MAKING A DIFFERENCE

EBS Children’s Institute takes a multidisciplinary, family-centered approach to delivering support and therapeutic services to children with a diversity of specialized needs.

By Phil Gianficaro

Like any parent, the mothers and fathers of children with developmental delays and disorders want nothing more than to improve the quality of their child’s life. These parents crave support and understanding because their children require specialized treatment, and often find themselves feeling as if they have nowhere left to turn.

When these concerned yet hopeful parents take their children through the front doors of the recently opened EBS Children’s Institute in West Chester, they realize their search is over. The welcoming environment provides much-needed comfort, with a multidisciplinary team of highly trained experts and a network of resources designed to help children discover confidence and independence across all environments.

At EBS Children’s Institute, children from birth to 21 years-old who struggle with delays or disorders in communication, movement, self-help, learning and behavior gain the support and treatment they need to improve their social, motor, sensory and life skills. “Part of our mission and philosophy is to support families through resources and training,” says EBS director and speech-language pathologist Kimberly McGinley, M.A., CCC-SLP. The team of experts design individualized programs with the understanding that each child faces unique challenges. “Our multidisciplinary team conducts a comprehensive evaluation and then develops a treatment plan that will reflect the family’s goals and vision,” she continues. “We believe that consistent family participation is vital; we help parents develop new strategies to incorporate into everyday life that will maximize the child’s progress in therapy.”

Services offered by EBS Children’s Institute include, but are not limited to, speech and language therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, behavioral therapy, developmental therapy and special education. In addition, EBS Children’s Institute is advancing the field by conducting research in partnerships with top universities across the country.

Essential Skills

EBS Children’s Institute in West Chester has assembled a remarkable team of experts who support the integration of cutting-edge research and theory into everyday evidence-based practices. This local team is even further supported by a vast network of resources and specialists through EBS Healthcare—the long-standing global leader in providing services to the pediatric population.

“EBS was founded over 30 years ago,” McGinley says. “It started as a management-training and consulting group for services for the birth to 21-year-old population. Since then, EBS has demonstrated an unparalleled commitment to providing the highest-quality services for children as well as ongoing training for therapists. We are thrilled to have the opportunity to expand these exceptional services within the Chester County community.”

EBS Children’s Institute’s state-of-the-art facility features a sensory gym—complete with a ball pit and rock wall—to help with motor coordination and motor planning, as well as observation rooms, consultation offices, and individual and group therapy rooms. A multipurpose room is available for multidisciplinary evaluations and treatment. The facility also includes an area for supporting “Activities of Daily Living (ADL skills),” which includes a full, handicapped-accessible kitchen with a working oven, microwave, dishwasher, washer and dryer. These functional environments help children learn new skills and employ new strategies for use in their everyday life.

A combination of clinical expertise, evidence-based research, and parental insight is used to establish the best and most effective programming for each child. “Our facility provides opportunities for children and families to implement strategies and activities that facilitate carryover of newly learned skills,” McGinley says.  

McGinley, a veteran in the field for more than 20 years, received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from West Chester University. Her certifications include a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She’s received training and certification in therapy techniques and programs such as Floortime, Hanen and ECT (Environmental Communication Teaching).

“I entered this field because I love working with people,” McGinley says. “It’s a very rewarding and satisfying feeling to collaborate with families and help children succeed.”

McGinley is just one example of the highly qualified professionals making up the growing team at EBS Children’s Institute. The speech, occupational and physical therapists, behaviorists and other key members are experienced in applying their expertise to a variety of situations and contexts within a family-centered approach. More importantly, they care deeply about the children and families with whom they work, and want nothing more than to enrich their lives.