Thomas

| Washington Elks Therapy Program for Children

The shift to Teletherapy services has been hard for many of “Our Kids”, as well as for the therapists. Not being in person, not having physical contact often changes interactions and makes providing therapeutic activities more difficult. Yet, then there are kids like Thomas, who have thrived with this style of intervention! Thomas was born 6 weeks early, with a long list of concerns. He started early intervention services at 18 months, has had many years of evaluations, testing, various therapies, and finally landed with the Elks therapy program in late 2019, just before the pandemic. For Thomas, participating in therapy over the computer has been both fun and rewarding- it has been unlike any service he received in the past, making it novel and interesting. Over the past year and a half, 6-year-old Thomas has had HUGE gains in skills. His family has shifted to a home-school model, and coupled with weekly Elks Teletherapy and speech therapy support, Thomas is learning new skills weekly. He looks forward to weekly therapy sessions and interacts eagerly with his therapist. He can hardly wait to see what new activity is planned, and often arrives at sessions with his own goals and eager to show off what he has learned the previous week. He has incorporated new skills that help him improve focus and manage his activity level and his anxiety has decreased—empowering him to have more confidence in his own abilities. His hand tremors are nearly gone now, and he is loving crafts, drawing and intricate building. Thomas has learned to tie his own shoes- and ALL the other shoes in the house, he is writing now, learning to read, and is now mastering the organizational skills he needs to be successful with his schoolwork. Both Thomas, and his therapist are looking forward to working in-home again, as clearly working in a lower stress environment (vs. clinic or school), has made all the difference for him.

THANK YOU TO ALL THE ELKS AND FRIENDS WHO MAKE THIS OPPORTUNITY POSSIBLE!

Washington State Elks Association