It’s time to spotlight the one and only Megan! If you’ve been at PediaPlex for a while you probably have met Megan, or at least know of her. But for those who don’t, allow us to introduce you to her!
Megan is Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA) here at PediaPlex and works in our OT department. She is also a Registered Behavior Therapist (RBT) for our ABA Therapy department. Megan has worked at PediaPlex for 5 years; 4 years as a RBT and 1 year as a COTA. Megan graduated from Parker University in Dallas, Texas and went to high school at The Hill School in Fort Worth.
When Megan isn’t at PediaPlex you can find her enjoying time with her family and friends. They like to play cards, go swimming, play board games, go hiking and fishing in the mountains, and collect seashells when traveling to the beach. In Megan’s personal time she likes to work on writing short stories and learn more about ASL (American Sign Language). A fun fact about Megan is that she is on the Autism Spectrum.
“I think it is super awesome and the best superpower. I believe that Autism is not a disability, it is a different type of ability.”
Megan is also a published poet! When she was in seventh grade she entered a poem competition and was one out of ten poems chosen in the state of Texas. How cool!
When Megan was nine years old she was diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Dyspraxia, ADHD and an Auditory Processing Disorder. She struggled with simple tasks such riding a bike, or even balancing on one foot. She would fall down over 50 times a day and many times in school Megan would learn something and the next day it was like she had never seen it before in her life! Megan was constantly chewing on her shirts, could not use buttons, tie her shoes, or zip a zipper or wash her hair. She said that she also struggled interacting with peers in school and had a really hard time making friends. Some of these obstacles included feeding herself and having a functional conversations with same-age peers. Noticing these things, her mom, Sonia Kirkpatrick the owner of PediaPlex, sought out therapy services for her. She started receiving occupational therapy, physical therapy, speech therapy, social skills training, and counseling to help her overcome obstacles that she faced every day. Megan also went to a wonderful psychiatrist that helped her with ADHD medication to focus and wow did that open her eyes and change her world.
“I truly believe in what PediaPlex stands for and I personally find it enriching to know how many lives PediaPlex has changed. I knew from the day my mother opened PediaPlex when I was 14 years old that I wanted to be a part of that change. I love the environment at PediaPlex and I can’t imagine working anywhere else because the environment I work in everyday has helped me grow as not just a therapist, but as a person who has experienced the struggles that the children who attend therapy at PediaPlex are experiencing. I can give a firsthand experience to the parents whose children are unable to explain to them why they are upset or why they are having a difficult time interacting with others. I have been that kid that struggled and I understand how it feels. We know we are different and just to accomplish a task such as buttoning a shirt is a huge thing. I remember when I learned to ride my bike at the age of 13, I made my mom stop by at the physical therapist’s office just so I could run in and tell her! It was a huge deal for me! Most kids do not feel that kind of joy, it’s a normal milestone, but for me it was the ultimate accomplishment and I felt like one of the “normal” kids and I could be part of the neighborhood group. It is hard when you feel like you do not fit in.”
Megan received occupational therapy when she was 9 years old and she absolutely loved it. When she was in high school she says that she wanted to read more about what she had struggled with and why she was so “different” from other kids her age. As she was reading her old OT progress notes she was able to see where she had started out at as well as how much progress she had made. When she was going through and remembering the struggles she had with riding a bike, skipping without falling, and feeding herself it helped her decide that she wanted to be an OT. “I know how hard it is to know that you’re different or that you can’t do the same things as other kids/your friends and I wanted to be able to help kids of all ages overcome similar challenges without feeling different or incapable. My main passion as a COTA, and even as an RBT, is to help these kids succeed and to give them the best possible chance at overcoming any obstacle that comes their way.”
Each day as a COTA she is able to incorporate different activities and games to help her clients reach their goals. She loves to make each session fun so that the kids see it as play time instead of work time.
Like Megan mentioned, her mom opened PediaPlex in 2012 to help families in the DFW area receive the therapy services that they need. Over the last 10 years PediaPlex has added in additional services and expanded to have three locations in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. PediaPlex offers a multi-disciplinary team approach to multiple therapies all in one convenient location. At PediaPlex we believe in developing a cohesive plan and setting appropriate goals for a child’s treatment so that the family’s goals for their child are achieved. We focus on having strong communication between therapists so that we can collaborate on each child’s plan of care.
PediaPlex has locations in Southlake, Fort Worth, and Frisco and offers ABA therapy, speech therapy, feeding therapy, and occupational therapy. If you think your child would benefit from pediatric therapy services, please visit our website for more information!
-The PediaPlex Family