In person OT sessions at Great Kids Place are invaluable to meet the sensory needs of my son so that he can feel comfortable within his body.
When Zoom sessions were offered following the temporary closing of Great Kids Place due to Covid-19, I felt skeptical. I was unable to imagine how the random toys and objects in my home could even begin to substitute for the in person experience of our weekly sessions. We surely don’t have professional grade equipment and more importantly, Michele wouldn’t physically be present to offer her guidance and support.
We have been doing Zoom sessions now for several weeks and I am pleasantly surprised how well they are going. We use items such as painters tape, pillows, stuffed animals, and furniture to create obstacle courses and fun games my child enjoys and benefits from sensory-wise. Other than the actual sessions themselves, the best part is that we now have permanent access to the obstacle courses and games created in sessions. This has been very helpful as we continue to practice social distancing and are mainly confined to our home. My son loves teaching his little sister the new games and sharing his obstacle course creations with his dad at the end of the day. I feel so grateful that we can still keep our weekly Monday morning sessions and my son can get his sensory needs met in the comfort of our home.
You have helped our son tremendously. He started rock climbing, (and made it to the top), swim lessons and is excited to join other activities and we owe that all to you. Thank you for everything you have done. There aren’t many people who understand our son, but we are so grateful when we find them.
My son, now 7, has been seeing occupational therapists since he was 2 and while they were all helpful, Michele has been life changing! Within a few short months, he was able to swing independently, buckle his own seatbelt, etc. He is also conquering more sensory activities like helping in cleaning out his own pumpkin at Halloween, making slime, and letting a goat eat treats out of his hand!! The facility is clean, colorful, and inviting — every aspect of the castle and treehouse rooms so thoughtfully considered. Michele, Liz, Laura, and Erica are wonderful — kind, caring, and engaging. They really understand not only the physical and educational impact, but also the social emotional impact of our son’s challenges and that has made a huge difference for him, and for us. Parents are very much a part of the team, questions are always answered, and everyone is incredibly responsive to phone calls, emails, etc. My son has participated in individual OT sessions, group handwriting, yoga, and Superhero Flexible Thinking classes. Every therapist has been fantastic and every program beneficial. Michele believes strongly in making sure that every program benefits every child and she will be honest and proactive about addressing the situation if she feels a child is not getting what they need. She is a wonderful advocate for all of her kids!
Words can hardly express how grateful we are to Great Kids Place, Michele Parkins and their roles in our lives. My daughter used used to be an enigma to me, I was at a loss at how to help her or connect with her. I have seen her continue to grow physically, verbally and increase in her ability to communicate with others. A big departure from other therapists and modalities that I have encountered is that I am very involved in each session. As an active participant during therapy I am learning strategies and techniques to use in our day to day life. Great kids Place is a special place and we are so glad it’s a big part of our lives.
Great Kids Place is just that! (10 not 5 stars!!) We have gone to other Occupational Therapy Centers and therapists and they’re not even in the same league as Great Kids Place. My son has been coming to Great Kids for the last year and a half and he always wants to go! He told us it’s one of his favorite places to be. He has taken yoga at Great Kids since the fall and it’s been amazing! For a child who couldn’t take a deep breath much less let you wash his face- to be able to do both because he was “doing yoga in his mind” is miraculous. My son and ultimately our whole family have benefited from coming to Great Kids Place. The unbelievable support, attention, education and connection to other resources have broadened our lives so much. It’s truly a miracle! Thank you so much Michele and Great Kids Place!
We had a remarkable turn around for my daughter after just a few sessions. Michele also teaches my daughter to manage herself and help her become aware of what she needs. Her emotional state has changed dramatically. She was on fight or flight all the time because she was so besotted with proprioceptive sensory issues. School and insurance OT were exhausted. My son will be going soon. It’s been a true miracle. Michele is so flexible, understanding and knows exactly what she is doing. My daughter loves her!
I have had experience with 3 programs at Great Kids Place- Handwriting, Superhero Flexible Thinking and Individual OT. We have had wonderful experiences and great success with all the programs. More importantly, the therapists/staff Michele, Liz and Laura are fantastic. As a mom I always feel supported, heard and a member of the team. My children have made such gains and always look forward to their sessions. We are so very lucky to have found Great Kids Place!
Tremendous OT! We absolutely love it here! My son feels comfortable, safe and has fun- so he is able to grow and learn! With so many rooms to choose from, he gets everything he needs and more. Highly recommend Great Kids Place and Michele!!!
Great Kids Place is a fantastic provider of Occupational Therapy services. Michele, owner and practitioner is an energetic, thorough, thoughtful and experienced occupational therapist. My son is autistic and has many significant challenges as a result. Michele is able to effectively address each area that he struggles with. She is supportive and respectful in her work with my son, and has built a relationship with him based on trust and mutual engagement. I can say that without this trust and mutual affection my son would not have the confidence to attempt the activities that are most challenging for him and would not be able able to move past the anxiety and fear that often holds him back. She is an amazing collaborator and is always willing to listen to my ideas and thoughts and to integrate them into the therapeutic goals we together create for my son. I emphatically recommend Great Kids Place.
Michele and Liz are very talented Occupational Therapists who really tune in to each child’s individual differences. Their work not only promotes development and growth through meaningful activities and exercises, but also fosters children’s independence as they learn they can tackle any task when they are loved for who they are. Children who attend Great Kids Place truly look forward to coming to their sessions and their self-esteem and confidence flourishes as a result! When therapists like Michele and Liz presume competence and provide an environment where children are invited to participate versus expected, not only will their progress generalize to other settings, but they will be internally motivated to try new things, become more independent, and actively participate in interactions and activities with both adults and peers.
Thank you Great Kids for doing what you do!
Words can not even begin to express how wonderful Great Kids Place is and how grateful we are to Michele Parkins. We had two prior experiences with Occupational Therapists and their centers and they were not even in the same league as Michele and Great Kids Place. The center itself is fully equipped with fun and engaging “therapy” tools. (Room size castle, ball pits, zip lines, swings galore, “therapeutic” toys and games-just to name a few!) From the first day we went to Great Kids Place my son (now 5) was excited and happy to be there. He told me shortly after we started therapy that he loved going to Michele’s and that was one of his favorite places to be. A year and six months later he still feels that way. He’s ready to go before I can even get my shoes on! Michele has been so instrumental in helping us understand our son’s diagnosis and most importantly given us tools to connect with him. She is so much more than a therapist- she’s a teacher, an advocate and coach. There have been so many times that I have thought to myself how blessed we are to have Michele in our lives. I don’t want to even think about where we would be without her.
I will never forget the first time I discovered this place while exploring the neighborhood. I got on their page and I knew my son would benefit from this place. I felt very lucky to live close by. I made an appointment and I met Liz the occupational therapist. She’s so kind and amazing and my son instantly enjoyed playing with her. The facility is very clean colorful and fun ,my son giggles when we pull over then cant wait to play inside! He knows he will have a great time with Liz. She never hesitates answering all my questions and shes always very comforting when I am worried about my son who has special needs. Michele is also very helpful with the paperworks with insurance. I highly recommend this facility for occupational therapy. I am looking forward to my son attaining his goals and I am glad great kids place was there to help us out.
Michele is truly an exceptional OT. We have literally traveled the world to find experts for our son, and we feel very fortunate that the best OT we have found is right here in New Jersey. She is smart, warm, curious, creative and probably most importantly fun. Our son runs out of the car and up the stairs to his sessions with Michele, and we go home with him in a better state every time. The only thing she could do to improve would be to clone herself.
Michele is just amazing. My son loves going to “gym class” and he has made tremendous progress in his speech since starting at Great Kids. The gym is VERY large with many wonderful cool activities. She has changed all of our lives by helping my son achieve reasonable goals but also teaching myself and my husband many parent skills as well. We LOVE Great Kids Place.
Our son worked with Michele Parkins of Great Kids Place and we are so much better off as a family! Learning about sensory processing disorder was the first step to understanding our son better and truly a game changer. Never has anyone treated our son both mind and body so awesomely together. Michele is so positive and can teach new approaches to do things every child deserves to do. Therapy at Great Kids Place was a complete confidence booster and we saw improvement with our son physically and emotionally. Highly recommend.
This is beyond a facility to ‘fix something’, this is a safe, caring environment where the team works with you and your child to get what is best for both your child and the whole family. They are accepting of your needs and quirks, aligned to how to work on it, and thoughtful beyond your session. We couldn’t have found a better spot.
I am so grateful for Great Kids and Laura’s Superhero Flexible Thinking class. My son struggles with peer social situations, flexibility, and finding the appropriate way to react to an unexpected plan. Through instruction and play, Laura helps Harrison to identify the “unthinkables” that can take over his brain. In a fun and safe environment, he is able to talk about and role play unthinkable situations and find strategies to overcome them. This has led to some meaningful conversations at home that help us to develop strategies for Harrison to use when an “unthinkable” is trying to take over. Through the practice of these strategies, Harrison is able to take ownership for his reactions and his reactive behavior is improving. As a family, we are learning about how Harrison’s brain works and now have a secret code to identify when it’s time to try a strategy to overcome an “unthinkable.” I feel a lot more in control of how to help my son navigate difficult situations and know that he is developing life skills that he will be able to use forever!
Sometimes when you take your kid to OT you just see your kid playing and having a good time but the magic happening is big and it is there. I wish there was a secret microphone for parents to hear what each “game” is and does. Evan adores his time in OT and we feel blessed Evan has Michele Parkins as his therapist. We love to see how he works hard while he has fun.
Great Kids Place has been life changing for my son and our family. He had seen two other occupational therapists before Great Kids Place. We liked them all, but Michele is in a different league. She’s so knowledgeable and a part of all of the latest research. Unlike the other practices, at Great Kids Place I’m a part of the session. She and I sharing information on my son has helped lead to amazing progress. Before working with Michele, my son’s sensory defensiveness held him back from many activities kids enjoy- assemblies, gym class, swimming, birthday parties. After working with Michele, he’s learned the coping skills where he can not only handle these activities, but even enjoy them. Michele truly understands my unique son, and it’s so nice to see the connection they share. She’s helped advocate for him at his school where kids like him are often misunderstood. He can’t wait to go each week and I can’t believe the progress he has made. We are thankful every day that Michele is in our lives!
Michele has been great for both of my boys! Such a great place. We also doing the Super Hero program there and it has helped tremendously!
We are so impressed with Great Kids Place and with Michele! The physical space is great with so many fun and challenging activities available and Michele creates a supportive and safe “emotional space” for my son to explore those activities that are most challenging for him. I appreciate the respect Michele has for where my son excels and where he has difficulty, and for his feelings! So many therapists from our past have had their agenda set for a session and were going to stick to that agenda regardless our sons emotional or physical reaction, and furthermore they made him feel like his emotions were “in the way” so to speak and to basically get over it and move on. Michele treats our son with kindness and understanding while challenging him to grow and stretch himself. She is flexible and creative and helps build his self-confidence. She teaches him his ideas and emotions are important and worth sharing. We really do love Kids Place!
We are thrilled to have begun working with Michele. My son is seven with ADHD and sensory processing issues. He had been working with another occupational therapist for over a year and was making progress and was happy going there. However, I had a limited view of what was going on in these sessions and was eager to find more ways to help. After we met with Michele and had a session where I participated too, I knew this was just what I was looking for.
My son, who had been hesitant to switch because of his love for his former ot and his love of routine, absolutely loved it. He’s been asking when we can go back all week and wanted me to change the day to make it
We feel so lucky to have found Great Kids Place. It is exactly what we all needed.
We have seen incredible improvements with Max since using your program. His pencil grip has improved tremendously as has the pressure he puts on the paper. His letters are written so much clearer and more accurately. He has also has an increased understanding for the sounds that the letters make. He has started to sound out words and really begun to read. We are blown away with the difference in his understanding of letters, what they look like, how to write them and what they mean. We appreciate you and all your hard work tremendously.
Michele is a one-of a-kind occupational therapist. She is that rare clinical expert with a delightful personality. She has comprehensive knowledge of the field and takes the time to truly understand your child. She also goes beyond the call of duty to coach parents, and involve teachers and other professionals to build a cohesive treatment plan. She has a unique understanding of sensory processing disorder, and works closely with Lucy Miller, one of the preeminent professionals in the field. Last but far from least, she has a sweet and playful manner, which has made her much loved by our child and us.