October 26, 2023 by HCDE Communications
On Wednesday, more than 75 Harris County Department of Education physical therapists and physical therapy assistants assigned to Harris County school districts delved into the latest research and best practices for children diagnosed with neuromuscular disorders. The workshop, spearheaded by Dr. Cosmo Kwok of Texas Children’s Hospital, aimed to equip therapists with techniques and knowledge to support students in Harris County schools.
“Our physical therapists expressed a need for additional information about neuromuscular disorders, and it’s important our division ensures they remain informed regarding best practices,” said Senior Director for School-Based Therapy Services Carie Crabb. “We know what it takes for therapists to bring their best to the students, teachers, and families they serve, and we want to help support them in that endeavor.”
Muscular dystrophies are caused by abnormal genes that interfere with the production of proteins needed to form healthy muscle. They cause progressive muscle weakness and degeneration, often resulting in the loss of the child’s ability to walk. Guidance from HCDE’s therapists aids these students so they can participate in school-based activities.
“For students with chronic illnesses like neuromuscular disorders, physical therapy is about helping them enjoy the good parts of life that include learning and having fun with their friends,” said Kristen Ewing, a physical therapist in Cypress-Fairbanks Independent School District. “This workshop has been beneficial in providing strategies to develop a seamless transition from school-based to medical-based physical therapy that will improve our student’s overall quality of life.”
The workshop emphasized how to identify critical clinical markers and highlighted the subtle differences and similarities between symptoms. Brittany Guidry and Sharon Malek, physical therapists also from Texas Children’s Hospital, shed light on treatment strategies and the significance of modifying tasks to cater to students as they transition to adulthood.
“Therapy Services provides more than the minimum amount of licensure renewal hours to our therapists because we believe in the value of lifelong learning,” said Crabb. “It being National Physical Therapy Month is a bonus because we get an opportunity to give extra TLC to our employees and let them know how valued they are at HCDE.”
To learn more about HCDE School-Based Therapy Services, visit hcde-texas.org/school-therapy.