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CTC Ranked in North Carolina’s ‘Best Employers 2023’

Who ranks North Carolina’s Best Employers of 2023?

Carolina Therapy Connection is now ranked one of North Carolina’s Best Employers of 2023, who were ranked by market research company DataJoe in four categories! DataJoe created and implemented a survey that polled employers and their employees. The survey covered essential workplace topics, including organizational health, leadership, engagement, work-life balance, pay, training, benefits and corporate social responsibility.

See Our Ranking Below Under ‘Medium Sized Employers’

 

 

Best Employer 2023 Carolina Therapy Connection

See the FULL issue of Business North Carolina’s annual list of Best Employers HERE

What sets Carolina Therapy Connection apart from other Employers?

Carolina Therapy Connection is a therapist-owned, growing private pediatric outpatient practice with sensory clinic locations in Greenville, Goldsboro, and New Bern, North Carolina.  For the past 12 years CTC has been providing OT, PT, ST, and educational services to children of all ages and diagnoses including: autism spectrum disorder, sensory processing disorder, cerebral palsy, feeding disorders, and developmental delay. Children are served within our newly expanded, state-of-the-art sensory clinics, within the community, and within school settings. In 2023 we added Mental Wellness and Counseling to the umbrella of services CTC offers.

Carolina Therapy Connection is the first outpatient therapy clinic Certified Autism Center™  (CAC) in Eastern North Carolina. Carolina Therapy Connection covers the cost of all staff to complete this professional certification within their first year of hire. Our culture at CTC is faith-based, built around serving others while creating a fun and exciting place to work that will motivate you! 

Just a few reasons to join our team …

  • Competitive Compensation with weekly and monthly incentive bonuses (salary or pay per visit- based on yourpreference and goals!)
  • Flexible schedules perfect for therapists with families (all staff choose their own schedule- what works best for you?)
  • Fun, social clinic setting with company sponsored events every month (team building, potlucks, snack bars, ice cream socials, etc!)
  • Prizes that reward team members who carry out our core values and supportive culture (monthly core value cash prizes!)
  • Multi-disciplinary setting with supervision and mentorship programs to help you grow and based upon the support you need!
  • Supportivefaith-based culture that values teamwork as well as individual team member goals (meetings on a monthly and quarterly basis to check in on your personal and professional growth!)
  • Opportunity for growth within the company including management and leadership opportunities (clinical and administrative ladder programs)
  • Web-based, electronic documentation system (document anywhere that suits you!)
  • Simple IRA with retirement matching (no vesting period!)
  • Health, vision and dental group insurance through BCBSNC with Company contribution
  • Disability insurance
  • Life insurance and Employee Assistance Program (free mental health/wellness services) paid 100% by employer
  • PTO and all major holidays observed (let’s hear it for no weekends or holidays!)
  • Continuing education compensation and company sponsored CEU opportunities
  • We invest in every team member to receive credentialing as an Certified Autism Specialist or Autism Certificate through the IBCCES certification program
  • We credential all of our interested clinicians in becoming certified in the Interactive Metronome treatment modality
  • Private offices for speech language pathologists (and SLP assistants)
  • Clinical Fellowship program with close mentorship and training
  • Relocation assistance and sign on/retention bonuses for certain positions
  • Annual licensing fees and professional liability costs covered
  • Referral bonuses
  • Travel reimbursement
  • Computers and other technology options (iPads) for each employee
  • 15,000 sq.ft. clinic with state of the art sensory spaces for enhanced therapy experiences
  • All treatment equipment and assessments provided by company
  • Amazing administrative staff that handle all scheduling, billing and insurance authorizations (YES… Let’s hear it for less time spent documenting!)
  • A variety of settings offered based on clinician preference (schools, homes, daycares, clinic)

Interested in joining our team? Head over to our Careers Page to apply NOW!

CTC Best Employer 2023

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

All About Physical Therapy

National Physical Therapy Month

October is National Physical Therapy Month — a time to celebrate the profession and all the ways physical therapists promote independence, increase participation, facilitate motor development and function, improve strength and endurance, enhance learning opportunities, and ease daily challenges in the lives of their patients. This month we would like to shout out our awesome physical therapists and give thanks to each them for their hard work to help kiddos and families across Eastern North Carolina. Learn more about our physical therapists by visiting our team page for Greenville HERE and for New Bern HERE.

What is physical therapy?

Physical therapy is the science of movement, how our muscles move our body, and how abnormal muscle activity may lead to movement disorders or developmental delays, birth defect, chronic illness or an injury. Pediatric physical therapy promotes independence, increases participation, facilitates motor development and function, improves strength and endurance, enhances learning opportunities, and eases challenges with daily caregiving.

We offer Physical Therapy services to children birth through adolescence, with a wide variety of needs and diagnoses:

  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Asperger’s Syndrome, Pervasive Developmental Disorder (PDD)
  • Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADD & ADHD)
  • Sensory Processing Disorder
  • Torticollis
  • Developmental Delay
  • Downs Syndrome
  • Cerebral Palsy
  • Neuromuscular Disorders

Children with neurological, orthopedic, or developmental disorders may need assistance of special equipment, customized orthotics, and/or exercises to build up motor skills.

Our team of physical therapists provide screening, assessment, consultation, and treatment in the following areas:

  • Gross and Fine Motor Development
  • Early Intervention Services
  • Balance and Coordination Skills
  • Age-Appropriate Daily Living Skills/ Self-Help Skills
  • Adaptive Equipment Purchasing and Modification
  • Wheelchair Assessments
  • Evaluations for Orthotic Devices and Equipment (AFO’s, Helmet, etc.)

In addition to the services above, we are so excited to announce that we are now offering physical therapy services at our Greenville and New Bern clinics for back pain and sports injuries!

PT for Sports Injuries

At Carolina Therapy Connection, our team of physical therapists can help your child overcome a sports injury by promoting independence, facilitating motor development and function, improving strength and endurance, and easing challenges with daily activities. We offer PT services to children ages 4 to 14 who have experienced a sports injury. We use our extensive clinical knowledge and therapeutic understanding to deliver evidence-based and innovative therapeutic interventions. Our physical therapists will work with your child to:

  • Provide an individualized treatment plan
  • Promote an efficient healing process
  • Decrease pain and inflammation
  • Regain strength and range of motion
  • Reduce recovery time for return to sport
  • Prevent future injuries

Common Sports Injuries:

  • Sprained Ankles
  • Knee Pain
  • Shin Splints
  • Foot Pain
  • Elbow Pain
  • Shoulder Pain
  • Achilles Tendonitis

Treatment we provide:

  • Tissue healing
  • Stretching and mobility exercises
  • Stability and control of movement
  • Exercises focusing on proper movement patterns
  • Sport specific performance improvement
  • Advanced agility and coordination exercises

PT for Back Pain

At Carolina Therapy Connection, our team of physical therapists can help your child overcome back pain by promoting independence, facilitating motor development and function, improving strength and endurance, and easing challenges with daily actvities. We offer PT to children ages 4 to 14 years old who are experiencing back pain. We use our extensive clinical knowledge and therapeutic understanding to deliver evidence-based and innovative therapeutic interventions. Our physical therapists will work with your child to:

  • Provide a comprehensive evaluation to assess the causes of back pain
  • Decrease pain and inflammation
  • Build muscle strength in the core
  • Restore mobility and range of motion
  • Improve posture
  • Restore their quality of life
  • Reduce the risk for further injury

Common causes of back pain:

  • Muscle weakness
  • Increased flexibility of the spine
  • Decreased flexibility leg muscles
  • Poor posture
  • Muscle strain
  • Scoliosis
  • Heavy backpacks

Treatment we provide:

  • Tissue healing
  • Stretching and mobility exercises
  • Exercises focusing on proper movement patterns
  • Tips and exercises for improved posture

If you are interested in scheduling a physical therapy evaluation for your child, call our office to get started today!

Greenville office: (252) 341-9944

New Bern office: (252) 341-9944 (EXT. 2)

Goldsboro office: (252) 814-8044

Our office staff will take all of your health insurance information and complete any authorizations or referrals that you may need. Visit our referrals page for more information HERE. Happy Physical Therapy Month

physical therapy Greenville New Bern NC Carolina Therapy Connection

Apraxia and PROMPT

May is Apraxia Awareness Month

According to Apraxia Kids, for the first time, the entire month of May has been designated Apraxia Awareness Month and corresponds with May is Better Hearing and Speech Month, sponsored by the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Childhood Apraxia of Speech is a motor speech disorder in which a child knows what they would like to say but has difficulty sending the message from their brain to their mouth. It is a significant problem with motor planning and coordination of the lips, tongue, jaw and palate to produce intelligible speech. Parents of children with childhood apraxia of speech commonly say things like, “No one can understand my son,” “It looks like he is trying to say the word, but can’t get it out,” and “He said that word one time, and then I never heard it again.” Our goal this month, is to educate families about apraxia, spread awareness, and provide resources that may be helpful for children struggling with apraxia.

A quote from Apraxia KidsThe more people that know and understand Apraxia, the more support children and families will have. Early intervention is crucial. A team supporting a child with Apraxia is crucial. I’ve learned along the way, we don’t know what we don’t know. Let’s help people know about Apraxia!”

What are the signs of apraxia?

According to the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA, 2007), the three most common features in children with apraxia of speech are:

  • Inconsistent errors on consonants and vowels in repeated productions of syllables or words (for example, a child says the same word differently each time he tries to produce it).
  • Difficulty producing longer, more complex words and phrases.
  • Inappropriate intonation and stress in word/phrase production (for example, difficulty with the timing, rhythm and flow of speech).

Apraxia and PROMPT

PROMPT (Prompting for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets) is a multifaceted approach used to treat a variety of speech production disorders such as expressive language, stuttering, motor planning, articulation/phonology, and auditory processing as well as cognitive or global delays. PROMPT is a highly successful treatment method for children with motor speech disorders such as apraxia. During PROMPT, a speech-language pathologist manually guides a patient’s jaw, lips, vocal folds, and tongue by targeting certain words, phrases, or sentences. They use touch cues to shape and support the proper movements. In doing so, the therapist helps the patient produce phonemes, or the smallest units of sound that distinguish one word from another. Together, the therapist and child progress through different sounds at a steady pace, moving to new sounds only when the patient is ready. The child learns through assistance and repetition to plan, organize, and create steadily more advanced vocal sounds. For more information about PROMPT, watch this quick video

Carolina Therapy Connection is now using PROMPT

To be certified in the PROMPT method, a speech-language pathologist attends PROMPT training courses and meets a number of certification requirements established by the PROMPT Institute. One of our amazing Speech-Language Pathologists at Carolina Therapy Connection, Lindsey Grant, is now certified in PROMPT! Lindsay graduated Summa Cum Laude in 2012 from East Carolina University with her Bachelor of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders and a minor in Hispanic Studies. She then continued at East Carolina University, receiving her Master of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorder in 2014.  While completing her Master’s degree, she completed a research project on the relationship between dyslexia and language. Lindsay has experience working with children of all ages in a variety of settings including school, home, daycare, and clinic. She is a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association, where she received her Certificate of Clinical Competence. She is also a Certified Autism Specialist through the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards. Lindsay has a passion of helping children with apraxia of speech make significant improvements to their speech and communication skills.

If you have any questions about your child’s speech development, apraxia or PROMPT, call our clinic at 252-341-9944!

Lindsay PROMPT

Sibling of an Autistic Child

Introducing Melana Griffee

Melana Griffee is Carolina Therapy Connection’s Office Support and Community Outreach Coordinator. She also recently completed her Autism certificate designation, granted by the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards (IBCCES). Her role is to embrace and encourage our culture within our organization and support our mission being carried out within our community. She graduated from Craven Community College in 2019, with her Associates in Arts degree. Since she was 16, she has worked with children at the YMCA and has helped lead summer camps and afterschool programs. She grew up with a brother with Autism and has a heart for serving children that need extra support. Melana is a huge asset to our team and has helped us launch our New Bern Clinic. In her spare time, she loves to spend time with her hubby, hang out with her family, and be outside!

Becoming the Sister of an Autistic Child

My brother said only a few words at the age of 1, but then stopped suddenly and was diagnosed with Autism at the age of 4. I was only 1 at the time and obviously, I did not understand. Now, I am 22 years old and my brother, Ashton, will soon be 25. Ashton is non verbal, has a seizure disorder, a venus implant and has had major back surgery. The one thing I remember from my childhood is how I always wished that my brother would start speaking. My family and I always joked about what he would say when he did start talking. It gave us hope.

Once I was old enough to understand more about my brother’s special needs, I became very interested in it. I volunteered at Special Olympics, with a special needs baseball team, and I was even the club president for Project Unify when I was in high school. Doing all these things made me feel more involved in not only Ashton’s life, but the life of other children who have special needs. I hoped to learn all I could about Autism so that I could help my brother.

Developing Patience and an Understanding of Autism

I can say from experience in my own life that growing up with an Autistic brother has made me more mature and aware of the needs of others. Without knowing, Ashton has taught me more about patience then anyone in my life. I believe that is one of the more important things to realize when you have a Autistic family member or friend: Patience. Patience. Patience. There will be times when they’re not understanding you, and they may get frustrated or upset. As long as you are patient and kind, you will be able to help that person calm down.

Another important thing to remember when dealing with the different behaviors of someone with Autism, is knowing what helps them calm down – whether that be a favorite activity, movie or place. My brother has never said one word to me, yet I still know what he loves and hates. He loves watching Clifford, Thomas the Train, Barney, and Lilo & Stitch – all the classics, right?! He absolutely loves lighthouses and clocks. His room is filled with them, and I like to think it gives him joy seeing them all around him.

Sometimes I picture what it would be like to see through Ashton’s eyes. I think he would see the world so differently than us. He would see others differently and understand the difficult things life can throw at you. Whenever I am around Ashton, I just love to watch. Watch him smile and laugh at the show he is watching. Watching him smile at me every time I say, “I’m going to get your sugar, Ashton!” My favorite thing is whenever I first see him, he comes to me with the sweetest face and hugs me. That always makes my day ten times better.

It wasn’t always easy growing up with the struggles that come with Ashton’s diagnosis. I can remember countless nights crying to my mom, wondering why he was the way he was. Was he ever going to talk? Will the seizures ever stop? Why do people stare at him at school? I can remember times I would hear the word ‘retarded’. Even in high school, hearing that word made me cringe in frustration. I would hear people saying things like, “You are so retarded,” or “That is retarded,” almost as if they were comparing that word to something stupid or dumb. I could go on and on about how that is not the proper word to use at all. Mental Retardation is a formal diagnosis my brother has and I was always very offended when I heard someone call someone that.

As I have gotten older, I have realized this word is not being thrown around so easily. It has become less of a slang word and more of a word, that when heard, people may feel uncomfortable about. I feel like people are more aware of how the word is offensive and disturbing.

It was during those moments in my life that I realized there needs to be more awareness for Autism. It is so important that people start learning about Autism, because 5.4 million adults have Autism in the United States. That is about 1 in every 45 people (First US Study of Autism, 2020). I am so grateful for Carolina Therapy Connection. Even though my brother did not have a facility like this to come too growing up, I recognize how important it is for an Autistic child to start these services early on. I would recommend Carolina Therapy Connection to anybody who is in need of life changing services for their child!

Melana Griffee

Continuing to Embrace and Serve the Autism Community

Carolina Therapy Connection of Greenville, NC 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.

At Carolina Therapy Connection, our highly qualified and diverse staff provide a collaborative approach to apply extensive knowledge and understanding for children with ASD. We are committed to providing your family with the necessary tools, resources, and encouragement throughout your autism journey, making a way for greater resilience. Our team will work with your family to co-construct a sustainable story for how autism shapes who your child is, both personally and relationally.

 

Melana Griffee

Autism Awareness

What is Autism Awareness Month?

In 1970, the Autism Society launched an ongoing nationwide effort to promote autism awareness and assure that all affected by autism are able to achieve the highest quality of life possible.  In 1972, the Autism Society launched the first annual National Autistic Children’s week, which evolved into Autism Acceptance Month (AAM). This April, Carolina Therapy Connection continues our efforts to spread awareness, promote acceptance, and ignite change alongside so many others across the nation.

How can I participate in doing my part?

The prevalence of Autism in the United States has risen from 1 in 125 children in 2010 to 1 in 59 in 2020. Recognizing this continued increase, the goal is to further increase awareness and global understanding about autism using support, kindness and compassion. Here are just a few ways you can participate this April:

  • Be informed – This doesn’t just mean looking up what the definition is on google or the signs/symptoms, but also learning how to interact with a person with Autism, and how to help them feel included, confident, safe and happy. Today it is becoming much more common to encounter someone with Autism and with doing the research, there would be a lot less struggle to even just say “hello.” You can view our resources page to learn more about Autism Spectrum Disorder and ways to become more educated about the diagnosis.  It is so important for the public to gain information directly from those with Autism.  Show empathy, learn their perspective and respect their voice!
  • Show your support – Use hashtags #CelebrateDifferences, #KindnessCounts, #Lightitupblue, and #WorldAutismMonth on social media. On April 2nd, 2021, wear blue to show your support. Autism Awareness month is all about making a month of kindness, towards others and yourself. We all get wrapped into the busy lives we live and forget to stop and say something kind to a coworker, friend, family member, or even a stranger. This is especially the month to be kind to those who are just a little bit different, but so special.
  • Get involved – A great way to get involved is joining in some type of program with the special needs population. These programs are all over Eastern NC and can also be found on our local resources page. Some of these programs include Special Needs sports teams, day programs for children or adults with Autism, runs or walks that may fund Autism research, and so many more. Get out and volunteer!

Autism Awareness From an Autistic Perspective

The Carolina Therapy Connection staff recently had the opportunity to hear an amazing presentation from Fiona Holler, a high school junior at John Paul II Catholic High School in Greenville, NC. Fiona explained in great detail what it has personally been like for her growing up with Autism. We look forward to looking with her more in the near future with setting up Autism support groups for kiddos and their families! Fiona is an enormous asset to the Autism community within and around Pitt County.

Here are a few points Fiona made during her presentation:

  • Neurodivergent vs Neurotypical: Neurodivergent people are those who have a differing mental or neurological function from what is considered typical (neurotypical people).
  • Sensory isn’t just a term for neurodivergent people. We all have sensory needs and we all take in sensory information through our bodies differently.
  • What is sensory pleasing to one autistic person may be completely different from another autistic person. Examples can include different lighting, specific noises, physical sensations, tastes and smells. Another really important aspect of sensory needs is that they can change. Sensory preferences are not always permanent and change more than people think! A lot of people with Autism often get frustrated when trying to communicate our sensory needs, which can often lead to things like stimming, or burnout.
  • Stimming refers to how neurodivergent individuals release and express their emotions. The misconception of stimming is that it is always a sign of stress or aggression. The truth is that stimming is used to describe a certain mechanism used to release a range of emotions, whether it be excited, sad, angry, happy, anxious, etc.
  • Masking refers to when people with Autism push down our stims and coping mechanisms in order to “blend in” with the neurotypical world. Masking doesn’t just refer to pushing down sensory pleasures, it can mean completely changing or disguising yourself as what society believes is “normal.”
  • Burnout refers to extreme tiredness and fatigue caused by masking, extreme sensory sensations, and/or the presence of extreme emotions (with and without masking).
  • Often times, a symptom of Autism is “special interests.” These are sometimes associated as a negative symptom. The term is called “special interest” because we as autistics tend to excessively fixate on a specific topic, usually much more than neurotypical people – special interests are good! Even though sometimes we need direct social cues, this doesn’t mean that sharing a special interest is wrong- it’s a matter of when it is and isn’t appropriate to share. Like stimming, these special interests often get frowned upon for how autistic people present them and or which age group the topic is meant for. This is very harmful to people with autism and can give us the wrong idea. Fiona explained that she grew up thinking she wasn’t allowed to express a special interest or stim without being labeled as incompetent.
  • A final thought: “Being autistic is very hard at times because whether we know or don’t know our diagnosis, it is easy to feel as if we don’t belong in this world of neurotypical people. We are trained to mask and hide our autism a lot of the times rather than to accept and love ourselves for who we are. I find myself knowing how to mask better than how to help myself. This is a very dangerous thing to teach our young autistic children. A lot of things about how autistic people regulate and how/what they think goes unsaid, which is why it is so important that we encourage the open conversation and genuine acceptance of autism. It’s okay to have questions about our diagnosis, just ask us kindly and we will answer the best we can. We’re people too.”

 

Staff Spotlight Vlog: Kelly & Melana

Welcome Back to our Staff Spotlight Vlog Series

Welcome back to another episode of our Staff Spotlight Vlog series! Meet Melana and Kelly, two amazing ladies who work at our recently opened New Bern clinic! They have been working hard to reach out to the community to make connections and get viable information for meeting the needs of kiddos and families within and around Craven County. They are also working hard to ensure that the all pediatric offices, daycares and schools are aware of the services Carolina Therapy Connection provides.

More About Kelly & Melana

Melana is our Office Support and Community Outreach Coordinator. Her role at Carolina Therapy Connection is to embrace and encourage our culture within our organization and support our mission being carried out within our community. She graduated from Craven Community College in 2019, with her Associates in Arts degree. Since she was 16, she has worked with children at the YMCA and has helped lead summer camps and afterschool programs. She grew up with a brother with Autism and has a heart for serving children that need extra support. Melana is a huge asset to our team and has helped us launch our New Bern Clinic. In her spare time, she loves to spend time with her hubby, hang out with her family, and be outside!

Kelly is a registered and licensed occupational therapist. Growing up in Cleveland, Ohio, she first found her passion working with children with disabilities while volunteering for a local summer camp. Kelly moved to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania to attend Duquesne University and acquire a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Sciences and Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy. During her clinical experience, Kelly worked with children in both psychiatric and traditional physical disability settings. She recently moved to North Carolina to work with us and is looking forward to spending time at the beach, learning to paddle board, and exploring her new home! She is a Certified Autism Specialist through the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards.

 

 

To meet the rest of our team, visit our New Bern Team Page. Thanks for watching our Staff Spotlight Vlog!

Staff Spotlight Vlog: Physical Therapists

Staff Spotlight Vlog: Physical Therapists

Time to have some fun and learn more about our team here at Carolina Therapy Connection! Go behind the scenes to get a glimpse of our culture and meet our work family. During this episode of our new Staff Spotlight Vlog series, meet our pediatric physical therapists: Jessica, Lauren and Emily. These ladies work hard each day to promote independence, increase participation, facilitate motor development and function, improve strength and endurance, enhance learning opportunities, and ease challenges with daily tasks and routines.

More About Jessica, Lauren & Emily

Jessica graduated from East Carolina University in 2008 with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Since graduating, she has had experience working in several settings, including acute care, outpatient clinics, home health, and the school system; through working in all of these settings, Jessica has found that her passion for working with children and their families has grown stronger. She values working closely with her patients and their families in order to provide the most comprehensive and individualized treatment plans. In her spare time, Jessica enjoys reading, gardening, cooking, and being outside with her husband and twin sons.

Lauren graduated from Elon University with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. Lauren has always had a passion to work with children. While in school she completed a majority of her clinical rotations in pediatrics, including both the outpatient and school system settings. She is a Certified Autism Specialist through the International Board of Credentialing and Continuing Education Standards. Lauren is a huge sports fan and loves cheering on the NC State Wolfpack and Carolina Panthers. In her free time she also enjoys cooking, going to the beach, and spending time with her family.

Emily graduated from High Point University in 2020 with a Doctorate in Physical Therapy.  Since her first semester of PT school she knew she had a passion for pediatrics, neuro, and serving Hispanic populations. Her final clinical rotation included Early Intervention in the East Carolina area. Emily is a Georgia Bulldog fan and enjoys spending her free time outdoors, traveling, cooking, and hanging out with her dogs and family.

Stay turned for more Staff Spotlight Vlogs with our amazing team! Meet them HERE and keep an eye out to see them in more videos soon.

Physical Therapy

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 #2: Speech Therapists Brandi and Katie

Welcome to our 2nd Staff Spotlight Vlog with Speech Therapists Brandi and Katie!

This video features two of our speech therapists, Brandi Ayscue and Katie Fry.  Both Brandi and Katie completed their clinical internships with Carolina Therapy Connection and joined our team right after graduating from East Carolina University.  Brandi and Katie bring a lot of FUN and laughter to our team! They are both very driven and passionate about helping children with special needs. Check out this fun video to learn more about our CTC family and our culture!

 

 

Subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more fun videos and behind-the-scenes with our team!

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