Bridging the Gap

Washington Elks Therapy Program for Children

The Elks Therapy Program has existed since its inception to provide therapy services to children who might otherwise fall through the cracks. These might be related to insurance or transportation or limitations in access.

Elks therapists often find themselves as a part of “Team Suzy”, working to find the best solutions for their clients. Frequently these teams may be looking at how to bridge the gap between home and school; two of the places children spend most of their day. The team is helping to analyze the resources available in each location, evaluating what is working well and what improvements can be made to smooth the daily transition between the home and school environments.

A solution could be as simple as a communication journal, or it might be a collaborative approach to ordering equipment such as a wheelchair or activity chair, or a synchronization of one or more communication devices, such that the menus available to the child are the same between devices.

Time spent collaborating is frequently a win for everyone involved. Different members of the team are able to share not only their goals for the child, but the activities that have been successful in working towards that goal. Sometimes it is eye opening to see that what is working in one setting is falling apart in another setting, through no fault of anyone.

Elks Therapists are uniquely poised to help bridge the gaps and can play a valuable role when advocating for Suzy. We have the unique perspective to see the physical layout of the child’s environment, the interpersonal relationships, and dynamics of the family, and we are not limited by the “educational relevance” of an issue. We can pick up where another service leaves off. And as outside eyes, we can attempt to articulate why an intervention which may work in one setting, may not be as effective in another.

It is this individualized approach that families appreciate the most and is the gift that is Elks Therapy.