I’ve always heard of a mother’s intuition, even before I was a parent. Of course I never knew what it felt like until I birthed my own little people and started my own motherhood journey. What is it, exactly? Mother’s intuition (or “Mom Gut” as I lovingly call it) is that feeling something isn’t quite right with your child — be it physical, emotional or otherwise.
My Child’s Diagnosis
I knew something wasn’t quite “normal” (and I use the word normal — not because I want to, but because I couldn’t figure out a better word to use) with my second grader, but I couldn’t figure it out on my own. Supermom couldn’t solve the problem or even figure out what the problem was. This was over a year ago, so we finally decided to have her privately tested. That is when we received a very scary, unexpected diagnosis. I somehow missed the signs of an Auditory Processing Disorder (APD) as well as Specific Learning Disabilities (SLD). She attends a nontraditional school, so it wasn’t that difficult to miss the signs. My then 8-year-old couldn’t comprehend words and sounds the way you or I can — that is why she has three (THREE!!!) SLDs. It was only after a gut feeling from me, her Mama, that sent me into action. But even with a diagnosis in hand, what was I going to do? I had absolutely NO IDEA. Do I call her school? Do I try to find a tutor? What will third grade look like for her? Should we change schools? Do we need to go see her pediatrician? These are all questions my husband and I asked ourselves. Thank goodness the flyer for Coastal Pediatric Therapy Center fell into our hands.
Introducing Coastal Pediatric Therapy Center
The first time I called Coastal, I’m sure I sounded like a blubbering idiot. I had no experience with disabilities or disorders or anything of the sort. I didn’t know any of the acronyms that are so commonly used for these things. I surely didn’t know what my daughter needed or where to even start. I was so thankful for that very first conversation with Christy, the Director of Speech & Language Therapy at Coastal. I felt like I was talking to a friend. She was so comforting to me and assured me (more than once) that my daughter was in good hands, and we would get through this together. After seven months with them, I can tell you she was absolutely correct.
After starting reading therapy twice a week, I have noticed an improvement in my daughter — not only in her educational ability, but also in her confidence. I credit Coastal with both of those achievements. I continue to be impressed by this group of therapists. Their communication is amazing. After every session, there is a brief conversation that is had with every parent that summarizes that day’s visit. And speaking of communication, they have advocated for me with my insurance to have my daughter’s treatments covered. They were relentless with them, even filing appeals for me when the coverage was initially denied. They are working closely with my daughter’s school, as well. After a few months at Coastal, I now feel empowered regarding my daughter’s care and diagnosis. I was once frightened about what the future was for her, but thanks to the wonderful professionals at Coastal, I now know that her future is bright, and she will be able to achieve her goals.
Coastal Pediatric Therapy Center has been at the beaches for over 20 years, and their services are not limited to helping children overcome reading deficits. Coastal was founded by Nancy Turner in 1995 in an effort to make quality one-on-one therapy services more accessible to children in the Jacksonville area. Coastal Pediatric Therapy Center consists of a comprehensive, multi-specialty therapy team that provides speech & language, occupational, and physical therapy, as well as sensory integration, feeding intervention, and specialized reading instruction for children ages birth–21. Families benefit from the convenience of multiple therapies provided in one location, facilitating Coastal’s “whole child approach.” Children thrive under the center’s proven approach to play-based, one-on-one therapy focused on working closely with parents, teachers and pediatricians to help each child achieve success.
Types of Evaluations at Coastal Therapy
In order for a child to start therapy, an evaluation is completed which provides a comprehensive written report including standardized scores, strengths, weaknesses, and recommendations for an individualized treatment plan. Evaluations can take anywhere from 30-60 minutes and are completed in their fun, kid friendly clinic. Many times insurance will cover an initial evaluation, and the staff at Coastal is more than happy to check your plan benefits. Evaluations offered at Coastal include:
Occupational Therapy Evaluation: Fine and visual motor development, self-help skills, sensory processing, self-regulation
Speech Therapy Evaluation: Fluency, speech sound productions, and overall intelligibility of conversational speaking
Language Therapy Evaluation: Receptive (comprehension/processing), expressive, pragmatic (social)
Physical Therapy Evaluation: Gross motor development and coordination
Reading Evaluation: Early literacy skills, reading comprehension, phonological/phonemic awareness
Feeding Evaluation: Oral motor skills, limited diet, texture aversions
Special Offer for JMB Readers
Not sure if your child may benefit from therapy services? Call Coastal at 904-372-4070 and mention this blog post for a free phone consultation with an experienced therapist.* Coastal has a Speech and Language, Gross and Fine Motor milestone chart as well as Sensory Processing Red Flags on their website as a good reference tool.
To say that Coastal Pediatric Therapy Center has been a blessing to our family is an understatement. I am so happy we will be navigating through the next few years together.
*Offer valid through 2/28/2018. One consult per child.