We had a quick sit-down with Dr. Griffin from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at Amarillo to learn more about her role as a pediatrician and when she feels the need to prescribe therapy to kids.
1. What is your background & how long have you been with TTUHSC?
I grew up in the Kansas City area, attended College at Trinity University in San Antonio followed by medical school at the University Of Nebraska Medical Center. I did my residency in pediatrics here at Texas Tech in Amarillo and stayed on as faculty after I graduated. In total, I have been in Amarillo for 7.5 years now.
2. What does a typical day look like for you at TTUHSC?
There is no typical day! Some weeks I see patients in clinic all day, other weeks I take care of patients in the hospital. I have a few specialty clinics throughout the week, including a diabetes clinic, special needs clinic, and adolescent clinic. I also supervised and teach residents and medical students in many of my clinics. I generally spend several hours a week doing paperwork, mostly for my patients with special needs.
3. What triggers you to make a referral?
A patient that has a delay in their development typically triggers a referral for therapy. In addition, some older patients with injuries or back pain will benefit from therapy. Other patients with known medical conditions may not have delays yet but are known to show improvements with therapy and may be referred early.
4. What would you say are the most common ages you recognize delays & tend to refer patients for therapy services?
Some children with severe delays, especially those born prematurely, may be referred by a few months of age. Others may be developing a little bit slower than normal and are referred around a year of age. Sometimes parents have noticed that their child is not developing as quickly as others their age, other times I find the delay during a visit to my office. There is no such thing as too late to refer a patient for help. I also do not hesitate to refer for a therapist to evaluate a patient if I think they may be a bit delayed. If they are evaluated and do not need therapy, it can be reassuring for the parents.
5. What would you say is the most common therapy referral you make? Describe the typical patient you refer for therapy services?
Many patients that are referred have been born prematurely or have a known medical problem, such as a heart condition that has required surgery or a patient that has spent a lot of time in the hospital. Other patients with known neurologic conditions trigger referrals as well. Many of these patients require physical, occupational, and speech therapy. For patients without other medical diagnoses, speech therapy is probably the most common referral I make.
6. What is most important to you when choosing a therapy provider?
A provider that is able to work with the individual child to make a plan specific to them and their goals is very important to me. In addition, a provider who is flexible to work with the family’s schedule and accommodations will provide more benefit to the child.
7. Has THERAPY 2000 met your expectations as a therapy provider? What areas can we improve?
Yes, they have. I am pleased with the in-home therapy environment that THERAPY 2000 provides which can be beneficial for the patients in multiple ways. The convenience of not having to leave the home is beneficial, and some kids will perform better in their home environment. It also gives the therapists a chance to use items that the family already has and incorporate them into the therapy and teach parents how to continue to work with the child when the therapist is not there.