need anything. I cannot speak highly enough of The Pediatric Place and their staff, not only for the strategies and therapies that our son received as a patient, but for the caring way they treated our entire family. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!