Looking Into the Future for a Child With Autism As my son’s limitations became clearer, I found it harder every year to write a vision statement for his I.E.P. Then he showed us how.

Reprinted from the NYTimes – written by 

How do you write about the happy life you hope for your child to have when you have a hard time picturing it yourself?

For 18 years, I’ve dreaded the yearly ritual of writing a “vision statement” for an Individualized Education Plan, or I.E.P., for our son, Ethan. He has autism and, as any parent of a child with significant special needs knows, the yearly team meeting to develop the I.E.P. can be emotional and fraught. For us it has felt, at times, like an annual adjustment of expectations downward. In theory, the vision statement is a lovely idea — an opportunity for parents to articulate the optimistic future they envision for their child five years down the road. In reality, as Ethan grew up and his limitations — cognitive and behavioral — became clearer, I found it harder every year to write the short paragraph. We came to see he couldn’t live independently, get married, work in a job without support — but if those are the givens, what does a hopeful future look like?

This year, as Ethan turned 21 and completed his final year in the school system, he shocked us by writing his own vision statement. Reading his words made me realize how wrong I’d been for years, trying to articulate what my son’s future should look like.

While Ethan was still in elementary school, our vision statements included the same wish list I imagine every parent of a child with autism probably has: better communication, fewer meltdowns, more independence. When he was 12, I got more pragmatic, “We wonder if Ethan’s love of farm machinery might one day become an employment opportunity.” At 13, after a successful stint in the middle school chorus, I wrote, “Ethan would like a future in music, perhaps as a professional singer?” At that point Ethan was still working on using a Kleenex to blow his nose. A future as a singer was far-fetched, I knew, but I wrote it as a way of saying: Ethan does have abilities. We’re serious about developing them.

This is the great challenge parents face in these yearly meetings: You’re fighting for teachers to help your child work toward a future that, with every year, feels as if it’s growing narrower and bleaker. When it’s clear he’ll never understand money well enough to make change, you cross off the possibility of working in any retail job. When he can’t stop rubbing his nose or touching his mouth at work, all food service opportunities dissolve as well. When his self-talk disturbs the nursing home residents where he genuinely likes volunteering, another door closes.

After six months, we got a jolly report. “He’s fun! And a pretty good worker for about one to two hours a day.” After a year, we were told he’d made it onto a landscaping crew. “What do you do on the crew?” we asked.

“Stuff,” Ethan said and listed a few machines we assumed he was watching other people operate. He could mow a lawn, we knew, but he couldn’t use a leaf blower. Or a weed whacker. We’ve lived with Ethan for 21 years. We know his limitations.

At our last I.E.P. meeting a representative from the farm came and read a report from Ethan’s “Crew Captain.” We heard that, indeed, Ethan was operating those machines, safely and effectively, along with this final line: “Ethan makes us laugh every day.”

I could hardly believe it. I stole a look at his dad and smiled.

This meeting fell at a particularly demanding time in my life and I’d arrived without writing a vision statement ahead of time. When I started to apologize, the vocational coordinator — a young woman who’d struggled for four years to find a job placement for Ethan — held up her hand. “It’s fine. Ethan wrote his own this year.” Apparently he’d dictated it to her on a recent visit to the farm. A few minutes later, he read it aloud:

“After I graduate from high school I plan to work at Prospect Meadow Farm until I retire and live at home with my family as long as I can. I’d like to keep taking classes at Berkshire Hills Music Academy. For fun, I want to play Special Olympics basketball, go to our cabin in Vermont and the shore in New Jersey, mow lawns, and collect business cards. My goals for the future are to take the PVTA bus into town to make purchases, and someday learn how to drive a zero-turn lawn mower.”

For a full five seconds after he finished, no one said anything. I looked across the table at his speech therapist who had known him since he was 14 years old. She had tears in her eyes. I did, too.

Not simply because Ethan had articulated his own entirely reasonable vision statement, but because it incorporated every aspect of his present life that brings him joy. After years of fabricating visions for a future we never honestly thought possible, Ethan was offering one that was both optimistic and breathtakingly simple: I want my life to keep looking the way it does now.

Update on Fellow Therapists Impacted by Hurricane Harvey and How to Donate to Them

Thanks to great networking efforts, especially from Nikki Goodale OT (an OT in Texas who lives north of the impact area),  we are beginning to identify therapists who have been personally and directly impacted by the hurricane.

Wendy McAnally OT is the  co-owner of the  preschool/clinic New Horizons.  Desiree Mataya PT and Tricia Weger  ST are co workers. The preschool is located in Dickinson, Texas just south of Houston, one of the most devastated areas. With 2-3 feet of water, they have no idea of the extent of the damage to the building and their equipment. Of course, none of the therapists at working at this moment, and there is no timetable for when they will be able to return to the school.

Kristen Murphy,OT
works for River Kids Texas   a pediatric home health company that serves a large area of Houston and surrounding areas. One of the company’s owners is also an OT.  Kristen  was displaced and rescued by boat from her home and is now first able to go back and see the damage.  She gets paid per home health visit and is losing wages due to being out of work, displaced and her patients being displaced with flooded homes.  Alexis Belk, PTA at RiverKids, also was  displaced from her apartment, and rescued by boat due to flooding., lost 2 cars, and does not know when viable employment in home health will again be an option due to widespread displacement of her case load.
We anticipate that there will be many other therapists who own practices or work for practices that have been impacted, have homes that have been destroyed or damaged, etc. No matter how much FEMA or other funds come to be, distribution takes time, and has often  proven not to cover all the losses these therapists have or will sustain.

A Plumfund has been set up for these therapists. We will continue to add therapists in need from  damages/ losses sustained by Hurricane  Harvey. To donate 

In addition, more than one therapist brought this longtime TEXAS group to my attention: Apparently it is all volunteer run, many therapists are involved, and they need $$$ and gently used DME for the Texas communities they serve. THEY NEED WHEELCHAIRS NOW!!! Here is their website and how you can donate to them.
If anyone hears of a therapist that should be included, please email me directly at iris@nytherapyguide.com Thanks in advance.
Iris ( Kimberg, MS PT OTR)

Here’s a great read for all pediatric therapists about selected current NDT

Whether you need a refresher or are new to NDT, here’s an informative read by Gerard J. DeMauro, PT, MSPT, C/NDT

The Conceptualization of NDT-Based Handling Techniques for Infants: Two Perspectives  

Preface   The article is intended to provide both general and more detailed information on the NDT (NeuroDevelopmental Treatment) / Bobath frame of practice applicable for infants with and/or at risk for cerebral palsy and related neuromotor disorders.  Readers, including habilitative therapists, will benefit from an update of theories and concepts applicable to this approach.  It is also intended to orient those less familiar with NDT and thus may be of interest to healthcare professionals involved in the examination, evaluation and/or referral of infants for therapeutic assessment and/or treatment.  Below, the most current and comprehensive operational definition of NDT is included.  Its review includes NDT’s role in the management of infants as well as children with CP and related disorders throughout their lifespan.  The NDT frame of reference is also applicable to adults with strokes and head injuries.
Click here to access the full article.

Gerard J. DeMauro, PT, BS/MS, C/NDT has been a physical therapist for nearly 40 years. In addition to teaching, Gerard still maintains an active private practice in NYC, and is available to present at workshops for therapists, educators and parents on topics related to physical therapy practice in pediatrics. You can email Gerald directly  at Gdemauro101@aol.com  to ask any questions, or to make arrangements for specific presentations related to the pediatric practice of physical therapy.


Finally, there’s 101 Mobility . Set yourself and your patients in motion! Here’s a  good source for patients who are being discharged, want to age in place, or go try out options to improve the quality of their lives.

About 101 Mobility – NOW IN WHITE PLAINS NY

For those with physical limitations, 101 Mobility designs and installs the optimal solutions to provide liberation from your restraints. And, where there are restrictions, limitations, challenges and frustrations, our local teams of experts will work relentlessly until you are completely satisfied. After all, the true power of our brand is the people — the experts, problem solvers and trusted allies that work hard every day to deliver the best solutions to you.

Full access. Full mobility. That is how we change lives for the better.
768 N. Broadway White Plains NY 10603
914 448 0101  whiteplains.101mobility.com

Leading Westchester County Peds Practice has Openings for PTs and OTs

Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy Positions Available –   Sign on Bonus
A leading Pediatric Therapy practice in Westchester County, NY is looking for energetic, licensed and experienced PT’s and OT’s to join our team. We are a multi-disciplinary practice providing OT, PT and SP, servicing infants thru teens. Positions available in our office as well as local public/private schools. Full-time and Part-time positions available.   With a focus on the whole child, our team of therapists are dedicated to providing children with the therapeutic interventions that will help them reach their potential.  Weekly staff meetings and clinical supervision provided in a supportive, friendly and professional environment.  Competitive salary based on experience and/or educational background.
Current NYS PT/OT license required.  Will consider new grads with strong pediatric fieldwork placements.
Please forward resume to admin@dynamickidsny.com or contact DK at 914-428-5151.


Pediatric Occupational Therapy Opportunities in a well established SI Clinic in NYC.

Connect the Dots OT, PLLC NYC is Happy to Announce New Pediatric Occupational Therapist Opportunities  Connect The Dots Occupational Therapy is a pediatric sensory integration clinic looking to hire independent contractor Occupational Therapists for full and/or part-time positions Monday through Saturday. Connect the Dots OT is very family-oriented and will offer as much support as needed in order to help you succeed. We are located in Midtown Manhattan, offering school, home and clinic based cases throughout NYC for children of ages 0-21. CTD has also expanded with home-based services throughout Hudson County, NJ. We are steps away from most NYC subway lines, in addition to the NJ Path and LIRR.

CTD OT is happy to announce that we have been awarded the NYC Bid for all districts in Manhattan for Pre-Ks and School-age along with D75 and  district 14 in Brooklyn.

Services we offer include:

  • Handwriting without Tears

  • Mentorship program

  • Early Intervention Services

  • After-school clinic and home cases

  • Customizable schedules (you get to create and manage your own schedule)

  • Full administrative support

New grads and experienced OTs are welcome to apply.

Please email admin@ctdtherapy.com with a cover letter and resume.

Grade A Professional Medical Building on the Upper East Side of Manhattan has a great rental space for an Experienced Adult Physical Therapist or Therapy Practice.

Experienced Physical Therapist to lease 1350 sq ft floor in NYC UES medical building.  The floor is well-equipped for PT, and it is expected that the facility would be operated on an independent basis.  Other medical offices in the building include a group of 5 neurologists associated with a prominent medical center.  In addition, there is a  pain management group, physiatrist, rheumatologist, and acupuncture group in the building.  This is an ideal facility to initiate a new PT practice or expand an existing one or establish a second location.

Lease terms and further details on request from principals.
Interested parties should contact Eileen at 646.962.6656 or pt.nyc162@gmail.com

Line up your Fall Opportunities throughout the 5 boroughs of NY for school/home and center based Pediatric PT/OT/SLP services with Watch Me Grow!!!

Hiring OTs, PTs, and SLPs!!

We are looking for great therapists to help us with our new Primary DOE vendor contracts. Have a full caseload in early September!
Referrals are available right now to work in one of our sensory gyms, homes pre-schools and

Manhattan (Districts 1, 2, 3, 4)
Lower East Side
Midtown East
Lower/Upper Park West
Brooklyn (Districts 13, 14):
Brooklyn Heights
Fort Greene

In addition, we offer Early Intervention services in all 5 boroughs and in our UWS and East Village
Sensory Gym locations.

For Speech-Language Providers:  CFY supervision is available. All clinicians must hold a current TSSLD/TSHH. We are also looking for Bilingual Spanish SLP’s. Providers must have successfully completed the NYSED BEA or hold a Bilingual Extension Certificate.

If you want to become a part of a dedicated, supportive team in a fun company culture, call us today!  Full-time or part-time positions available and you can make your own schedule. We offer health benefits, 401k, fast payment, competitive rates, and help with student loan forgiveness!

Watch Me Grow is a program of Liberty POST.  Check us out at www.Liberty-POST.com and www.watchmegrownyc.com.  Apply here:  http://bit.ly/TherapyJobs, Or contact Shirael Pollack at spollack@liberty-resources.org or  212-721-0208.

GREAT OPPORTUNITIES FOR OTRS at Chatty Child Speech & Occupational Therapy Center in Tribeca.

Chatty Child™ is a personalized therapeutic center for children and their families conveniently based in downtown Manhattan. Treatment sessions and services are provided in a beautiful, state-of-the-art center. The Chatty Child Center is comprised of a large sensory room, individual treatment rooms, and a comfortable, inviting waiting and resource room with internet and wifi connection for parents and caregivers and offers both Occupational and Speech therapy services. The center is an approved DOE and EI provider and also have a very strong referral base of private patients.  The demand for occupational therapy services is growing and they are seeking additional OTs to join their team!


  • OT needed for center-based case load
  • Fee for service
  • 2-4 days per week (Monday/Wednesday and Friday/Saturday)
  • Must have NYS OTR/L license
  • Will Need DOE finger printing clearance.

Growth potential available for interested therapists.
You will be joining a team of experienced and dynamic therapists.

Please send resumes to Heather Boerner, MA, CCC-SLP, TSHH – heatherb@chattychild.com
Contact us via email if you have any questions about specific locations, caseloads, fees etc.Chatty Child Speech & OccupationalTherapy, PLLC 
325 Broadway, Suite 403 | New York, New York 10007 | www.chattychild.com

All About Kids Has Immediate Openings for OTs PTs and STs in the NYC Public Schools

We Are Thrilled to Announce that the
NYC Department of Education Contracts have been Awarded for the 2017-2018 School Year!

All About Kids, A leading provider for Evaluations and Therapy  Services (Awarded Primary, Secondary and Tertiary)  For many  Speech ,OT ,PT  Related Services and Counseling Throughout the NYC 5 Boroughs.
Become a part of our team!

  • Full-time, part-time, flexible schedules and competitive rates with salary options available with little or even no travel 
  • Early Intervention Services , Evaluations ,Special education including ABA
  • Services are available for full and part time positions both School and Home based

Join us for an informative Open House Wednesday August 9th in Brooklyn or August 10th in Queens! 

First 5 attendees guaranteed door prize of iTunes gift cards and thereafter raffles drawn throughout the day Lite Refreshments will be served and our supportive, experienced staff will be available for Q&A  RSVP: Jane.Weinstein@allaboutkidsny.com  or call (516) 576-2040×174 for more information Wednesday August 9th  2017 @ 8:30 am – 5:00 pm In Brooklyn – 175 Remsen Street ( suite 750 )  Brooklyn NY Thursday August 10th 2017 @ 8:30 am – 5:00 pm In Queens – 37-11 35th Avenue ( Suite 3C)  Astoria NY
If you are unable to attend one of our  open houses: please apply online through our website