Join The Conversation With Mishpacha's Weekly Newsletter

Brain Trust

Michal Eisikowitz

Just off Boro Park’s 17th Avenue, two sisters merge passion, professionalism, and a relentless pursuit for knowledge in a thriving occupational therapy practice. Here’s what they want you to know about child development — and the effective approach to choosing a therapist.

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Tuesday morning, the appointment book showed three back-to-back appointments for occupational therapy (OT) evaluations. Eight-year-old Pinchas*, nine-year-oldMeryl, and twelve-year-old Shaindy arrived separately with their parents. Pinchas, a sweet boy with a history of delayed milestones who’d received OT services from birth, used to enjoy reading. Now, he’d agree to a book only if it was read to him; when forced to read himself, it took ages. Bright and imaginative,Meryl excelled in verbal expression. Academics had always come naturally to her, but she’d recently begun showing difficulty reading and writing. A three-page exam took her hours, teachers complained. Shaindy had trouble reading both Hebrew and English. At age eight, a therapeutic movement program improved her reading for a while, but as she got older and intensive board copying and complex reading assignments became standard, she started drowning. All three presented with the identical problem — reading issues — and a lightweight evaluation by novice professionals might have yielded similar treatments. But for Friedy Guttmann Singer andRoizyGuttmann, veteran occupational therapists who believe in comprehensive, exhaustive testing, the commonality ended there. “You have to look behind the symptoms, find the underlying issues,” Roizy says. Together the sister-colleagues run Hands on OT Rehab Services, established in 1999 in the heart of Boro Park. With over 5,000 children evaluated, and hundreds more treated to date, the practice has earned a reputation for effecting lasting change in children with sensory, anxiety, social, or behavioral issues. Its magical approach? The fact that there is none.

To read the rest of this story, please buy this issue of Mishpacha or sign up for a weekly subscription

Share this page with a friend. Fill in the information below, and we'll email your friend a link to this page on your behalf.

Your name
Your email address
You friend's name
Your friend's email address
Please type the characters you see in the image into the box provided.

Weekly Struggle
Shoshana Friedman Cover text: promise big and deliver what we promise
Only Through You
Rabbi Moshe Grylak A response to last week’s letter, “Waiting in Passaic”
Are You Making a Kiddush Hashem?
Yonoson Rosenblum In communal affairs, “one bad apple…” often applies
Chance of a Lifetime
Eytan Kobre I identify with the urge to shout, “No, don’t do it!”
Work / Life Solutions with Bunim Laskin
Moe Mernick "You only get every day once"
Seeking a Truly Meaningful Blessing
Dovid Zaidman We want to get married. Help us want to date
Shivah Meditations
Rabbi Emanuel Feldman Equivalence between two such polar opposites is puzzling
Magnet Moment
Jacob L. Freedman Everyone’s fighting a battle we know nothing about
Secrets and Surprises
Riki Goldstein Top-secret suits Eli Gerstner just fine
Blasts of Warmth
Riki Goldstein Keeping the chuppah music upbeat in low temperatures
Behind the Scenes
Faigy Peritzman The intrinsic value of each mitzvah
Good Vision
Sarah Chana Radcliffe Good or bad, nice or not? What you see is what you get
Day of Peace
Mrs. Elana Moskowitz On Shabbos we celebrate peace within and without