Articles, Blog

Adolescent Rehabilitation Program at Shepherd Center

February 26, 2020

I got a call that she was in the
emergency room. He was diagnosed when he was 13 years old. That’s when they told
us he had a tumor. The hospital told us that Shepherd
Center’s the best in the world at what they do, and that would be his best
fighting chance to get back to the things he loved. We’ve had our adolescent
program now for decades, and so there’s an art to it. Our therapists that treat
the adolescents are so used to the things that impact that very special age. We take a very comprehensive
interdisciplinary team approach, and that’s not just including the therapist
it also involves the members of the family They work really close with
you and get you ready to go home and taken care of. My job as an OT is helping the kids get
that independence back, be able to get dressed, be able to take a shower, be able
to go back out with friends, drive again. One of our goals is just to keep them on
that developmental track, and a huge part of that is being around your peers,
getting motivated by your peers, seeing what they’re doing. I came out just ready,
you know, ready to get better, just work hard. The number of adolescents that we
get allows us to really build a very strong program, not only the physical but
also the emotional, the psychological, the return to school. I set up school
services for them and then I actually teach them the classes that they need. I’m doing it so I can keep my school credit I can move on to my next grade. We let kids be kids. We have such unique things here like prom, homecoming, we actually
even have Project Rollway, which is an adolescent fashion show. Every Friday, we
get together all the adolescents in the Center, and we do age-appropriate
outings or groups. A lot of times we go to Braves games, sporting
events, we go to the mall, to the movies, do a lot of adaptive video gaming, kids
love video games. I think the biggest thing is just having someone your age
going through the same thing you’re going through. You’re not alone in a
situation like this and you got people to talk to that will understand. I’m thankful for Shepherd Center for straight out giving me the opportunity to live my
life again. I had a young man who was 17 when he was
injured, and I remember that conversation on a day when he was having a hard time,
and I told him I don’t know what you’re gonna look like, but what I do know is
you’ll be okay, this will be okay, and it will all be good. It was seven years out of
his injury, and he was coming through town and texted me ahead of time saying
I want to come see you and I want you to meet my new girlfriend can I come by, and
I said absolutely and when we got done talking he left and I was standing
outside my office and he turned around and he said Cheryl you were right, and I
said about what, and he said it’s okay I’m okay, it’s all good. Hope is here.

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