PATIENT SUCCESS STORY: GRACIE

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This is Gracie, an amazing three-year-old in Amarillo that THERAPY 2000 provides both speech and physical therapy services. Gracie was born with a very rare condition called Birk-Barel syndrome which is characterized by intellectual disability, hypotonia, hyperactivity, and unusual facial features. She had severe feeding issues and airway difficulties at birth but has already been discharged from feeding therapy because she has met all her goals. Gracie, her family and her feeding/speech therapist, Val Betts, worked very hard and now she can enjoy a meal with her family. Gracie’s diagnosis places her at one of only twenty-five in the world and the only one in Texas with the condition. Kristy, Gracie’s mom along with her dad and three older siblings feel she has the special gift of bringing all of them even closer together since she was born.
Gracie’s parents were told about T2K in Amarillo from one of her many professionals she sees in Dallas. Dr. Elizabeth Sperry of the International Craniofacial Institute had seen a lot of success with her patients she had referred to T2K in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area over the years. Gracie had her first of many surgeries at five weeks of age in Dallas and has had numerous returning trips over her three short years. She is a very hard working, happy and social little girl that enriches everyone’s lives that have the pleasure of meeting her!
She currently receives PT services with Ashleigh Wilson and ST services with Val Betts. Gracie loves them both. Her mom Kristy says they both therapists are very loving but push her to work hard to reach her goals. She also says they are like family and genuinely care about Gracie. Mom states from day one the therapists really listened to her and took the time to “learn and speak Gracie”. They have cried together, shared in their struggles and celebrated all of her many achievements. Kristy said parents of children with special needs, appreciate a therapist who will share in their hope and not focus on what they can’t do but in what they CAN do. She loves that Val and Ashleigh continue to provide new ideas and are always “thinking outside the box” as that is how Gracie thrives. The family was thrilled that Gracie’s very rare diagnosis did not scare the therapists in any way with such little research out there and they never said “we can’t”. The family was told Gracie would never walk or talk when she was born and in the short time with the T2K therapists, she has started walking and running alone as well as increasing her vocabulary to more than 30 words.
Gracie’s mom states that she would recommend T2K for a variety of reasons. First, because they have knowledgeable, experienced and caring therapists. Secondly, because the services are provided in the home it reduces family stress. Gracie is in her home environment and spends less time in the car with the family’s busy schedule. Third, it helped the family recognize safety issues in the home that they had not consider< And last but not least, the therapists encouraged the family to enroll Gracie into a mother’s day out program. This was something the family would have not ever considered and Gracie has flourished! Val was able to suggest accommodations at the mother’s day out program with her feeding issues and Ashleigh was able to suggest independent motor activities that they would have never known about otherwise. Gracie’s family is so grateful for T2K and what a huge difference it has made in their lives!

PATIENT SUCCESS STORY: GRACIE

cutegirl
This is Gracie, an amazing three-year-old in Amarillo that THERAPY 2000 provides both speech and physical therapy services. Gracie was born with a very rare condition called Birk-Barel syndrome which is characterized by intellectual disability, hypotonia, hyperactivity, and unusual facial features. She had severe feeding issues and airway difficulties at birth but has already been discharged from feeding therapy because she has met all her goals. Gracie, her family and her feeding/speech therapist, Val Betts, worked very hard and now she can enjoy a meal with her family. Gracie’s diagnosis places her at one of only twenty-five in the world and the only one in Texas with the condition. Kristy, Gracie’s mom along with her dad and three older siblings feel she has the special gift of bringing all of them even closer together since she was born.
Gracie’s parents were told about T2K in Amarillo from one of her many professionals she sees in Dallas. Dr. Elizabeth Sperry of the International Craniofacial Institute had seen a lot of success with her patients she had referred to T2K in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area over the years. Gracie had her first of many surgeries at five weeks of age in Dallas and has had numerous returning trips over her three short years. She is a very hard working, happy and social little girl that enriches everyone’s lives that have the pleasure of meeting her!
She currently receives PT services with Ashleigh Wilson and ST services with Val Betts. Gracie loves them both. Her mom Kristy says they both therapists are very loving but push her to work hard to reach her goals. She also says they are like family and genuinely care about Gracie. Mom states from day one the therapists really listened to her and took the time to “learn and speak Gracie”. They have cried together, shared in their struggles and celebrated all of her many achievements. Kristy said parents of children with special needs, appreciate a therapist who will share in their hope and not focus on what they can’t do but in what they CAN do. She loves that Val and Ashleigh continue to provide new ideas and are always “thinking outside the box” as that is how Gracie thrives. The family was thrilled that Gracie’s very rare diagnosis did not scare the therapists in any way with such little research out there and they never said “we can’t”. The family was told Gracie would never walk or talk when she was born and in the short time with the T2K therapists, she has started walking and running alone as well as increasing her vocabulary to more than 30 words.
Gracie’s mom states that she would recommend T2K for a variety of reasons. First, because they have knowledgeable, experienced and caring therapists. Secondly, because the services are provided in the home it reduces family stress. Gracie is in her home environment and spends less time in the car with the family’s busy schedule. Third, it helped the family recognize safety issues in the home that they had not consider< And last but not least, the therapists encouraged the family to enroll Gracie into a mother’s day out program. This was something the family would have not ever considered and Gracie has flourished! Val was able to suggest accommodations at the mother’s day out program with her feeding issues and Ashleigh was able to suggest independent motor activities that they would have never known about otherwise. Gracie’s family is so grateful for T2K and what a huge difference it has made in their lives!

Patient Success Story- Harper

PATIENT SUCCESS STORY-

All therapists want to make a difference! With pediatric patients we not only receive the immense joy of seeing the progress in our patients, but on the faces of their parents as well. Approximately one year ago, I began working with an adorable little girl named Harper. She was born at 25 weeks with Chronic Lung Disease, and multiple other diagnoses that come with being a micro preemie. When I started treating Harper, she was 14 months old and still only taking liquids from a bottle. Harper demonstrated a severe oral aversion to foods, her suck/ swallow/breathe pattern was disorganized, and she exhibited multiple signs of aspiration. Harper would gag and retch, so we started slowly with the introduction of purees from a gloved finger. We slowly built her response while simultaneously using techniques to decrease oral aversion. Within six months, Harper was able to eat purees from a spoon and had integrated her suck/swallow/breathe pattern successfully.

During her modified barium swallow study, Harper demonstrated some aspiration and penetration due to muscle fatigue and was recommended to begin NMES (Neuromuscular Electrical Stimulation). In the beginning, Harper did not enjoy NMES and required multiple verbal cues throughout the session, but soon began demonstrating an increased chewing pattern while expanding her variety of food and textures. Our goal was to maintain Harper’s calorie intake without supplementing with Pediasure, so Harper’s mother was encouraged to talk to her gastroenterologist about medications for reflux and a diet plan. Harper is now successfully taking all liquids via sippy cup and eating a variety of food such as broccoli, cauliflower, cheese and crackers, and many more. Harper continues to demonstrate some difficulty with coarse meats and requires extra chewing during these times.

Since she began speech therapy, Harper has decreased upper respiratory infections, pneumonia, and has had no hospitalizations. She has come leaps and bounds and continues to make progress. I couldn’t be any prouder of how hard she has worked to get here. Harper is a little ROCK STAR!!!

-Courtni Marshall, Advanced Clinical Feeding Specialist THERAPY 2000

Therapist Spotlight and Patient Success Story

PATIENT SUCCESS STORY AND THERAPIST SPOTLIGHT

Jan Coons is one of our exceptional OT’s here in the Houston Division. Jan graduated from the University of Indianapolis with an MS in Occupational Therapy in 1989. She decided to become an OT because she felt passionate about working with patients who had suffered trauma and initially worked in an inpatient rehab setting. After her children were born, Jan fell in love with pediatric therapy and we are so glad she did.

Jan has had the great pleasure of working with Lately Colletti over the last year and Lately’s mom is thrilled with the therapy she is receiving. When she came to us 11 months ago, Lately had severe language and speech deficits and difficulty with fine motor activities such as dressing, cutting and simply playing. Since then, she has been working hard with both Jan and her speech therapist, Fernando. When speech therapy began working with Lately, she was delayed by 15 months in her language skills. Since then, Lately’s language has improved greatly and now she is functioning almost at a 3 year old level. Jan says she has also made great progress. In the picture, you can see Lately working on zipping up her jacket. She is also improving with cutting activities and enjoying playing with toys.

Jan is such a great asset to our team, we are so happy to have her as a member of our family.

We Need Your Help

Dear Friends and Families of THERAPY 2000:

The Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) recently changed the payment rate for therapy services for children covered under the Texas Medicaid program. In addition to decreases for evaluation and re-evaluation rates, the HHSC plans to decrease speech, language and feeding services by 27% effective September 1, 2015. These rates will deny children from receiving quality therapy service in the long term.

WE NEED YOUR HELP NOW! HERE ARE THREE WAYS YOU CAN HELP.

1. PLEASE CALL THE DISTRICT OFFICE OF YOUR STATE OF TEXAS SENATOR AND REPRESENTATIVE.

Click here to find out who represents you in Congress and their direct office phone numbers: http://www.fyi.legis.state.tx.us/Home.aspx.

THERAPY 2000 is asking you to call both your Texas Senator and Representative today.

Here is an outline of what you should include in the brief conversation:

  • Introduce yourself and tell a little bit about the services you receive from THERAPY 2000.
  • Tell them that the cuts proposed by The Health and Human Services Commission (HHSC) will threaten the much needed services your child(ren) receive(s).
  • Ask for your Senator and Representative to contact HHSC Commissioner Chris Traylor and ask for a delay of implementation of these cuts until the utilization data and therapy study can be fully investigated
  • Let the offices know that if they have further questions they should contact Jennifer Riley, Jennifer.Riley@T2000.com or 214/986-8046.

2. PLEASE ATTEND THE RATE HEARING IN AUSTIN, TEXAS ON JULY 20TH, 9 AM.

A public hearing is scheduled to hear testimony from all who will be affected by the proposed cuts. THERAPY 2000 is calling on all interested patients, families and friends to testify. Please come and share your story of how therapy has benefited you or someone you know. Share what a lack of access to these services would bring to your family

The hearing is scheduled:

July 20th, 2015
Health and Human Services Commission
Brown-Heatly Building
Public Hearing Room
4900 North Lamar Boulevard
Austin, Texas 78751-2316

WHAT TO EXPECT WHEN YOU ATTEND HEARING:

  • Please plan to arrive early.
  • Parking is available in the Brown-Heatly parking garage next to HHSC and also across Lamar in the DADS – Winters parking lot.
  • Visitors must sign in at the security desk when you enter Brown-Heatly and show a picture ID.
  • You will be asked to sign in for the hearing. If you wish to provide testimony, you will sign a witness card.
  • If you have children with special needs that require special accommodations, please let the hearing officers know. They will do their best to honor your requests.
  • There is a cafeteria on site.
  • Please be prepared for a long day.

HOW TO TELL YOUR STORY:

  • You will be able to speak up to 3 minutes.
  • No one will ask you questions. You will simply give your testimony (tell your story).
  • Please prepare your narrative in advance and bring printed copies to give to HHSC staff.
  • Simply tell your story of how therapy has benefited you or someone you know.
  • Talk about what it would happen if therapy services were not available.

3. PLEASE SEND IN YOUR WRITTEN COMMENTS EVEN IF YOU CAN’T ATTEND THE HEARING.

Simply write your story of how therapy has benefited you or someone you know in a letter. Share what would happen if therapy services were not available in the letter also. Written comments regarding the proposed payment rates may be submitted instead of, or in addition to, oral testimony until 5 p.m. the day of the hearing. Written comments may be sent by U.S. mail, overnight mail, special delivery mail, hand delivery, fax, or e-mail:

  • U.S. Mail
    Texas Health and Human Services Commission
    Attention: Rate Analysis, Mail Code H-400
    P.O. Box 149030
    Austin, Texas 78714-9030
  • Overnight mail, special delivery mail, or hand delivery
    Texas Health and Human Services Commission
    Attention: Rate Analysis, Mail Code H-400
    Brown-Heatly Building
    4900 North Lamar
    Austin, Texas 78751
    Phone number for package delivery: (512) 730-7401
  • Fax: Attention: Rate Analysis at (512) 730-7475
  • Email : RADAcuteCare@hhsc.state.tx.us

Thank you. Please contact Jennifer.Riley@T2000.com or 877-688-2520 with any questions.