EV moms’ therapy services continue to grow - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

EV moms’ therapy services continue to grow

April 12th, 2021 SanTan Sun News
EV moms’ therapy services continue to grow

By Coty Dolores Miranda

It was 16 years ago at a La Leche League gathering at Corpus Christi Catholic Church that new moms Danielle Lowe and Kristin Blanchard first met up and realized they had more in common than their newborns.

For one, they were both degreed speech-language pathologists.

Both had earned their master of science degrees. In fact, Lowe, who had two other children at the time, held two masters. Both were active within Ahwatukee, volunteering for various groups.

As they grew closer through these endeavors and with their families, the pair decided to join forces to become Mariposa Therapy Services.

“Twelve years ago, we saw a need, particularly with charter schools, for competent therapists,” said Lowe, who earned her M.S. in speech language pathology in 1997 from the University of Arizona, and her second in education leadership from Northern Arizona University in 2008.

Blanchard, who holds her masters in communication disorders from Arizona State University in 2001, said she and Lowe women found their services welcomed by charters. As word of their work spread, individuals also began taking advantage of their services.

Their talents and strengths complimented each other, allowing for a synergy in their burgeoning practice.

Lowe works well with high-functioning Autism Spectrum Disorder children, those with social communication differences due to giftedness, and, among others areas, childhood language impairments.

Blanchard’s background and specialties include working with cochlear implant patients, early intervention, the neurological disorder apraxia and adult and neuro rehab.

There is a lot to Mariposa Therapy Services and the women have 52 employees to help personally meet the needs of all patients, whether children or adults.

Because both also have children either at local Kyrene Schools or the village high schools or are attending college, they’ve made a point of hiring other qualified mothers to be a part of their team.

Among their employees are Ahwatukee mothers such as Leslie Kwasny, clinic director/speech language pathologist; Monica Starrett, physical therapy director; Lisa Fuller, occupational therapy director; and administrative support staffers Sherece Carter, Laurie Sparaco, Kelly Powers, Lisa LaForest, Gerrie Sferra and Stephanie Giel.

“There are a lot of moms involved with our practice,” said Lowe. “It’s all about relationships, and Kristen and I are very active in the community and met a lot of these great women; it’s just a natural fit.”

As of mid-April, Mariposa Therapy Services is expanding its current 3,500 square feet suite by adding the adjacent 2,600 square feet area to provide room for specialized machines specifically for adult rehab.

The women opened their brick-and-mortar office four years ago after years of working from their homes, or at schools.

“We were busy being working moms in our field prior to joining together to form Mariposa,” explained Lowe.

“As moms in the Ahwatukee community, we commonly received requests for speech therapy and development information. So, in 2017, we decided to open a brick-and-mortar clinic to grow a private practice,” added Blanchard.

“We pursued and were awarded a contract with the State of Arizona to support children with special needs – autism, cerebral palsy, etc., through the Arizona Department of Developmental Disabilities.”

Feeding therapy is another service, which helps remove the frustration from mealtime when a child who  may be on the autism spectrum and have problems with sensory integration disorder – or the child who wants to eat only French fries or chicken nuggets.

“Mariposa has a team of outstanding professionals who specialize in therapeutic feeding assessment and treatment with picky eaters of all ages,” said Lowe.

“Our pediatric feeding therapists focus on making therapy fun and engaging. We work to improve oral-motor and sensory skills to expand the child’s food repertoire and to develop a healthy relationship with food and the feeding environment.”

She said parents are included in the feeding therapy, provided resources and support to help the family in diversifying what foods their child consumes. Each child is carefully matched with a therapist that best fits their personality and their needs.

Mariposa Family Services provides a plethora of specialists for school settings as well – from early intervention, elementary, intermediate, middle and high schools.

“Mariposa Therapy Services has two branches: schools and clinic/home health,” said Blanchard “In 2020, we decided to expand our business by serving adults and becoming a Medicare provider.

“This new adult outpatient clinic will be state of the art with various equipment to meet the needs of this population.”

The adult services run the gambit from treating strains and sprains to dealing with after effects of traumatic brain injury and neurological impairments caused by stroke, Parkinson’s, multiple sclerosis, dementia and more.

The expanded adult program will allow even more service capabilities for their occupational, adult physical and rehabilitation and adult speech/language therapy programs.

Lowe and Blanchard agree they’ve worked hard to get their business to this point, but foresee further growth as they continue to offer client-centered services.

“We’ve just kind of grown organically over the years,” Lowe said.

Mariposa Therapy Services also offers telepractice/teletherapy for patients, including speech, language, feeding, occupational, and physical evaluations and therapy.

Information: MariposaTherapyServices.com or 480-374-4341.