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Optimizing Therapy Progress

Competence Brings Confidence

When we begin treatment with a new patient, or we begin working on a new skill at home as a parent, we often become so excited about the goal, or the end game, that we forget about all the small steps we should take to get there. Over the past 20 years working with children and families as an SLP and raising my own children I have learned that we need to celebrate the small steps in life and for therapy progress.

At some point I started telling parents of preschoolers and early elementary students, “Competence brings confidence!”

Your child might learn a very small step toward their goal in a therapy session. This small step should bring a lot of excitement, praise, and chances to “show it off” at home. These chances are growing your child’s confidence in their abilities. Those chances are giving neural connections a chance to form. Those chances are reinforcing new motor patterns. Being competent in a new skill, no matter how small, brings confidence! Confidence gives us the drive and the will to keep working hard and keep going. It keeps us excited in our pursuit to learn something new or difficult and optimizes therapy progress.

Focus on the Small Steps for Big Victories

Often parents and practitioners focus too much on the end goal.  Young children do not even know what the end goal is. We need to celebrate each very small step along the way.

With the confidence your child has from practicing a seemingly small skill at home, they come to therapy ready to move on and add more new skills. They will have the skill they have become so good at in their tool belt, and add to it! They might have started making a speech sound with confidence in isolation. When they are confident with that skill because they have shown it off many times, they will be ready to move on to making that sound in words.

In the opposite scenario we might spend time working on the small skills, try to speed along, and forget to give praise and practice at each step. We are focused on the end goal, for example, clear speech. All along your child or patient might practice and never realize all the small gains because we forget to praise them with small steps or have them show off their small steps. In this scenario, opportunities to practice important building blocks are missed. Opportunities to build confidence are missed, and ultimately the pace of progress is slower.

In the end, learning the “end goal” should have felt like many moments of satisfaction and praise to finally reach where we wanted the child to be.  It should not feel like many moments of trying and not {quite} getting there and being corrected over and over until we {finally} get good enough.

Incidentally, this works for grown ups too! If you are trying to learn something new, give yourself some grace. Focus on a small step you have mastered and practice it or show it off many times, and then move on. In the long run, you will be smarter and stronger for building competence in the small steps all along, and you will be more confident with your goal when you get there!

Optimizing Therapy Progress at Carolina Therapy Connection

The key to success is realizing that our large or end goals aren’t going to happen overnight, in the next week or maybe even the next year, but this is okay. We tend to take the present moment for granted – it seems insignificant, and we believe the little things we do in the moment are not changing us. At Carolina Therapy Connection, we believe in a culture that embraces the small victories for your family! Each time your child has milestone achievement, we will find a way to celebrate. We believe it is critical to make therapy as fun and motivating as possible by celebrating the small victories as well as major achievements. After all, when children enjoy what they are doing, who they are with and the environment they are in, anything is possible! If your family has concerns regarding your child’s development or goals you would like to achieve, call us at 252-341-9944. We would love to help you and make you a part of our CTC family and culture. 


Written by: Susan Hill, MS, CCC-SLP

Optimizing Therapy Progress Susan Hill SLP Greenville New Bern Goldsboro NC










Optimizing Therapy Progress Greenville NC Pediatric occupational speech and physical therapy written by Susan Hill

Greenville Clinic Expansion Updates

Greenville Clinic Expansion Updates

We’ve got BIG things happening at Carolina Therapy Connection and we are so excited to be sharing them with you! After years of prayer and planning, we have been blessed with the ability to expand our Greenville clinic to serve more kiddos and families in Eastern NC. Out of the trust and kindness our community has shown to us we have been able to expand both our services and our physical clinic space from 1200 sq ft. to 15,000 sq ft. over the past 11 years! We are so grateful to our families, our community partners, and our referral sources for the overwhelming support of Carolina Therapy Connection!

Carolina Therapy Connection Greenville Clinic Expansion

Carolina Therapy Connection Greenville Clinic Expansion

Carolina Therapy Connection Greenville Clinic Expansion

What will this new expansion entail?

Everything to help our kiddos and families reach their goals by serving them more efficiently! This new space will include:

  • 3 new sensory gym spaces that vary in sensory feedback to meet the sensory needs of each child (low stimulation and high stimulation environments).
  • An interactive fiber optic sensory space for a serene and calming experience.
  • A space designated for our Interactive Metronome treatment modality. Learn more about this evidenced-based system here.
  • 2 feeding spaces to host feeding groups that develop sensory-based feeding skills for kids of all ages, and to house our feeding specialist team.
  • A separate physical therapy gym with state-of-the-art equipment to build developmental skills.
  • Collaborative workspaces and technology for all of our clinicians and staff.
  • Private treatment rooms for all disciplines.
  • An even larger lobby for caregiver comfort.
  • A space dedicated for expansion of our Educational Services.
  • A large outdoor, protected courtyard space for the option to provide services in a safe outdoor area.
  • Marketing and communications studio for improved ability to develop content for our families.
  • State-of-the-art training center for continuing education and advanced training of our staff. This will also be used for community events like our Neurodivergent Hangouts and Parent Support Groups.AND… several other spaces for future expansion of our services.. stay tuned for more information about what these will be!

Carolina Therapy Connection Greenville Clinic Expansion

Carolina Therapy Connection Greenville Clinic Expansion

Carolina Therapy Connection Greenville Clinic Expansion

How will this expansion impact our current families?

We have entrusted our amazing local contractors at WIMCO to ensure that our families and kiddos are SAFE during all of the construction. Construction will move in phases beginning on Monday, August 16th and ending sometime in April (or sooner). Each phase will allow our families to have access to parking with safety fencing and signage that will be posted. Please be sure to follow these signs! Our current building will be updated and outfitted during the process, but not until towards the later phases. In the meantime, we should see very little effects of construction inside of our current space. We will be keeping you all updated as we move throughout this process. WIMCO will have a superintendent on site daily to make sure that the needs of our families, kiddos, and staff are always being met! Safety is their #1 goal! THANK YOU for extending us grace during this time and for having patience as we navigate this exciting adventure!

Please feel free to reach out at any time with any questions or concerns you may have. 

Thank you again, from the bottom of our hearts, for making this dream a reality for all of us and allowing us to serve out our mission of informing families, enriching lives, changing futures for all of Eastern NC! 

Carolina Therapy Connection thanks WIMCO

Greenville NC Carolina Therapy Connection Expansion Updates

Neuro-diverse Hangout Night

Carolina Therapy Connection’s First Neuro-diverse Hangout Night!

Carolina Therapy Connection is so excited to announce that our first neuro-diverse hangout night will be on July 15th at 6:30 PM. This all inclusive hangout group is designed for pre-teens/young adults interested in engaging in shared experiences, positive peer relations and having fun! Leading this awesome group will be our friend Fiona Holler. Fiona is a 17 year old girl who is willing to share her experiences growing up with Autism Spectrum Disorder. She loves to help others and her goal is to spread awareness. For our first hangout night, we have 10 spots available for those between the ages of 11 and 18 years old. If you miss out on the first one, don’t worry! We plan to continue having these hangout sessions in the future. Click HERE to sign up!

What can I expect for the neuro-diverse hangout night?

Fiona has planned to begin the session with introducing the surroundings. This will include snacks and making sure everyone has an understanding that it is a judgement free zone. You are free to stim, tic, and sit anywhere that you are comfortable! Fiona would also like to engage all participants in introducing themselves, sharing their likes and dislikes, sharing challenges they have faced, discussing strengths and similar interests and much more!

Here are a few ground rules for this hangout:

    • This is a judgement free zone – please do not make fun of others or make inappropriate or rude comments. This is the opposite of the purpose of this group!
    • Everyone who wishes to speak is allowed to have their own turn to speak as long as it is appropriate and polite.
    • Please be mindful of others – some people may have different needs than you. Be kind and accepting!
    • If you don’t wish to share something you don’t have to – this is a safe place for everyone!
    • Please be encouraging and kind to the people around you – we will have a better experience when we are accepting of everyone!
    • Anything that anyone shares in this group that they wish to keep private stays in this group. 

What are the benefits of a neuro-diverse hangout?

People on the spectrum and their families benefit greatly from autism support groups and hangouts. Support groups and hangouts like this one can provide people with a space in which they can swap stories, share information, ideas and tips to help manage different parts of their lives, or simply enjoy being with people who have had similar experiences. Another benefit of support groups is that through these groups, parents who are present can learn about new resources, therapies, services, and most importantly create lasting friendships with other parents who are going through the same things as them. The greatest benefit of all is that everyone gets to have fun and feel good! Our greatest goal for this hangout night to make everyone feel comfortable and leave feeling better than they came. If you have any suggestions or questions about our neruro-diverse hangout night, call our clinic at 252-341-9944! We can’t wait to see you soon!




Carolina Therapy Connection Expands to New Bern

Carolina Therapy Connection Strives to Meet the Demand in Eastern NC

For over 10 years, Carolina Therapy Connection has embodied a vision of being the regional leader of skilled professionals providing diverse, collaborative services for children and their families. After growing from about 25 families in the first year of the practice, to over 1600 active patients today, we continue to improve the quality of life of children in Eastern North Carolina and provide support and education to parents and families.

Over the past year, our greatest challenge has been tirelessly working to meet the demands and needs of the pediatric population within our community. After becoming the first Certified Autism Center™ in Eastern N.C., it was clear that our next priority was to expand to New Bern! This realization led us to opening a new location in New Bern, North Carolina! Despite the challenges of COVID-19, our amazing team has gone above and beyond the call of duty to provide an exceptional new clinic and prepare for the needs within and around Craven County.

About Our New Bern Clinic

Our New Bern building is 2500 square foot, accommodating for 6 huge offices for our therapists and administrative staff, and a state-of-the-art sensory gym. Our New Bern team consists of Occupational Therapists, Physical Therapists, Speech-Language Pathologists, and Educational Specialists. Currently, our team specializes in Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), TorticollisInteractive MetronomeAutism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)Feeding TherapySensory Processing Disorder and many others! Having an open mind to drive innovation, we believe all our clinics should be an educational resource to provide the community with direct access to the latest research and developments in pediatric habilitative and rehabilitative services.

Through demonstrated excellence in clinical, school, and home-based practice, our therapists provide screening, assessment, consultation, and treatment in the following areas at our New Bern location:

  • Sensory Integration
  • Interactive Metronome ®
  • Therapeutic Listening®
  • Handwriting Without Tears®
  • SOS Feeding Therapy ®
  • Beckman Oral Motor Approach®
  • School-Related Skills
  • Gross and Fine Motor Development
  • Early Intervention Services
  • Feeding and Oral Motor Development
  • Balance and Coordination Skills
  • Age-Appropriate Daily Living Skills/ Self-Help Skills
  • Handwriting Skills
  • Adaptive Equipment Purchasing and Modification
  • Articulation and Language Development
  • Augmentative Communication
  • Adaptive Equipment Purchasing and Modification
  • Wheelchair Assessments
  • Evaluations for Orthotic Devices and Equipment (AFO’s, Helmet, etc.)

Expanding Our Community Outreach Program

Our New Bern administrative staff and therapists have been working hard to reach out to the community to get as much viable information as possible. As we continue developing our community outreach plan for 2021, we are constantly updating our website resources page for in and around Craven County. We are also working hard to ensure that the pediatric offices, daycares and schools are aware of the services we provide.  Over the past few months, we have sent out a community survey to better understand how we can partner with with local organizations in making a way for greater resilience within our community. Amidst the struggle of COVID-19, we have also been able to reach out to multiple locations around New Bern by email, phone call, and also by delivering goodie baskets! We are so excited to be working with all these great organizations and can’t wait to see where the future takes us!

Pictures of Our New Bern Clinic

 Expands to New Bern Expands to New Bern Expands to New Bern Expands to New BernNew Bern Clinic



CTC Clinic New Bern North Carolina

Carolina Therapy Connection Becomes First Certified Autism Center™ in Eastern NC

Carolina Therapy Connection in Greenville is now the first Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) in Eastern NC!

Carolina Therapy Connection is now the first Certified Autism Center™ (CAC) in Eastern North Carolina. The CAC designation is granted by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). This certification requires staff to complete autism-specific training and professional certification. Carolina Therapy Connection is one of only two therapy clinics in NC with the Certified Autism Center designation. The Carolina Therapy Connection listing for becoming a Certified Autism Center can be found here.

Carolina Therapy Connection is a pediatric private practice serving children birth through adolescence all over Eastern North Carolina since 2010.  Their team consists of occupational therapists, physical therapists, speech language pathologists, and educational specialists. This collaborative approach among an extensive team of specialists can help children develop the foundational sensory skills necessary to improve learning and development.

“We are so excited for Carolina Therapy Connection to become an IBCCES Certified Autism Center! Our entire team of therapists, educational specialists and office support staff are all passionate about providing exceptional services to children and families throughout Eastern North Carolina,” said Cindy Taylor, MS, OTR/L, owner and occupational therapist. “We continuously strive to learn and develop a better understanding of the challenges that our children and families face to implement more effective strategies and deliver greater outcomes.  We are so thankful that the advanced autism training and certification allows for us to carry out our mission of ‘informing families, enriching lives, changing futures’ with greater perspective and resources for our families and community.”

What is Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)?

Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a lifelong developmental disability that usually appears during the first three years of life.  Individuals with ASD exhibit challenges of varying severity in the areas of social interaction, communication, and repetitive/restricted behaviors.  Many individuals with ASD have different ways of learning, focusing, and reacting to everyday events.  Recent studies estimate one of every 58 children born in North Carolina will be affected by ASD.

Families and individuals with ASD often face severe challenges in navigating the complex world of this disability and in accessing adequate services.  Caregivers express their concerns about finding providers that understand the needs of this unique population and are prepared to advocate for their child using a comprehensive team approach.

What is the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES) and what do they do?

For more than 20 years, IBCCES has been the industry leader in cognitive disorder training and certification for education, healthcare, and corporate professionals around the globe. IBCCES provides evidence-based training and certification programs created in conjunction with clinical experts and individuals with autism in order to provide professionals serving individuals with cognitive disorders a better understanding of what these disorders are, industry best practices, and the latest research in these areas.

IBCCES provides a series of certifications that empower professionals to be leaders in their field and improve the outcomes for the individuals they serve. These programs are the only training and certification programs endorsed by the largest grassroots autism organization in the world, The Autism Society of America, and recognized around the world as the leading benchmark for training and certification in the areas of autism and other cognitive disorders.

What was required by IBCCES for Carolina Therapy Connection to become the first Certified Autism Center™ in Eastern North Carolina?

All Certified Autism Centers™ meet the following requirements:

  • Dedicated to serving individuals with autism
  • At least 80% of staff is trained and certified in the field of Autism
  • Maintain compliance with National Healthcare/Education Accreditation standards
  • Committed to ongoing training in autism
  • Complies with HIPAA and ADA requirements

In order to earn the Certified Autism Specialist (CAS) credential, the Carolina Therapy Connection staff was required to complete these rigorous professional standards set forth by the IBCCES. Furthermore, these standards include a minimum of at least two years experience working with individual’s with autism, 14 continuing education hours that directly relate to autism, and a passing grade on the IBCCES autism competency exam. Check out the Carolina Therapy Connection team page, to see the Certified Autism Specialist credentialing for each staff member.

Receiving this type of certification demonstrates to our clients and colleagues a commitment to promoting a higher standard of care to the autism community.  The CTC staff has gained extensive knowledge and understanding in the area of autism and is able to use and apply that knowledge to help create and improve support plans and therapy for those with autism spectrum disorder




IBCCES Certified Autism Center

Staff Spotlight Vlog #1: Cindy and Taylor

Welcome to our new series: Carolina Therapy Connection Staff Spotlight Vlog. Time to have some fun and learn more about our team of therapists and education specialists. Go behind the scenes to get a glimpse of our culture and meet our work family!


Our first Staff Spotlight Vlog is with Cindy Taylor and Taylor Varnell.  Cindy is an Occupational Therapist and owner of Carolina Therapy Connection.  Taylor is the Office Director of both our Greenville and Goldsboro clinics.  Learn more about Cindy and Taylor in this up close and personal Vlog.  Subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more fun videos and Vlog’s.


Learn more about the other members of our CTC family here.