Laura (Stein) Goltz, ’91
Owner and Occupational Therapist, Timber Ridge Pediatric Therapy
Timber Ridge Pediatric Therapy is an occupational therapy clinic that provides hands-on, face to face services to children and young adults with special needs. In March, we chose to close our doors as an in-person facility in order to keep our employees and clients safe from COVID. We knew that we needed to do anything necessary to make sure that our clients and families were well taken care of, even if from a distance. Converting what we’ve done for 20 years into a virtual practice was a paradigm shift. We needed to relearn how to help and connect with our clients through telehealth, while still focusing on the individual client goals, and while maintaining our clinic values of positivity, acceptance, and therapy through activity and play. This was no easy task!
Thankfully, I had some training in telehealth; but more importantly, our team of therapists and staff members are smart, creative, flexible, and quick learners! They were able to do what they do, so expertly, in a whole new platform. One of the things we work on in our therapy is sensory integration and regulation. This allows us to help clients take in information using all their senses and interpret it in order to respond and regulate in an unpredictable world. As therapists, we use all tools available to us and all of our senses to help our clients in the way that they need. Moving to telehealth took away many of the senses available to us, and forced us to adapt to provide a multisensory experience to clients through a screen. We know that our services can be a lifeline to families with children who have special needs and we take our responsibility very seriously.
In June, armed with knowledge and rules regarding masks, distancing, and sanitization, we chose to return to in-person therapy. We knew that opening the clinic & providing in-person services would involve risk as not all of our kiddos could tolerate masks due to their special needs, and our services are usually so hands-on. Each therapist chose to take that risk in order to help our clients and their families. I am inspired daily by the team of professionals that is Timber Ridge Pediatric Therapy.
While Rabbi Matanky’s goal is to create a safe, in-person learning environment, ICJA is also serving as a thought leader in the pandemic. The structure, rules, and guidelines they have created and implemented are well thought out, logical, and working(!) to keep all our students safe and in school. As a former ICJA student and now an ICJA parent, I know personally how the dual, rigorous curriculum, and supportive community helps to facilitate flexible, hardworking, inspired, life-long learners. I’ve never been more proud to be an ICJA alumn and parent.