Brightly coloured mats, a trampoline, even a giant inner-tube, catch your eye when you first walk into Purcell Pediatrics. That, and the smiling face of Catherine ‘Catty’ Kammann, who owns and operates the occupational therapy centre in Radium Hot Springs.
Ms. Kammann meets with families seeking support to succeed. When children struggle to learn, develop, or participate fully in daily activities, occupational therapists can help to set and achieve target goals in areas such as sensory processing, fine and gross motor skills, and daily living activities.
“Kids want to perform, and want to do well, and they do the best they can with what they’ve got. Our job really is to foster them to be successful,” Ms. Kammann explains.
Each child comes with his or her own unique sets of strengths and weaknesses, support network, and foundation on which to work. Ms. Kammann says there is certainly no ‘cookie cutter’ recipe for success, and each child is assessed and a program tailored to that individual and their family.
“If you think about a house, you need to have a really solid foundation. And we’re wanting kids and families to develop a solid foundation of skills,” says Ms. Kammann. “If you have that really good foundation, you can build all that higher level stuff on top. That higher level stuff can be academics, it’s social / emotional regulations and interactions, it’s language skills. So depending on where your gaps are, that’s where we want to build up the foundation.”
She offers assessments, individual therapy, specific interventions, and would like to offer group therapy as the need or opportunity arises for Valley families.
Ms. Kammann graduated with honours from McGill University’s Occupational Therapy program in 2005, launching her own practice in Canmore in 2009 before moving to the Valley in 2016. She recently opened Purcell Pediatrics in Radium.
Greta Joy has joined forces with Ms. Kammann at the new centre and will be offering therapeutic play through her company, Integrating Joy. Ms. Joy’s goal is to develop skills and social / emotional wellbeing for children through early years play.
“There’s a lot of misconceptions when it comes to play, that it doesn’t have value. But it has so much value,” says Ms. Joy. “Stressed brains don’t learn, so that is a huge part of what we both do. We reduce the stress response, so that we can open up. Psychologically speaking, kids usually demonstrate what they need help with. And if you come with the belief that they have inside them what they need to fix or heal, then you’re there like a catalyst, to witness and to guide.”
Ms. Joy has a masters in counselling psychology and 10 years training in play therapy as well as sand play. She hopes to start offering services this September, with therapeutic play and perhaps even attachment-based therapy parenting courses.
“We have a common approach, that we both love working with kids and families,” says Ms. Kammann. “Ultimately, we’re running two different practices out of here, offering two different services.”
Families do not need official diagnosed conditions, or referrals, to access services at either company.
Ms. Kamman says to parents on behalf of both Purcell Pediatrics and Integrating Joy: “You’re on a journey. We’d like to walk part or the whole journey with you, and hopefully we can make it a little easier, a little more straightforward.”
Integrating Joy and Purcell Pediatrics are hosting an open house meet and greet Thursday, June 13th from 4:30-7 p.m. The centre is located at unit 1 7585 Main Street west in Radium (Radium Plaza).
For more information, call 250-342-5766 or visit www.purcellpediatrics.com.