What do you get when you combine a pediatric physical therapist, speech-pathologist, and applied behavior analyst? You get Manalapan’s newest business Pediatric Interactions, a private pediatric therapy practice treating children between one and 18-years-old.
Formed by Karitssa Barry, a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, Brenda Ogrodnick, a speech pathologist, and Annette Hardubo, a physical therapist, Pediatric Interactions provides an extensive approach to pediatric therapy by offering physical therapy, speech therapy, and applied behavior analysis (ABA).
Barry, Ogrodnick, and Hardubo have a lot of experience in their particular fields; they have all worked in early intervention programs, within out-of-district schools and within school districts, which is where they met. With all of their independent knowledge, they decided to collaborate and create a multi-disciplinary practice that services children of various age and disability.
At Pediatric Interactions, the therapists each serve clients in their own disciplines and then work together in a social skills group when a child has two or more issues. The social skills groups are mediated by two therapists at a time from two different specialties.
“In addition to being able to provide the clients individual therapy sessions within each of our disciplines, we are also providing these social skills groups that would combine multiple disciplines within that social skills group,” Barry explained.
The social skills groups help children improve their interaction with peers by focusing on motor or language skills. The groups are created based off of the children’s ages and needs.
Pediatric Interactions also incorporates typical peer models into the social skills groups so that the children can also learn from a child their own age - an approach that is not very common in other social skills groups, according to Barry.
“It’s really a recurrent need that we’ve heard from a lot of parents - that their kids need social skills and that they want a group format, but that there’s really no typical peers for them to learn off of in this group format," Hardubo said. "So, that’s a huge perk for what we’re trying to bring to the group.”
The number of one-on-one therapy sessions at Pediatric Interactions vary for each child, but the social skills group are set to meet once a week for 8 weeks. The structured schedule offers consistency, which allows the child to have multiple learning opportunities in the specific areas they are working on, Barry said. The therapists outline lesson plans during that 8-week span and ask the parents to commit to that time period so their child can benefit from the agenda.
The therapists also create home education for parents so the child's learning can continue at home. Each parent training is done on an individualized basis and provided on a consultative model. A parent training can be provided for all of the therapies at Pediatric Interactions. Parents can also observe therapy sessions and social skills groups at the practice so that they can see how the therapists are teaching their children and then utilize those techniques in a home environment.
Pediatric Interactions’ all-inclusive approach and combined therapies are what sets the business apart from other pediatric therapy practices in the area. Barry, Hadubo, and Ogrodnick chose Manalapan to open their practice because they saw a need and wanted to provided a service that was missing, according to Barry.
Pediatric Interactions is located at 47 Wilson Avenue in Manalapan. They opened their doors in December 2013. For more information on the practice and the therapists, please visit their website at http://pediatricinteractionsnj.com/.