Expressing 'GREATitude'

A local children’s therapy company grants classroom wishes.

When Diana Fongheiser and Pam Beckett were in the early stages of forming their Conshohocken-based company, Pediatric Therapeutic Services, to assist students with physical, occupational and speech therapy needs, they wanted to ensure that the schools who contract with them get some value-added benefit beyond transactional business. And so, the duo has run with this philosophy since 1998.

PTS therapist Stacey Cuddeback (right) requested a sand-and-water table for her classroom through the GREATitude Program.One of PTS’ most interesting features is its “GREATitude” Program, implemented two years ago. Therapists can submit wishes for the classrooms in which they work—like inflatable stability balls or a sand-and-water table to further the sensory processing capabilities of autistic children. Two wishes are granted each month on PTS’ dime.

Despite the fact that PTS is a for-profit service, the ultimate goal is to see progress in learning and independence at every level for children and teenagers who need extra attention or accommodations.

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“We take a really holistic, global perspective of the experience that students and teachers have,” says Fongheiser. “We want to improve the whole environment of the school.”

PTS also provides free services to its education partners, which include schools in the Haverford Township and Radnor Township school districts, plus Overbrook School for the Blind. For example, the company offers complimentary training sessions for parents and teachers on topics like executive function, handwriting and identifying sensory-seeking children.

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