TRAVERSE CITY — Children who visit the Children’s Therapy Corner for help with speech, motor and life skills have more room to run, climb, ride and learn in the new facility on Chartwell Drive.
“From the blueprints to the finishes, it was completely designed to meet the needs of the kids we’re working with,” said physical therapist and clinical coordinator Mary Loomis.
The business has gymnasiums outfitted with climbing walls, a kitchen, a music therapy room, heated rubber floors and a bike path.
“We even go as far as avoiding the flickering fluorescent lights because those can cause issues for some of our kids,” said Matthew Bartels, speech and language pathologist and director of the Lansing Children’s Therapy Corner. “Some kids, especially children on the spectrum, are more prone to seeing flickering in the light, which is very distracting.”
More space means the facility can hold more equipment, which Loomis said helps therapists vary the work they do with children. Therapists train students on obstacles they encounter at home, school and playgrounds such as ramps, ladders and stairs.
“We love having them here and working with them, but our ultimate goal is to have them be successful in their community and with their peers,” Loomis said.
The Children’s Therapy Corner offers physical, occupational and musical therapy and speech and language pathology to children who need help catching up to their peers. Some children have autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy or other challenges.
The new center has enough space for more parents to accompany their children to therapy and meet parents of other children, and for more therapists to be working at the same time and help more children.
“We know enough about child development to know that the earliest intervention is how we can make the biggest impact,” Loomis said. “I think that’s really important, and having a space that’s dedicated to that is great for the community.”