Parents of children with disabilities can find physical therapy support at All Abilities Physical Therapy and More for Kids.
The 3326 Austin Bluffs Parkway pediatric physical therapy clinic serves pediatric patients with functional deficits, neurological diagnoses and developmental delays.
Diane Baggs, owner of Strive Physical Therapy, said All Abilities fills a need in Colorado Springs. Her adult-based clinics were getting a lot of referrals for pediatric patients and sending them on, but the only clinics were in the Denver area.
When Samantha Cohen, owner of All Abilities Therapy who holds board certification as a pediatric specialist, approached Baggs about renting space in her clinic to provide pediatric support, Baggs told her, “you need a whole business.”
“We’ve heard stories of parents going multiple times up to Denver for the medically complex children because there simply wasn’t any place, they were comfortable going to,” Cohen said.
She had always been interested in opening her own clinic one day, but found in the Springs area “there weren’t a lot of places that cater to very medically complex kids,” Cohen said, including those who may have spent time in the neonatal intensive care unit, or who are older and use wheelchairs.
“We realized the best thing we could do was partner together, to help serve this population that doesn’t have a lot of access to these therapies,” Baggs said.
Most of Cohen’s patients are non-verbal, so she takes care to provide creative opportunities for the children. The therapy room at All Abilities Therapy is a large space full of toys and puzzles.
“We use games and play to achieve those functional activities,” said Cohen.
Though soft-spoken, Cohen has an obvious strong desire to help as many children as possible. “I really do love what I do,” said Cohen.
Baggs added, “When you find passion and purpose, it’s so important.”
Cohen explained the difference between serving adults versus children in need. “In the adult population we are trying to restore function,” she said. Whereas in “pediatrics they (the patients) were never able to do something, or they are trying to find a different way to do something,” such as walking for the first time or learning to function after an amputation.
She supports parental participation in all facets of a child’s therapy.
“You have to be applying these things throughout the week,” Cohen says, noting she encourages parents to carry over the same activities at home that she provides in the clinic to continue the child’s improvements.
Provider Liasion Allison Wisdom said All Abilities Therapy accepts Medicaid and Tricare and is credentialling with other insurance companies. Because Colorado is a direct-access state, anyone can call for an appointment without a doctor’s referral.
Wisdom is in the process of educating local providers about the new clinic. “We might be able to meet the needs of these kids because we have someone who understands the medical complexities,” she said.
“These kids need a team of providers … they need everyone working together to make sure we are on the same page.”
Cohen said she hopes the clinic will eventually be a one-stop shop, providing wheelchairs, braces and orthotics to its patients. For more information, call 469-693-2596 or visit allabilitiestherapy.com.