Bridget Dujardin, of Boston Sensory Solutions, on creating her occupational therapy business

Episode 7: June, 2018

Airs every Tuesday at 8:00 p.m. and every at 9:00 a.m.

About this episode:

Bridget Dujardin is an occupational therapist who set out on her own and launched her own pediatric occupational therapy company based in town: Boston Sensory Solutions. She dropped by the set of “Broad Appeal” as the June guest to talk about her journey to becoming her own boss, insights from her own work as well as tips for anyone who might be caring for a family member.

Host Melissa Fassel Dunn also take a trip to a local restaurant for some original recipes in this new episode

About our guest:

Bridget DujardinThe owner and lead occupational therapist of Boston Sensory Solutions, LLC, Bridget spent a few years working in group homes for adults with developmental disabilities. Here, she learned about occupational therapy and decided to pursue it as a profession. She returned to graduate school at Tufts University’s Boston School of Occupational Therapy where she earned her Master of Science in OT in 1999. Bridget continued to work in the field of developmental disabilities as an occupational therapist in community-based programs at Vinfen Corp. for almost 20 years. During this time, Bridget became a guardian for a woman who has mental retardation, who later later moved in with Bridget and continues to live with Bridget and her family today. Bridget also got married and had three children during these years.

As a parent, as well as a guardian for someone with disabilities, I understand what it is like to live with someone who has sensory challenges and emotional meltdowns in my own family. As an OT, I understand how important it is to treat these challenges. I brought my own family members to OT to help with self regulation and emotional meltdowns. As an OT, I was able to implement the strategies their OTs recommended in my own home.

As Bridget’s kids grew older, and she figured out how to deal with their sensory challenges, Bridget became the mom at the birthday party talking to the other parents about OT, emotional meltdowns, attention issues, and all kinds of OT related challenges.

I was, and still am, in the unique position of being a clinician who knows ho to address these issues therapeutically, as well as a parent who has had to live with the challenges and implement solutions in my own busy family life. After years of grocery store conversations and parking lot advice sessions with fellow struggling parents, I decided it was time to put my dual experiences of parent and professional to work in my own clinic. We don’t have a pediatric OT clinic here in the Milton area. It is my hope that Boston Sensory Solutions is a place where families can get the understanding support they need better manage the struggles their children face and their family lives thru. Given my parenting experience and my professional knowledge, I am able to help families implement solutions in their own busy Iives.

This is how Boston Sensory Solutions LLC came to be in January of 2016. Bridget started it thinking whe would see 20-22 children and their families each week, but quickly learned that the area has a need for a pediatric OT.

We have a need for a family centered approach that includes parents, siblings, grandparents, caregivers in the process. Families need to understand the treatment and the strategies that will help their family member improve. Real change happens over many hours each week, not just the 30- 60 minutes per week in our clinic.

Bridget believes that when families know how to help their child, positive changes happen much faster. Boston Sensory Solutions LLC is no longer a ‘little private practice,” but rather a small pedantic OT clinic. Boston Sensory Solutions accepts health insurance for services and works hard to help families use their benefits to pay for 1:1 services. They see approximately 75 children per week individually and run a variety of groups over the course of the year. Spring and summer bring bike riding clinics, run by Bridget’s husband, Philip. They also offer social skills groups and coping skills groups, as well as sibling playgrounds and sensory gym time all year long. They have a free monthly parent education series, open to the public as well as BSS’s own families. Boston Sensory Solutions presents information as OTs and also brings in speakers to share information about relevant topics.

We want to conned with children and families on a personal level so we can help each person meet his or her unique goals. And, it’s lots of fun to work in a sensory gym ad play with kids on swings and scooter boards all day!!!

Today’s Twist:

The Lady Adams

Donna Gillespie of The Industry treats us to this delightful beverage. View the recipe.

Lady Adams drink recipe and demonstration on Broad Appeal TV

Today’s Tip: The Cool-Down Jar

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