Physical Therapy Patient Spotlight — Olivia

Olivia is an adorable 17-month-old girl who was born 6.5 weeks early with a diagnosis of Trisomy 2 (duplication of part of chromosome #2). Olivia spent her first few months in the NICU and had a tracheostomy placed at 7 months of age. Due to Olivia’s rare diagnosis, she has low muscle tone, which contributes to feeding difficulties, problems with breathing, and delayed development of motor skills such as sitting, standing, and walking. Olivia’s physical therapy treatment over the past 2-3 months has focused on helping her to become indepent and  focuses on mobility. Olivia’s most recent accomplishments are transitioning into sit all on her own and commando crawling! Go Baby Go! Oliva’s therapist, Heather Pitner, PT, and a group of THERAPY 2000 therapists attended a workshop to learn how to modify toy power vehicles t hrough GoBabyGo!  This program started several years ago at the University of Delaware by Cole Galloway, PhD, PT. After studying infant behavior, Dr. Galloway became interested in closing what he calls “the exploration gap.”  This is the gap that we see between children with typical mobility and those who experience mobility impairments such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, and Down syndrome. When an infant or toddler reaches for an object, scoots across the carpet, or learns to walk around the room, she’s learning to interact with her environment in a way that forges new connections. A mobile child learns how to explore a room and approach other children. Go Baby Go! provides powered toy cars to developmentally disabled children from 8 months to 4 years old. This enables these children to move themselves similarly to typically developing children. Research has shown that early mobility opportunities lead to an increase in social interaction and cognitive development.   New Surroundings The moment Olivia was placed in her […]


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Employee Spotlight — Lora Kirkland

Meet Lora — a self-described “West Texas girl” from Odessa who graduated from Texas Tech University in Lubbock. She, along with her husband and daughters moved to Aledo, Texas in January 2012 for a new job and great schools. Family Life Lora has been married to her husband, Chad, over 11 years. Together, they have two amazing and crazy girls, Kylie and Libby, as well as a rescue dog, Clara. Lora and Chad stay active by running, doing Crossfit, and they recently began biking with their daughters. Their family hobbies include taking adventures, hunting and being outdoors. Lora and Chad have passed their own love of the outdoors to their daughters, who now have memorable stories of exploring the family land and going on adventures. This fall, Kylie and Libby learned to shoot a bow. Lora said it has been fun to share a new activity they all can do while making family memories. Volunteering in the Community Most recently, Lora participated in the Carson Leslie Foundations annual BECK Bow Shoot, raising money for pediatric brain cancer research. This event was special to Lora because she works with a child who recently began treatment for brain cancer. Through the foundation, he has received numerous gifts and has been connected with an organization that will take him on a hunting trip geared specifically to him and his specific needs following surgery and treatment. Green Apple Therapy Lora’s background includes both clinic and home-health therapy with Green Apple. When offered the opportunity to help open Green Apple’s clinic in Weatherford, Texas, she was eager to bring a needed resource to the area. Lora served as Green Apple’s Clinic Director for almost four years before transitioning back into a full-time home health therapist position. Lora believes both settings are uniquely fulfilling, and she […]


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Speech Therapy Patient Spotlight: Josue

Josue is a very happy 4-year-old boy who loves Lightning McQueen, playing games with his little sister and friends, and watching movies. Josue was diagnosed with a Specific Developmental Disorder of Motor Function and a Mixed Receptive-Expressive Language Disorder. He started receiving speech therapy services with Therapy 2000 in May of 2018. When therapy began, Josue had a vocabulary of approximately 5 words, could not follow simple 1-2 step directions, and only communicated via gestures and single word utterances at times. Ashley Jarrett met Josue when she was shadowing physical therapist Emily Parks, as a new employee.  Josue had been waiting for ST services for approximately 2 years, although he was out of her treatment are Ashely wanted to work with Josue over the summer.  After only 2 and a half months of services, Josue is now able to speak in three to four-word utterances, identify all his body parts, label common objects, follow 2-step directions, request help, and communicate wants/needs in English and Spanish. Josue has come a long way in such a short amount of time due to his hard work, mom’s willingness and motivation to work with him daily, and a physical therapist who went above and beyond to recommend speech/language services to help this awesome kid and family! Ashley is so proud of all the progress they were able to make and the goals they were able to accomplish in such a short time! Ashley Jarrett, M.S. CCC-SLP   After Ashley started working with Josue, Emily was able to notice a huge increase in his talking during physical therapy sessions. Josue was able to name all the colors for the toys that we typically play with. Also, instead of pointing at the toy he wanted to play with, he would say words such as “block”, “ball”, […]


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East Texas Patient Success Story: Joe

Finding his voice Through a partner home health agency, Joe has been receiving Speech Therapy from a THERAPY 2000 clinician for nearly six months. His family pursued home-health speech therapy after realizing that teaching Joe to communicate was beyond their expertise. Joe’s primary means of talking is through the Proloquo2Go iPad application, which he uses as an AAC (Augmentative Alternative Communication) device. During Joe’s initial evaluation, his father had a simple request – he just wanted Joe to use his iPad to communicate with his family at home. Megan Bruney, MS, CCC-SLP, in THERAPY 2000’s East Texas Division, knew from experience that this simple request would require a not-so-simple treatment plan. She spoke to Joe’s dad about the dedicated teamwork that would be required for Joe to meet his communication goals. Teamwork Makes the Difference Joe’s device was initially programmed with an overwhelming number of choices, so Megan spent time after therapy customizing and simplifying the options. After discovering through therapy that Joe responds best to actual pictures as opposed to preprogrammed images, Megan enlisted the help of Jacob, Joe’s older brother. Jacob was eager to help by taking photos of items and activities that interest Joe. To help reduce frustration between therapy sessions, Megan also trained Joe’s dedicated caregiver, Brian, to do basic configuration changes in the iPad app. Brian, Jacob and Joe’s parents were all trained to be effective communication partners for Joe. Communication partners are responsible for walking through different scenarios involving communication opportunities, teaching prompting strategies to initiate folder/button selection in the iPad app and using hand over hand modeling to positively address error selections. Customized Therapy This therapeutic model was implemented from the beginning and is used when a new folder/button is introduced. A notebook is accessible within the home for questions, new folder/button ideas, changes […]


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Patient Spotlight: Brandon

Brandon is a precious 19-month-old boy with an adjusted age of about 12 months. Born at 23.5 weeks gestation, Brandon was in the NICU for 6 months after birth and required intubation. Upon his release, Brandon required round-the-clock oxygen via Nasal Cannula. He had a VP shunt placed in June 2017 and a g-tube placed in July 2017. While in the NICU, Brandon underwent two swallow studies with results of NPO (no food or liquid by mouth) due to aspiration and penetration on thin liquids and penetration on thickened liquids. Besides taste trials, this was his diet upon release from the NICU in August 2017. In September 2017, Brandon began intensive feeding/vital stim therapy with THERAPY 2000. In October 2017, four weeks after starting treatment, another swallow study was conducted, and Brandon aspirated on all consistencies. He remained NPO with taste trials only outside of therapy but was cleared for trials of half nectar up to 15 mLs during therapy. Brandon’s parents and therapist were disappointed that he was not cleared for full PO feeds because he loved and thoroughly enjoyed eating. Nonetheless, Brandon continued intensive vital stim therapy twice weekly for another six months, with a follow-up swallow study in March 2018. Following the study, Brandon was cleared for full PO feeds at home, with restrictions to include nectar thickener for liquids. Due to the outstanding progress he made toward his goals, Brandon’s therapy frequency was reduced to once per week with the final goal to eliminate the need for using thickening agents. In September 2018 – less than a year after starting treatment with THERAPY 2000 – Brandon has fully transitioned back to the community and no longer requires therapy. He is thriving, gaining weight, loves food, and his family is excited that he can eat everything by […]


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