Thank you to everyone who visited the Boston Ability Center tent at Paddy’s Road Race and ran as part of Team BAC. It was a great day and a honor to be a part of a wonderful event!
Katie and I would like to thank Mark Kelly and everyone at Paddy’s Road Race for another great race. As predicted, we shaved an entire 5 minutes off our last race time! Thank you to friends and family for your amazing support!
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.
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.
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).
Come to Boston Ability Center’s Parent Night on Wednesday, October 10th with featured presenter Jess Wilson, author of the popular blog and discussion forum Diary of a Mom.
Kiandra is a graduate student from Hofstra University where she has completed the didactic portion of their Masters of Science program in Occupational Therapy. She will be joining our team for 12 weeks starting September 24th as part of her level 2 fieldwork experience. Her undergraduate studies at the University of Rhode Island included Kinesiology and Psychology where she interned a semester at Hasbro Children’s Hospital outpatient clinic and found her passion for occupational therapy. Her love for pediatrics comes from her nannying experience (10+ years!) in which she has been able to help care for children throughout the developmental life span, watch them grow, and gain their independence. She has level 1 experience in a child care center (young toddlers), school for children with developmental disabilities, and high school that served students with autism. Additionally, she is familiar with BAC as she volunteered to be a camp counselor for the Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy camp during in the summer of 2017 and is looking forward to being back! In her free time, she enjoys going to the beach, skiing, baking, and traveling.
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!
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!