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Pediatric therapy center opens in Pahrump

As president and CEO of Pahrump’s Therapy Blocks LLC, Thomas Bowen spent much of this week preparing for the grand opening of his 1360 E. Calvada Blvd., clinic by hanging up colorful characters and images throughout the interior.

The facility is a pediatric therapy center and is offering families a variety of services for their children: “We provide pediatric occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy practice,” he said. “We have been open in Las Vegas for over three years now and when we saw the need in Pahrump, we moved out here right away, Once we realized how many kids out here, that are not fortunate enough to have convenient therapy because of the drive to Las Vegas, we decided to open a clinic here.”

Time frames

Bowen noted that the duration of each therapy session, which can run from one to three days a week, varies from child to child.

“They are approximately an hour each,” he said. “But depending on if they have all three services from occupational therapy, physical therapy, and speech therapy, they could be here for three hours, depending on the diagnosis and the severity of each diagnosis that they have. We can take preemies and we can go all the way to 18 or 19 years of age. In some cases we can go to 20 years old because some kids don’t graduate high school until they’re 20, so we’re not going to say no just because they’re 19 or 20.”

Looking for signs

Bowen also spoke about when children begin to display symptoms of certain behavioral disorders.

“With physical, you can tell as early as birth,” he said. “If they’re born with cerebral palsy or if there’s a limb that’s not the same as the other side you can tell pretty much right away. Everything else depends on the milestone, and when the kids are hitting their milestones like crazy, the parents should always speak with their pediatrician to make sure that they’re hitting their milestones correctly. If they are not, we can help catch them up to where they need to be. If they have a severe diagnosis like cerebral palsy, it could be longer-term care. Sometimes with autism, we don’t know until they’re about two or three years old. It’s usually three, but sometimes at two, we’ll start to notice some things.”

The COVID-19 factor

Additionally, Bowen spoke about how COVID-19 has and will affect operations with Therapy Blocks in Las Vegas and Pahrump.

He mentioned the clinics can offer telehealth services and home visits to families if their insurance allows for it.

“Right now with the COVID-19 restrictions, I believe, all insurances do allow it right now,” he said. “However we need to have full participation with the parents. For the last six months, we have only offered home care, but we are also transitioning into the clinic, and any of our kids that are on a hospice or respite-level care, they can remain on home care, because they have so much equipment where they live on oxygen or ventilator. It’s safer for us to go there, especially with COVID. We can wash up, cleanse and sanitize ourselves and then leave and go to the home, and sanitize again when we get there. At the clinic, there might be another family here who might not know they’re positive until they get signs and symptoms, so we just don’t want to risk that. God forbid we hurt a child that doesn’t need to be.”

Children on hospice

Normally when one thinks of hospice care, an elderly adult comes to mind, but Bowen said that’s not always the case.

“Unfortunately some diagnosis reveals that kids don’t live past one or two, and it’s really sad,” he lamented. “But when you can give a family hope and dreams, sometimes we can get the kids to live twice their given expectancy, just by having normal exercise and proper diet and nutrition. If we work with a nutritionist or the pediatrician, sometimes we can help the families spend a little bit longer time with their children, and what family wouldn’t want one extra day with their child. We all love our children.”

Additional services

Aside from the Therapy Blocks’ services, Bowen spoke about another program he and his wife created called Prototypez where he and his staff work with young adults with disabilities to prepare them to enter the workforce.

The services include job training for individuals in high school, where they learn the skills to work in many service-oriented industries, including technology.

Bowen expects to have the program up and running by December.

“Prototypez is a nonprofit that my wife and I created,” he said. “It’s actually a free job training practice for anybody that’s in high school with a disability diagnosis. They would learn web design, editing, marketing, social media, and right now we just installed a new program to teach them A-plus certification which is where you break a computer all the way down to the motherboard and rebuild it. The kids’ favorite class seems to be coding, and they love it. We are teaching them how to build websites. We just had our first summer camp in Las Vegas and the kids have grown leaps and bounds, more than I even expected.”

A special grand opening and ribbon-cutting ceremony complete with bounce houses, painting activities, food, and tours of the facility is scheduled for Monday, Sept. 6, from 4-7 p.m.

An RSVP is not required but would be helpful.

For additional information on Therapy Blocks programs, call 702-339-8770.

Contact reporter Selwyn Harris at sharris@pvtimes.com. On Twitter: @pvtimes

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