Can you tell us a little bit about your role at Neo Kids
I have been a physiotherapist at the Children’s Treatment Center for over 21 years. Physiotherapists working in the pediatric setting assist children with their gross motor development. Depending on the age and diagnosis of the child this can vary significantly from learning to sit, crawl or walk to more advanced skills such as jumping, hopping or riding a bike.
How did your team choose which items would be best suited for your Smilezones?
The physiotherapy group requested to have the gym space renovated since it is the most commonly used area by the team. It also previously included a kitchen space which was not being used in that capacity. By removing the fridge, sink and cabinets we were able to gain so much more useable space.
What features from the Smilezones do you like best or find the most useful as a Physiotherapist?
There are so many great features, it is difficult to choose! The atmosphere that has been created by the amazing artwork however has to be one of my favourites … from the bright, bold, colors to the depiction of our Northern Ontario heritage, the space feels so much more warm and inviting. The custom-made privacy screens have also allowed us to provide more discretion to our families when multiple therapists are sharing the space which is another great feature.
What sort of reactions have you seen from the kids when they enter or engage with the Smilezones?
Children can’t wait to enter the newly transformed gym! We see them smiling, pointing to the artwork and trying to verbalize what they are seeing.
Have the new Smilezones changed how you interact and work with the kids?
Absolutely! The creation of more dedicated treatment areas has helped children with limited attention to maintain their focus during treatment.
Are there any times when the Smilezones helped a patient with their treatment?
Every day we see children being more engaged in their therapy sessions. The warm and inviting atmosphere has helped to alleviate some of the fears and anxieties that children and their families deal with when faced with the thought of coming for therapy.
How have the Smilezones affected the staff at Neo Kids?
The entire staff at the Children’s Treatment Center was so enthusiastic about this renovation. Everyone supported the project whole heartedly and we are so very grateful to have been chosen by the SmileZone team.
What is the biggest change you have noticed since the transformations?
There is an overall sense of renewed excitement among the therapists since the renovation took place. Children seem to be happier when coming for therapy which is a significant contributing factor to their success. We feel like the renovated space finally captures the spirit of what the Children’s Treatment Center should be and are proud to have been a part of such a great organization. Thank you SmileZone!