Betty, a physical therapist in CTC’s Early Intervention program, knew she wanted to go into the field after recovering from a sports injury when she was younger. “But what I imagined myself doing was very different than what I ended up doing!” she says. “I originally wanted to get into PT for sports, and thought I’d be one of those people you see on television running out onto the football field when players are injured. It wasn’t until I was in school that I realized I was looking for something more meaningful – a way to improve someone’s quality of life.”
Getting into school to study physical therapy was challenging. “The year I applied there were 24 spots and 200 applicants. It’s even more competitive today! But my backup plan was to go into education because I’d always loved kids. It wasn’t until later that I realized pediatric therapy was the perfect blend.”
Betty loves the challenge of working with kids. “They keep me so honest. They will tell me if something is hard or boring. Even the infants I work with will let you know by the way they respond. Working with kids, I have to be in tune and responsive. I can go in with the best plan, but sometimes we don’t even get close to what I envisioned. I allow the child to guide me and fit it into the goals of therapy.”
The bonds she creates with the families she serves often don’t end after the child turns three and moves on from the Early Intervention program. “I get invited to a lot of birthday parties and receive update pictures long after I stop working with kids. The work I do is so meaningful. One of the moms I worked with said when her baby was born with special needs, it wasn’t the dream she had for her child. But as soon as we had our first meeting, she felt a glimmer of hope. We’ve been able to help her realize new dreams. To be a part of that is really special.