Why I Love Paddy’s Day Road Race

Seven years ago when the Boston Ability Center first sponsored the Paddy’s Road Race, I challenged my friend Katie to do the race with me. By that time, Katie and I already knew each other quite well. Katie, 22, and I met in the Wellesley public preschool program well before it had its current name PAWS. Katie was 3, and I was – well, let’s just say it was 20 years ago. Since then we have woven in and out of each other’s lives. She cradled my daughter Grace in her arms not long after Grace was born and participated in the first ever Boston Ability Center photo shoot as we prepared to open our doors. We shared new classrooms, birthdays, graduations and other milestones such as learning to hop, skip and walk safely across a balance beam.

Last year I was honored to attend Katie’s transition planning meeting at Wellesley High School. As I looked around the room I saw the faces of the many people Katie had befriended along the way, each of them in awe of her comfort with public speaking, each of them in awe of what she had accomplished thus far. Today Katie is the hardest working 22 year old I know. She holds three jobs; as a teacher’s aide at The Bates School, a member of the waitstaff at Dunn Guerins and an aide at the Boston Ability Center. She is also working on growing her company “Colors of Katie” which features her own artwork. More importantly she has become this beautiful, strong young woman and a loyal friend. It’s possible that Katie and I have both been described by our family and friends as being stubborn. I sometimes wonder if that’s the reason we have been able to encourage and lean on each other along the way. That first year we ran Paddy’s together, we started out strong but panicked as we realized that 3 miles was quite a distance in the unexpected October heat. It took all of our combined determination and a lot of encouragement from our fans to cross the finish line. But when we did, it felt great.

This year, I’m proud to say we are a little more fit, thanks to Katie’s focus in the gym. Despite her busy schedule Katie has doubled down on her desire to be healthy. She easily meets her 10,000 steps per day goal, has boldly tried a variety of new, nutritious foods, and consistently exercises at Zumba and the BAC gym. I challenge any one of you to do more sit ups than Katie. Trust me, she will win. Better yet, I challenge you to set a goal and go after it with the same unwavering determination that Katie shows in everything she does. She sets a fantastic example for those of us lucky enough to call her friend.

Please be sure to look for us at Paddy’s on Sunday. We’d love your support! All proceeds from the race go to Athletes Unlimited, a truly remarkable organization.

Training for Paddy’s Day Road Race!

Many of our BAC friends are hard at work during physical therapy training for Paddy’s Day Road Race on Sunday, October 14th.

See pictures of Sophia (6 years old) and Stephen (13 years old): Sophia said she said she is excited “to run with her friend!” Another BAC Road Race participant, Stephen, had a foot surgery almost a year ago and has been working extra hard in physical therapy to improve his gait, endurance, and strength. He is looking forward to participating again this year with his family!

There is still time to register for FREE with the BAC team. Contact BAC front desk for more information on how to sign up!

Proceeds go to Newton Athletes Unlimited and supports year-round recreation programs to over 300 athletes with disabilities.


Learning Never Stops At BAC!

The Boston Ability Center takes pride in completing additional specialized trainings and learning about new research to provide best patient care. Last week, three of our BAC clinicians traveled to Portland, ME to take part in a four day training in the SOS Approach To Feeding.

The SOS Approach focuses on increasing a child’s comfort level by exploring and learning about the different properties of food. The program allows a child to interact with food in a playful, non-stressful way, beginning with the ability to tolerate the food in the room and in front of him/her; then moving on to touching, putting on lips, and eventually tasting and eating foods.

At the conference, clinicians learned that children who participated in a twelve week feeding group that used the SOS method increased their number of accepted foods by 41% (Boyd, 2007).

Whether your child is a picky eater, problem feeder, or somewhere in between, come see us at the Boston Ability Center to schedule a feeding evaluation and learn more.

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Mona is on the Move!

Mona is a sweet, kind little girl who came to the Boston Ability Center following a stroke resulting in right-sided weakness. At the time of her initial evaluation, she was unable to transition into sitting independently and crawling.

With the help of Mona’s BAC therapists, she is now crawling and using her right hand to eat fruit loops!  

Watch a video of Mona crawling!

Mona’s mom states, “Mona has come such a long a way since her start at BAC. Mona had a stroke at birth and presents with weakness on her right side. Thanks to BAC‘s research-based and individualized therapy, Mona is now crawling, kneeling, and independently using her right hand to grasp. The therapists are sensitive, motivating, and passionate. My husband and I look forward to her therapy visits to watch Mona laugh, play, develop, and to learn strategies and exercises to do at home. Thank you BAC!”

Mona’s therapists look forward to continuing to watch her grow.  

Stay tuned for other featured children that are achieving leaps and bounds at the Boston Ability Center!   

Meet Kaila, PT Student

Kaila is a student at MGH Institute of Health Professions completing her doctorate degree in physical therapy. She received her undergraduate degree in Mathematics and Education Studies from Colorado College in 2013. Her interest in physical therapy stems from her background volunteering and working in adaptive sports over the past ten years. As a ski instructor, she specializes in teaching those with developmental delays and visual impairments. She is excited to be joining BAC for her third and final clinical affiliation. She completed her previous two affiliations at Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital- Cape Cod and Brigham and Women’s Faulkner Hospital. In her free time, you’ll likely find Kaila coaching out on the ski mountain, backpacking across mountains, or reading a book.

We look forward to having Kaila a part of our BAC team!