Sunday, October 22, 2017

Dr. Chaye Lamm Warburg and her team of occupational therapists have been offering their services in Teaneck since 2000. Conveniently located at 1415 Queen Anne Road, Pediatric Occupational Therapy Services (POTS) services children from newborn to 18 years of age. The oldest, free-standing pediatric therapy center in the area, POTS houses three sensory gyms offering one-on-one therapies. As recently as this month, they have enlarged their staff and services to include physical and speech therapy. As of Monday, February 27, in partnership with the Glenpointe Spa & Fitness, POTS is offering an integrated Mommy and Me class on Tuesday mornings for mothers and their tots ages 6 months to 2 1/2 years.

Dr. Warburg entered the field of occupational therapy when it was just a fledgling profession. Trained at both Columbia University and New York University, she earned a master’s degree in motor learning and a clinical doctorate in occupational therapy. Licensed in 1976 in both New York and New Jersey, Warburg has served as an instructor in the master’s programs in occupational therapy at both Columbia and NYU. She opened her first OT clinic in Englewood in 1991 and subsequently moved to Teaneck. Many of the therapists at POTS have been working at the center for 10 to 20 years.

Referrals to POTS come from pediatricians, schools, neurologists, psychologists as well as parents. Diagnoses range from identifiable conditions such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and autism to less-evident symptoms that manifest themselves in motor skills, behavior and self-regulation in infancy and beyond. These may include sensory processing disorders, difficulty coping with everyday situations, lack of focus and becoming overwhelmed to visual, oral and other sensory stimuli. School-aged children are assisted with classroom issues such as inability to follow routines, difficulty in socialization, inappropriate actions in a group setting and lack of independence in performing tasks. Younger children are seen by therapists in the center during the day and older children are accommodated before and after school hours. Some children are seen in school settings and in their actual classrooms if it is determined that this will provide the most beneficial therapy for them. Quite recently, an arrangement has been made with Yeshivat He’atid for POTS therapists to work with their students in the sensory gym at the school.

The POTS facility consists of seven treatment spaces including three sensory gyms. “The Big Room” offers a high degree of challenge for sensory processing, self-regulation and gross motor skills. “The Ball Pit Room,” outfitted with toddler and preschool toys, provides powerful input for body awareness and sense of body in space. “The Climbing Wall Room,” where evaluations take place, provides the least stimulation and opportunities for moderate proprioceptive and vestibular (movement) input, and lots of opportunities for tactile play. The center also provides quiet space for working on fine motor coordination, speech and feeding. “The Medek Room” has equipment for working on achieving developmental motor milestones with infants and toddlers. Messy play, water play and a full gamut of arts and crafts happen in the kitchen. The entire facility is painted in lively and friendly colors and the walls are adorned with happy pictures and the colorful, artistic quilts created by Warburg herself.

The joint venture with the Glenpointe Hotel came about as a result of the four previous summers that Warburg and her POTS therapists provided occupational water therapy to the young clients. According to Warburg, “Water is highly therapeutic for children with difficulty in coordination, motor planning, sensory processing and self-regulation.” In seeking out a venue other than the outdoor pool they were using in the summer, Warburg was introduced to the facility at the Glenpointe. “The management and staff at the Glenpointe have shown a strong commitment to integrating youngsters with special needs into their aquatic facility.” The 40-minute aqua Mommy and Me sessions on Tuesday mornings for typically developing infants and tots and their mothers, together with tots with special needs, are an amazing way to get children comfortable in the water, socialize, exercise their brains and strengthen their muscles.

“We are delighted to announce that C.P. Koenig, a highly professional swimming instructor with an exemplary gentle nature, will guide the sessions,” said Warburg. CP understands the power of the water and how to adapt to the pace and level of a class for each individual child. “Our Mommy and Me program will run year-round.”

To apply for the inaugural integrated Mommy and Me program, email [email protected] To contact Dr. Chaye Lamm Warburg about the many services provided by POTS, email [email protected] or [email protected].

By Pearl Markovitz