By Jolie Koesters | Therapy News

Layce Howell, OT | Eufaula
Dr. Gaela Leatherman, PT | McAlester

Helping those entrusted to our care to live life to its fullest is a purpose shared by all of the therapy professionals at Total Rehab.

For our occupational therapists (OTs) and certified occupational therapy assistants (COTAs), working with patients of differing abilities, illnesses or injuries and advocating for inclusion are the roots of the profession.

To celebrate Occupational Therapy Month and Autism Awareness Month — both of which are in April — we share the story of Jace Blasengame, as told by his mother Kim.

“Early on, Jace was showing lots of developmental delays. He was behind other kids his age in many different areas.

Once he aged out of SoonerStart, an early intervention program offered by Oklahoma’s Department of Education, his pediatrician suggested putting him in occupational and speech therapy. At three years old, Jace still wasn’t speaking. He’d said a few words here and there, but then regressed into not speaking at all. Shortly after, Jace was diagnosed with non-verbal Autism.

Little did I know what a long and happy relationship we would begin with Total Rehab.

Jace is eight years old now, and still seeing his favorite therapists on a weekly basis. It’s been a long process, but he has met milestone after milestone, with thanks to everyone at Total Rehab.

The difference between Jace now and five years ago is like night and day. He absolutely loves going and working with the amazing therapists.

I can’t thank everyone there enough! They all feel like family.” ~ Kim Blasengame

Total Rehab’s OTs and COTAs continue to work with Jace on the many ordinary yet meaningful activities that add value to life and allow fuller participation in daily routines and roles.

“Jace is amazing,” says Greg Hall, one of Jace’s certified occupational therapy assistants.

“It is really cool to see him progress in various areas of life. Jace often surprises me. He’s a reminder to not put limits on children – especially children with Autism.”

If you or a loved one are dealing with barriers due to disability, injury or illness, we can help.

To make an appointment with one of Total Rehab’s occupational therapists, call 918-423-2220.

April 20, 2021