The New Director of Pediatric Therapy Shares Her Encompass Vision and Story

In February, Kim Kanzler stepped into the role of Director of Pediatric Therapy Programs at Encompass. Since she joined the organization over 8 years ago, she has been a leader in the development and growth of the Pediatric Therapy program at Encompass, which has grown to 16 therapists seeing over 200 children every week.

“As soon as I was named director, I started thinking about my vision for the pediatric therapy program and it’s simple,” says Kim. “I want the community to know they don’t need to have a big concern about their child to contact us. The help Encompass provides for both typically-developing children as well as children with developmental delays helps kids and families thrive with programs that help children feel confident and successful—academically, socially and physically—at a crucial time in their lives.” Kim

Encompass Has Been Part of Kim’s Family for Years Confidence and success are what most parents desire for their children—and Kim is a parent of Katie (11) and Jake (8). When her son was 5-years-old and started having behavioral challenges keeping his body calm at school, Kim knew where to go to quickly get support.

“Jake was fine academically but I didn’t want him to start kindergarten without the necessary skills to be successful at school. Sitting at a desk, standing in a line, keeping hands to himself and following directions are essential at this age.”

Less than one year of occupational therapy helped Jake learn how to regulate his body and maintain attention, which improved his overall classroom behavior.

“He’s still my spirited little boy but now he knows when to be crazy and when to slow down his body to learn,” says Kim. “He has great friends, does well at school and has nice handwriting—when he goes slow,” she adds with a smile.

Pediatric Therapy Helps Accomplish the Daily Work of Being a Child Pediatric occupational therapy is a broad category and is often defined with a lot of fancy words. But, at the end of the day, pediatric occupational therapy helps children accomplish their daily “jobs,” such as writing and drawing (fine motor skills), dressing themselves, participating at school, feeding themselves, brushing teeth and more.

Many children struggle with one or many of these tasks and just a bit of occupational therapy can help them succeed and move forward.

The Encompass pediatric therapy clinics (there are two—in downtown North Bend and Snoqualmie respectively) provide many pediatric therapies in addition to occupational therapy, including physical therapy, feeding therapy, parent-child interaction therapy, speech and language therapy as well as social skills classes and a program called Wired for ReadingSM. Both locations are conveniently located for families all over the Snoqualmie Valley and surrounding areas and offer innovative, professional and compassionate services in a family-friendly setting.

On the Leading Edge of Early Intervention in King County In addition to pediatric therapy programs, Encompass provides Birth-to-3 Early Intervention as well. As part of her new role, Kim is already working with the county and state as a part of committees to proactively keep Encompass on the leading edge of pediatric therapy. For example, recently King County released a 3-year plan for early intervention with a strong focus on the social/emotional development of children and Encompass has already trained early intervention staff on innovative programs that support social/emotional development—and this means the children in our community are poised to thrive right now.

Why Pediatric Therapy Is Important for Children of All Abilities “The first years in a child’s life are a time of rapid brain development that will never be matched again,” says Kim. “Parents can help their children take full advantage of this rich growth period by prioritizing developmental screenings and early intervention pediatric therapies to make major leaps forward in everything from language and speech development to interpersonal interaction. Children whose struggles are caught during this time see much better long-term progress results than those who are treated later.”

Next Steps
When parents have questions about their child’s development or areas of struggle, the first step at Encompass is often to do a developmental screening. Through a parent questionnaire, Encompass will screen children from age 3 months to 5 years old. Screenings take just 10 minutes per child. Results will be available immediately and parents will come away with a list of recommendations for next steps.

This is a prime opportunity to learn more about your child from the Encompass multi-disciplinary team of therapists and other staff experts. Schedule a free developmental screening by contacting Marsha Quinn at 425.888.3347 or marsha.quinn@encompassnw.org.

ABOUT ENCOMPASS PEDIATRIC THERAPY The Encompass Birth-to-Three Early Intervention Program supports optimal growth and development of infants and toddlers with developmental delays through comprehensive services that focus on in-home therapy and assessment, family support and individualized programs for each child.

Voted Most-Loved Pediatric Therapy by Macaroni Kid, our Pediatric Therapy program provides services on a fee-for-service basis for children from 1 to age 12 who have documented developmental delays.

CONTACT ENCOMPASS PEDIATRIC THERAPY425.888.3347

MORE ABOUT KIM:

Since March is Women’s History Month and because Kim is a notoriously great storyteller, we want to share a little bit of her Encompass story.

Flashback to mid-December of 2006 in North Bend: It was dark, stormy and we were about to get hit by what is now known as the Hanukkah Eve Windstorm (really, that’s what it’s called). This storm, which delivered gale-force winds and freezing temperatures to much of Washington, is also the backdrop of the beginning of Kim’s career at Encompass.

Kim had been working as a contractor for Encompass for a year and learned of the position when a friend emailed her about it. She interviewed for the staff role and received an offer. She asked for a little time to consider it—she had a newborn and a 3-year-old at the time—and that’s when the storm hit. There was no power and no way to contact Encompass to say she wanted to join the staff, so Kim piled the family in the car and took off in search of phone service. She’s the Encompass Director of Pediatric Therapy Programs today—and that’s our happy ending.

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