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  • 1. Claire PostMonica RankAP Lit18 April 2012 Speech Outline Hi my name is Claire Post, and I am going to be talking to you about the process of Pediatric Physical Therapy. Have you ever been faced with the struggle of having a child that is disabled, underdeveloped, or who maybe be considered to be a little different than the other children around them? Well I personally of course have not had a child with any such disabilities, but I am truly moved by children who are considered less fortunate than others. Therefore, that is the sole reason as to why I chose to talk to you today about the Pediatric Physical Therapy Process.Going back to as early as the seventh grade I have always been drawn to the special educationstudents within the school setting. In middle school I par took in “lunch bunch” which was aselect group of students who went and ate lunch with the special-ed students of the school inorder for them to be able to talk to their fellow school mates. I worked side by side with them todevelop the social skills that do not come naturally to them as they do to others who areconsidered more fortunate. Furthermore, I did not stop there. Throughout middle school Ibecame a peer helper and worked with the special-education children of Creekland middleschool. Then, the big high school years came and I still did not lose sight of what was importantto me, which was those kids. I have worked with them from as early on as middle school and Iand now am a Peer facilitator. I see the students on a day to day basis and I help them withanything that they could possibly need me for. However, when I was given the assignment of thesenior project I thought to myself,” I can do more than just be a friend to a child who needs me,”I can change their life and make a bigger impact. Therefore, I decided to study the field ofPediatric Physical therapy, and see the other spectrum of instruction that is not seen from theclassroom setting.By me deciding to do my project on Pediatric Physical Therapy I did not want to focus on thefield as a whole, with it being way too broad. I desired to work with the children that werediagnosed with what I was familiar to working with in the previous years. Therefore, I lookedinto the field of Down syndrome, Spina Bifida, and other illnesses that deal with underdevelopment such as being born premature. Therefore, I deepened my interest and worked sideby side with a therapist to monitor the progress of a young girl named Kyra as she went throughthe stages of physical therapy. I knew nothing about Kyra or the physical therapy process but I
  • 2. was eager to learn and see what can be done rather than just being there with them in aclassroom.In the same way, the topic of my research was the physical therapy field as a whole as Ipreviously mentioned, and what the overall goal of therapy is and the end results that come of it.By doing my research paper is how I realized that I needed to study a smaller field and narrowdown what I wanted to learn about, because the whole field itself is much too complex. Throughmy research I leaned that therapy is not only to help an individual improve their overall bodyfunctionally, but to make that individual the most independent they will possibly ever be in aworking household. I chose this particular topic because ever since I was a young girl I havealways wanted to be a special education teacher. As I grew in age and worked side by side withthe special education students in the classroom setting I never lost interest, but rather inquiredmore and more. I chose to study the pediatric physical therapy process, because I wanted to bethe person who makes the difference and makes each child as independent as they can possiblyever be. I wanted to be the one that made the big difference in each child’s life forever.My research paper relates directly to my project because without the research I gathered, I wouldnot have known nearly as much information about what was occurring during each session. Also,the therapist I was observing could easily communicate the exercises in which she wasperforming and I could pick up what was occurring. Although I couldn’t by any means diagnosea child and develop a therapy plan for the individual, I could after my research and study of achild develop an overall therapy goal that in the end could be obtained.Now I’m going to tell you about the process I followed in creating my product.In order to complete my senior project my facilator was Monica Rank. Monica has studied thefield of Physical therapy and has for many years been practicing out of Walker Therapy. When Iwas looking for a facilitator I desired to work with someone who was in the field of therapy inwhich I could see myself in the future. Monica was the absolute perfect pick and was even betterbecause she was willing to stand by my side through the whole thing.In creating my project I had to contact Walker Therapy and ask them if it was ok with them if Iobserved Monica’s therapy sessions, very willingly they agreed.I was introduced to a young girl named Kyra who is diagnosed with Spina bifida. She was in awheel chair upon me first seeing her, and Monica explained to me that her overall therapy goalwas and what I would be observing over the next months to come would be the overall progressshe would make towards walking the best she could.Furthermore, in order to complete my project I needed to gather all of the information on Kyraand get her back ground information in which to better understand what was medically inbalanced with her. Therapy for her was not a new thing, with her having been going to seeMonica every week for years. Kyra having spina bifida has caused her to have a permanent
  • 3. spinal injury. When she was born her spine was exposed out of her body, which caused seriousnerve damage. Although when she was born she was immediately taken under the surgery table,she will most likely in the future also face skulliousus. Along with Kyra having her spine beingexposed she also had a shunt put into her head to alleviate the excess spinal fluid that was wasdraining off her brain. The shunt allowed that extra fluid to be moved from the brain and down tothe abdomen cavity. Kyra has partial paralysis bellow her waste. Her right side however hasmuch more functional than her left. She is able to bend her knees and point her toes, she doeshowever face some weakness in her trunk. Kyra is medically stable with her spina bifida going totherapy and treating it; however, not long ago Kyra was diagnosed with epilipse. She had amassive seizure that sent her to the emergency room and required her to now also be diagnosedwith the disorder.Establishing a meeting schedule with my facilator was not a huge challenge for me. Monica wasvery willing for me to attend her sessions with her, and me knowing when she worked when Icould go I would just let her know and she would be expecting me. Scheduling never posed anissue for neither her nor me.In addition to what I learned there were some obstacles that I had to overcome. When I went tomy first session I had no idea what to expect walking into unfamiliar territory. I was comfortablearound Monica but I was worried about the children’s parents not really wanting me watchingtheir children. Although I did obtain permission from Kyra’s mother to monitor her progress anduse her as my case study it was still a worry to me. Also, what I found the most challenging wasknowing what to do, where to stand, and overall how to get the most out of each session. Forexample, Kyra was playing and asked me to hand her piece to a puzzle that was across the room.Of course without any thought behind it I jumped right up to help my little friend out. What I didnot know was that Monica had placed that piece there so that Kyra would have to work her wayover to get it so she could see her improve her mobility.All in all through the sessions I did gain more confidence and was able to speak up and askquestions that I wanted to know. I would also assist Monica handing her objects that she needed,cleaning the equipment after each use, talking to her after each session, and overall gaining thetrue insight of what it is like to be a therapist.Overall, what I have learned from my project can truly not be put into words. I have learnedpositive work habits, knowing how to perform certain tasks and ways to go about certain things.I also most importantly leaned that Pediatric Physical Therapy is what I want to do with my life.The overall goal of therapy is to make each child as independent as they possibly will ever be inthe working world setting, and me being the one that is holding that child’s hand as they taketheir first steps with the tears rolling down my face right there beside them will make all of thehard work and dedication that it requires worth it. I plan to attend North Georgia in the fall andjump right into the therapy field and fulfill my dreams and desires.
  • 4. Thank you guys so much for your time. At this point I will do my best to answer any questionsthat you might have.