New Team Member Alexa Royer

My name is Alexa Royer, and I am from Brunswick, GA. I am the oldest of four siblings with one brother and two sisters adopted from China. My interests are spending time with friends and family, going to the beach, exercising, and watching the Bachelor. I became a pediatric Occupational Therapist because I have always wanted to do something helping others and I love kids. During my clinical fieldwork, I had the opportunity and experience working with children with Autism, ADHD, Down Syndrome, Developmental Delay, Cerebral Palsy, and Dyspraxia. I am very excited to be a part of Lowcountry Therapy because there are so many other therapists to learn from. I’m excited to help make a difference in my clients’ lives.

Barbara Interview

What is OG?

Orton Gillingham (OG) is a teaching approach designed to help children who struggle with reading, like those with dyslexia. It's multi-sensory, meaning the student can “see,” “hear” & “feel” what the instructor is teaching. OG is also language based, it teaches the connections between sounds and letters along with rules and patterns of language.

What does it take to become an OG instructor?

There are different levels of training and certification through the Academy of Orton Gillingham Practitioners and Educators (AOGPE) including: Classroom Educator, Associate, Certified and Fellow. I chose the Associate level training which requires a bachelors degree and begins with a 60 hour, in-person course followed by 100 teaching hours with observation and feedback sessions provided by a qualified mentor/training fellow. The training is intense and requires the instructor to commit several hours weekly in order to prepare lesson plans for each student.

What are signs that a child could benefit from OG services?

Some common signs include:

  • difficulty remembering letters/sounds
  • has a hard time with rhyming
  • struggles to recognize common sight words
  • has trouble hearing individual sounds in words and blending sounds to make a word
  • confuses or skips small words when reading (of, for)
  • poor spelling
  • has an easier time answering questions about a page of text if it’s read aloud
  • takes a very long time to complete reading assignments
  • avoidance and resistance to reading/low self-esteem

What is your favorite thing about OG treatment?

My absolute favorite part is seeing the look of confidence in a child who reads or spells a word independently for the first time. My goal is to work with parents to help each child become a competent reader, writer and independent learner.

For more information check out Orton-Gillingham: What You Need to Know

Orton Gillingham Instructional Approach

Orton–Gillingham: What You Need to Know

Examining the Effectiveness of the Orton-Gillingham Reading Approach for Poor Readers in Elementary School

Welcome to the Team!

Calvin Detwiler, Physical Therapy Assistant

Calvin Detwiler is an Ohio native who has recently moved to the lowcountry. He loves staying active, especially long distance running. Calvin is a Cleveland Cavaliers fan and enjoys eating pizza and pho.

Most recently Calvin has been exploring the possibilities of dance as a therapeutic intervention. He is also interested in Aquatics.

When asked why he wanted to join the LTC team, Calvin said…

“One great thing about Low Country Therapy is the collabrative approach to therapy between disciplines to create a fun, positive approach to therapy for kids of all ages!”

He brings five years of experience in the field to add to the awesome physical therapy team!

National School Backpack Awareness Day

Every September the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) selects a day to highlight the importance of proper backpack selection, fitting, and packing to help reduce the instances of backpack-related pain and injury.

Check out these quick tips to help decrease stress caused by improper selection, fitting, and packing of backpack

  • Select a lightweight backpack with well-padded straps.
  • The weight of your backpack should not exceed 10% of your body weight.
  • The backpack should extend from the shoulders to no lower than 4” below the waist.
  • The backpack should rest firmly on your back.
  • Heavy items should be packed in the back of the backpack, closest to your back.
  • Light items and sharp items should be packed in the front of the backpack.
  • Use both straps of the backpack to equally distribute the weight.

Additional Resources from the AOTA:

1, 2, 3’s of Basic Backpack Wearing

Backpack Strategies for Parents and Students

Employee Spotlight: Sarah Hanson

Tell me a little about yourself and your role at Lowcountry Therapy. How long have your worked at LT?

I moved here from Wisconsin 12 years ago. We planted ourselves in the Lowcountry and now have 3 boys - Henry (6), Fred (4), Kenny (1). I’ve worked here 9 years. I’ve been working since the doors opened. I was brought on as a clinical lead but since we’ve grown, they have added more leads for each discipline. I am a speech therapy lead.

3 Ice Breakers:

  1. Where is your favorite travel spot?
    My favorite travel spot would be somewhere tropical that is all-inclusive.
  2. If you could pick one person to have lunch with, who would it be?
    My husband, Dale. We have been married 9 years. We actually got married right before I started working here.
  3. If you were participating in a beauty pageant, what would your talent be?
    I would play the French horn. I’ve been playing since I was in the sixth grade. I play the French horn in the Savannah Wind Ensemble at Georgia Southern.

What does a typical day at work look like for you?

Throughout the week I treat approximately ten to fifteen patients. When I am not treating I am performing lead duties which include scheduling, mentorship, and on-boarding new therapists.

What is your favorite part about your role at Lowcountry Therapy? What do you like most about your job? Why?

I enjoy all aspects of my job, but if I had to pick I would choose treating patients. I am passionate about helping people, and I love the challenge. I love seeing the children grow and make progress. It is such a rewarding feeling to make someone else’s life better.

What is the most challenging thing about your job?

It is difficult to balance scheduling, lead duties, and mentorship with treatment and paperwork, but I love it all!

What is a fun fact that your patients do not know about you?

My favorite car is an El Camino.

Meet Maybel the therapy dog

Coming soon! We are so excited to announce Lowcountry Therapy’s newest recruit!

We interviewed with our own Occupational Therapy Assistant Haleigh Rumsey, COTA who is the owner and trainer of Maybel.

Q: How long have you had Maybel?

A. I’ve had Maybel since she was 9 weeks old. She turned 2 this in April.

Q: Did you intend for Maybel to be a therapy dog when you adopted her?

A. Yes, I adopted Maybel specifically to train her to become a therapy dog. This impacted my choice of breed majorly. I wanted a labradoodle due to the hypoallergenic coat paired with the intelligence and temperament of the Labrador and Poodle combined.

Q. What does it mean to be a therapy dog?

A. A therapy dog is defined as a dog trained to provide affection and comfort to people in hospitals, retirement homes, nursing homes, schools, clinics, people with learning difficulties, and stressful situations, such as disaster areas. At Lowcountry a therapy dog could assist your child with impulse control, joint attention, ADL skills, transitions, executive functioning, and anxiety behaviors; just to name a few!

Therapy dogs receive extensive obedience training for a minimum of one year. Maybel passed the AKC- Good Citizens test in November.

Q. What are a some of Maybel’s favorite things?

A. She loves stuffed animals, playing fetch and eating ice! She also loves anyone who will rub her belly.

Stay tuned for Maybel’s Adventures!
Middle Name: Clementine
Pet Name: Meebs

Respite Night

At Lowcountry Therapy, we love volunteering and giving back to our community. It’s not only part our team culture but one of the foundations of our mission statement.

Lowcountry Therapy’s Mission:

  • We are dedicated to providing the highest quality therapy designed to serve each child’s potential.
  • We believe the participation of family and caregivers in the therapy process is fundamental to empower children to perform and participate in life’s activities.
  • We are committed to the support and growth of our professional team by promoting clinical excellence through continuing education, interdisciplinary teamwork and community outreach.

Volunteering outside of the clinic supports all of these invaluable beliefs, so we thought we would share our experiences with you.

Our team has partnered with the Lowcountry Autism Foundation and Island Playground to provide childcare for Parent’s Night Out. We have been participating in this event since July of last year.

Parent’s Night out is a 3-hour long respite program for parents/caregivers of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Parent’s can drop their children off (sign in first please) at Island Playground, an indoor activity gym. Licensed therapists and volunteers will be on hand to provide care for your kiddo.

In order to spread the word about this great event, we interviewed Ebony Sheats and Yelitza Sombredero, our Patient Care Coordinators at our Bluffton, SC office, about our most recent volunteer event- Parent’s Night Out. Here is what they had to say about this respite night

Question: Ladies, can you tell us about this respite night? What is it?

Yelitza: “Parent’s Night Out is held at the Island Playground. It’s a night for parents to go out and enjoy themselves or run errands. But some of them are definitely enjoying themselves. You can tell because they walk in all dressed up and come back with smiles on their faces and you can tell they had a good time.”

Ebony: “Not only did the parent’s have fun, but then they walk in a see how excited the kids are they are even happier.”

Yelitza: “Plus, I think they are even more excited when they see how exhausted they are from the night and they know they will get some sleep.” (laughs)

Question: What should parents expect at Parents Night Out?

Ebony: “I think they should expect the kids will have fun in a safe environment so there’s not need for them to worry. And, they get fed.”

Yelitza: “Yeah- they eat a lot. There is pizza from Giuseppe’s, veggies, fruit, water and this really good organic fruit juice.”

Ebony: “Yes, the fruit juice is excellent, and I think its sugar free, don’t quote me on that.” (lots of giggling from both)

Question: Why do you volunteer to help with this event?

Ebony: “It’s nice to see that kids outside of the clinic, having fun. We actually have fun too!”

Yelitza: “The kids get out of their comfort zone. Last month, one little boy would not let go of mom, then he would not go in the bouncy house. It took a while but by the end of the night- he was bouncing everywhere.”

Ebony: “He made a friend too.”

Question: How did you two help to get him out of his comfort zone?

Ebony: “Yelitza always volunteers me to go into the bounce house with them and then never gets in herself. The kids will always go in if I go in with them, and I like the bounce house too.”

Yelitza: “There are crafts too but Ebony never seems to make it out of the bouncy house and we are usually partnered up.”

Question: What else should parents know about Parents Night Out?

Ebony: “Parents should really take the opportunity to relax and enjoy themselves and if that’s hard for them, they should let the kids relax and enjoy themselves with each other. And wear socks!”

Question: When is the next Parent’s Night Out and how can parent’s sign-up?

Date: Aug 16th from 5:00pm- 8:00pm

Location: Island Playground

1538 Fording Island Rd, Suite 104, Hilton Head, SC 29926

Register now:

Aquatic Therapy

Lowcountry Therapy began offering aquatic therapy in the Bluffton clinic this year.

What is aquatic therapy?

Aquatic therapy is an evidenced-based skilled therapy practice that is administered by a therapist in an aquatic setting. The therapist utilizes the properties of water (buoyancy, resistance, temperature, and hydrostatic pressure) to provide an alternative and fun setting for therapy. Aquatic therapy is used to improve or maintain several areas including: strength, range of motion, functional mobility, aerobic capacity/endurance, coordination, gait, balance, agility, biomechanics/posture, sensory processing, and for relaxation.

Which patients are appropriate for aquatic therapy?

  • Children who need orthopedic or post-operative therapy?
  • Children with abnormal muscle tone
  • Children with muscle weakness or poor postural control
  • Children with decreased mobility
  • Children with neurological and/or sensory motor problems
  • Children who are working to develop higher level motor skills like breath control, coordination, balance, and galt
  • Children with sensory processing problems

If you think your child could benefit from aquatic therapy contact

For more information check out the link below.

National Hunger Awareness Day 2019 is observed on Thursday, June 6, 2019

Lowcountry Therapy Center will be holding a food drive on June 6th in observance of National Hunger Awareness Day.

40 million people face hunger in the U.S. today — including more than 12 million children and nearly five million seniors. Hunger knows no boundaries — it touches every community in the U.S., including ours.

This year, Bluffton Self Help will distribute more than 50 tons of food to the hungry in Bluffton and the immediate surrounding area. That amount will provide approximately 2,500 meals for our neighbors in need.

According to Bluffton Self Help, they are "in dire need of several items including canned meats (Chicken, Tuna), Rice, Pasta Sauce and Canned Fruits" and Help of Beaufort said "Because we are a Wellness Pantry we highly encourage nonperishable fruits and vegetables, canned protein like tuna, chicken, and salmon. Also, low sugar cereals, oatmeal, grits. We would not want any candy or cakes."









Kid Healthy Week annual observance

Every Kid Healthy Week is an annual observance created to celebrate school health and wellness achievements. This year the week is April 22nd - April 26th. this special week shines a spotlight on the great efforts schools are making to improve the health and wellness of their students and the link between nutrition, physical activity, and learning – because healthy kids are better prepared to learn! 

Start off the week by encouraging physical activity! Get away from screens and plan activities outside such as an obstacle course or a scavenger hunt. Packing a picnic basket and spending the day at the pool is one of my favorite activities.

Every Kid Healthy week isn't just about physical activity. It's also about proper nutrition. Choose my plate is a great resource to learn about proper nutrition and portion sizes. For this week I challenge you to try some new healthy foods/snacks and to drink less sugary drinks. 

Check out the links below for more resources!

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