In addition to winning over families with her warm smile and friendly demeanor, Physical and Occupational Therapist Lauren Elitzak is uniquely positioned to help participants in ESSC's Autism Therapy Services because of her dual certification. Lauren holds both a Master's degree in Occupational Therapy (OT) and a Doctorate in Physical Therapy (PT). She concurrently completed both programs at an accelerated pace, finishing five-and-a-half years of schooling in just over three years.
With the dual certifications, Lauren is able to blend the two disciplines to more effectively meet the needs of ESSC participants. Lauren uses her OT training in psychology and sensory integration and applies it during activities aimed to improve physical mobility limitations in a physical therapy session. Conversely, she's able to use her extensive knowledge of physical movement to support participants with gross motor challenges addressed in OT sessions.
Lauren, who decided to pursue these fields after she injured her back while doing gymnastics and discovered she had a great interest in physical and occupational therapy, finds many things about her role at Eastereals incredibly rewarding. "I love working with families and participants and getting to see them make progress…it can bring such joy," she said.
Watch Lauren's video above or visit https://youtu.be/NM9xUvXb-I4 to learn more about her experiences!