Reflecting on 2020, we will remember it as a year of curveballs, ups and downs, and ultimately one of profound growth.
Each day as we open the doors to our small business, we are immensely grateful for our therapists and the families we work with. This past year, we had the opportunity to expand how we treat and support our families with new clinic protocols, teletherapy, and social groups. We had to redefine what therapy can look like and how best to create joy and connection whether it be on zoom or in-person.
We had many fun surprises with our kids in teletherapy. Children enjoy showing us their toys and their homes and have demonstrated that they are comfortable in their own space. They welcomed us into their world and allowed us to connect in a whole new light! The OTs’ challenge was to attune to details and increase our affect (facial, vocal, or gestural behaviors) keeping the children engaged.
In-clinic the OTs’ were able to pay attention to details from 6 ft. distance or through a face-shield and increase our responses so the children wouldn’t miss our reaction behind a mask. We adjusted to the child to this new environment, attuned to their emotions, and interests to ensure they felt seen, even if all we could see is their eyes, ears, and hair!
Looking back on it now, everyone was so brave! We took each other’s hand (metaphorically, of course.) and dove in.
With COVID-19 creating some extra downtime, we were able to increase our therapists’ training with world-renown clinicians specializing in child psychology, aggression, sensory/motor challenges and emotional regulation. We strengthened our teletherapy skills with supervision focused on this method and working with our sister clinics in Italy who serve at the American military bases. New and continued programming has emerged, with lots of energy and enthusiasm for 2021.
A new year
We are looking to strengthen our holistic approach by including parents and siblings. AZ+A Sibshops is a NEW monthly support group for siblings to connect with other brothers and sisters of children with developmental or intellectual differences. Register HERE.
We have expanded our Power Pods to go through March. We have found these small groups to be very successful in giving kids the social interactions they need and parents a needed break from home.
As we look forward to 2021, we will announce camps and clinic updates as we have them and as safety protocols change. In the meantime, we are treating both in-person and online and look forward to watching continued success.
Before saying ‘Good Riddance’ to 2020, we encourage you to reflect on how far you’ve come this year. You’ve overcome obstacles, learned to balance family and work within your home, and now know you are more resilient than you may have ever believed possible. We are grateful to be a small part of that journey.
May moments of connection fill your new year with joy.