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Tuesday, August 16, 2022
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When The Jewish Link first covered The Therapy Place (December 2018), a company offering occupational and speech therapy, the practice had already built a strong reputation in Ocean County and recently expanded to establish an outpost in Highland Park.

Since then, in the words of founder and director Leah Gross, The Therapy Place “has grown a lot!” And that growth is evident in many ways.

As Gross explained: “The Therapy Place provides services for children ages 0-21 and specializes in pediatric occupational and speech therapy. Pediatric occupational therapy addresses fine motor, gross motor, sensory processing, visual motor, visual perception and self-care. An occupational therapist may help a child to read, write, get dressed independently, navigate the playground, and help them to learn to self-regulate, to name a few.

“Pediatric speech therapy addresses receptive and expressive language. This includes language processing, articulation, social engagement. A speech therapist may help a child to understand questions asked of them, process commands and express their wants and needs. A lot of language goes into social engagement as well, and a speech therapist will help a child obtain the tools to engage socially.”

The Therapy Place now has three locations—one in Lakewood, one in Jackson, and one in Highland Park. The practice provides services to over 600 clients a year and has a staff of 50 occupational and speech therapists (a marked expansion from the 20 therapists it had in late 2018).

Experienced professionals oversee their two service areas. Alana Obuhovs, MS, CC-SLP, is the director of speech and language therapy. Shifra Gibber, OTR/L, is the supervisor of occupational therapy. Gross, an occupational therapist with over 14 years of experience, now spends much of her time as director of the growing practice.

In Central New Jersey, The Therapy Place operates in a newly updated clinic located at 1119 Raritan Avenue in Highland Park that features five fully equipped rooms and a staff of 16, including 15 therapists and a full-time receptionist.

They have also founded a sister company, Circle Care Services, also based in Highland Park, that provides applied behavioral analysis (ABA) services and works with children with autism throughout New Jersey.

The Therapy Place works with all major health insurance providers and, as a courtesy, will check with prospective clients’ health care plans to make sure they will provide coverage for their services. They will also provide a free assessment to each prospective client to gauge if the child is developmentally “on par” or if they need occupational or speech therapy.

All of the practice’s offices offer clients a range of options to schedule therapy sessions for their children, including in-school sessions in many yeshivot, and in-clinic sessions on Sundays, evenings, and Fridays.

In Central New Jersey, The Therapy Place has developed strong ties with seven yeshivot, offering in-school sessions at the Kushner Yeshiva in Livingston, the Jewish Educational Center in Elizabeth, Yeshiva Shaarei Tzion Boys School and Yeshiva Shaarei Tzion Girls School in Piscataway, Yeshiva Shaarei Tzion PreSchool in Highland Park, the Rabbi Pesach Raymon Yeshiva in Edison, and Yeshivat Netivot in East Brunswick.

The practice has also developed a number of options to engage with parents of clients outside of regular therapy sessions, offering helpful information via a frequently updated WhatsApp group; a blog on their website (www.therapyplacenj.com) that features new posts a few times a month; a monthly newsletter; and now a YouTube channel, Live with Leah, with short videos providing practical advice for at-home exercises.

The Therapy Place also takes pride in the professional development activities it offers their occupational and speech therapists at the Lakewood location, which includes get-togethers where the therapists can share experiences and learn about new practices in their fields.

Asked by The Jewish Link about the challenges the practice has faced and overcome in the past few years, Gross identified COVID complications as the most difficult. Finding therapists who were comfortable conducting in-person therapy sessions was not always easy over the past two years. Addressing clients’ different preferences with masking, while still providing effective services, was also a continuous work in progress.

Looking ahead, Gross hopes to build on their collaborative model with yeshivot and forge ties with other schools, as well as to open more and larger clinics throughout New Jersey.

One of the surest signs of the impact of The Therapy Place are the glowing reviews they receive online. The Jackson office has received 47 very favorable Google reviews, with an average score of 4.9 stars. The newer Highland Park office has seven Google reviews, averaging 5 stars.

In a recent Google review of the Highland Park office, Natalie Jonas states: “My daughter receives speech and occupational therapy through The Therapy Place. The therapists work with her at school (which is beyond convenient), and they are absolutely amazing. They are skilled and creative and kind and EFFECTIVE! They are communicative and share goals and milestones with me regularly. They work collaboratively with me and my daughter’s teachers and other providers, and are so professional and caring. … Working with The Therapy Place has been an easy and wonderful experience all around!”

For more information on the services of The Therapy Place and their hours and locations, please visit their website at
www.therapyplacenj.com

Please stay tuned for more pediatric occupational therapy and speech therapy information, in articles prepared by The Therapy Place, to appear in this publication in the months ahead.

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