Chari-T2000 donates a weighted blanket for patient in need

Micaiah Wilson Micaiah is an 11-year-old boy with cerebral palsy, dysphagia, and seizures.  His occupational therapist, Rachel McClure, recommended a weighted blanket to help him focus, remain calm, and help with his sleep.  Mom could not afford the blanket on her own and requested the assistance of Chari-T2000.  Mom says Micaiah, “really seems to like the blanket” and that he, really benefits from the deep pressure.  The unique thing about these custom-made weighted blankets is that the blanket maker, AMF Supplies (and grandmother of a former T2K patient), makes the seams with velcro so that it is easy for parents to adjust the weights as needed.  Mom plans to adjust the weights, all the while monitoring how Micaiah responds, so that his new blanket will be the “perfect fit” for his needs.

An interview with Dr. Amanda Griffin of Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center at Amarillo

Amanda Griffin, MD
Amanda Griffin, MD

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.

Courtni Marshall – gains pre-membership to the American Board of Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders

Congrats are in order for THERAPY 2000’s East Texas Advanced Clinical Feeding Specialist and Team Manager, Courtni Marshall. She was recently accepted for pre-membership to the American Board of Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders. Once she takes and passes the upcoming examination, she will be awarded Board Certification in Swallowing and Swallowing Disorders (BCS-S). The prestigious title will be granted after hours of preparation and study and she will be the first T2K team member to receive the credentials! This process has been no easy feat. Just to get started Courtni had to fill out a seventy-five page application. She also had document three hundred feeding hours per year and prove that she has served as a mentor and has carried on a leadership role as well. She had to document seventy hours of feeding CEUs for the last three years and get five letters of recommendation. Right now, she is studying for the test to get her certification. In addition to being tested as a pediatric swallowing specialist she also needs to be be up to speed on adults. Having a Board Certified swallowing specialist at THERAPY 2000 will help will help with Superior and other insurance discussions. Courtni especially loves working with NICU babies and early preemies. Courtni shared why she loves working with children, “Eating is something you usually take for granted. For parents of children with feeding issues it can just be so devastating. When you are able to help a child feed again it truly is so rewarding.” Congrats Courtni! We can’t wait to see what the future holds for you.

Join Courtni on Friday September 23rd for her CEU “This is How We Do….Complicated Medical Diagnoses” from 9-12:15pm in Tyler. The CEU’s objectives are detailing some of the more complicated medical diagnoses treated and the feeding issues that come with them. There will also be discussion on assessment and treatment suggestions.