Every Journey Begins With A Single Step
As a paediatic physiotherapist for over 18 years now, I've been fortunate to be part of many firsts for many children and their families. The first independent roll from back to tummy, the first time transitioning in and out of sitting, the first moments of unsupported standing, and those much anticipated first steps. At times - as was the case this weekend for an 18 month old boy who took his first independent steps as his mom, dad and brother happily cheered him on - these firsts happen after only a short period of therapy. More often, the journey which leads to them is much longer. Yet, regardless, they are very special moments for the parents who are on their personal journey with their child, and for me as a therapist.
My personal journey to how and where I would work supporting children and their families also involved many "steps" along the way. Some, such as the transition to my final clinical placement at Zareinu Educational Centre, were initially frought with disappointment at not getting my much covetted paediatric placement at The Hospital for Sick Children. While others, such as the first time I met my now dear friend and mentor, Ramon Cuevas, were met with great anticipation. Yet, as with any journey, each step taught me something about myself and has been integral in moving me along my path. For example, although I didn't realize this at the time, it was that final placement at Zareinu which would lead me to creating my career long and lasting friendship with Ramon.
The road to building SDPT is my most recent step in my journey. Yet, even this has had bumps along the way. After more than 8 years as Clinical Director of Physiotherapy at blueballoon Health Services, I was thrust into a new situation when I was told, in January of 2013, that the company had declared bankruptcy. Although the remnants of blueballoon were purchased by Morneau Shepell and became a part of their Child Support Solutions divsion, I chose to move on. And, with that decision or step, so to speak, SDPT was created.
It has been over a year since I started SDPT. Again, I've faced the perpetual "bumps in the road" along the way. Yet, I couldn't be more pleased with the outcome. My office is a space where I enjoy spending time and, despite the challenges that families are facing with their children when they visit me there, it's a place where many moments of friendship, laughter and joy are shared - all mixed with a few tears when those firsts do occur.