As the ‘long timer’ on our therapy team (six years and 6 months), I want to describe the joy I feel working with Cindy and Bill Burroway, Physical Therapists and co-owners of Atlanta Children’s Therapy Associates. To describe what it is like to work for Cindy and Bill is to explain why I love the work we do. Helping children and their families is our passion. Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy and Speech Therapy are the tools that we use to support children and their families as they deal with prematurity, a developmental disability or a recent diagnosis.
I have held many Occupational Therapy positions as well as having taught in a pre-school while our children were young. Although I have enjoyed working as a therapist in the Peace Corps, at NIH, in a home for the elderly, in a medical/rehab center and in the school system, it has been working for Cindy and Bill where I truly feel that we can impact families and connect them to needed services. We work closely with programs such as Babies Can’t Wait, Lekotek, Parent to Parent, The Elaine Clark Center, The Frazier Center, private schools/day care centers, and public schools, when we are invited to observe, collaborate and/or attend IEPs.
Cindy and Bill Burroway have been role models for me in establishing good parent/family relationships and communication skills. Our jobs often mean getting to know the siblings, grandparents, care givers and school administrators and teachers. A typical day for me can involve evaluating a new referral, demonstrating an idea or technique to a parent/sibling, teacher and/or caregiver, and even a therapeutic session in the pool or on a playground. Our work involves collaboration with families and teachers for a new approach, or attending an activity at a school to observe how a child is fitting into a daycare or classroom. Although we do not have a clinic, we overlap at staff get togethers and I frequently call other team members to problem solve for the child and family’s best interest.
The best part of being an Occupational Therapist for me, is that I am always learning new ideas. In order to stay current in Georgia for our licensure, we have to keep up with continuing education. There is always a new course or strategy to learn. I feel fortunate to have taken a year long course in FloorTime, and attended weekend conferences in Handwriting Without Tears, CBIT for Tourette’s Syndrome, and countless other topics of relevance and interest.
Having a child with a disability is not always an easy road; having the compassion and professionalism of Cindy and Bill’s approach can help to navigate the medical and educational questions that are often part of the journey. Welcome to our first newsletter. Please let us know what areas you are interested in and any questions you have.
Teresa S. Shartar MS, OTR/L