For Allison Bruntz, July 2015 marks two years of her career as an Occupational Therapist for Rainbows’ Sedgwick County Infant/Toddler Services. Allison received her degree in Occupational Therapy from KU Medical Center in 2001.
“I chose to work with children because they bring so much joy,” Allison said. At her previous job, Allison worked with adults.
Rainbows’ Infant/Toddler Services uses a coaching model to help educate parents on their child’s development. Her role with children and families combines her experience with adults with the fun of working with children.
Allison’s favorite moments of serving at Rainbows are seeing parents celebrate their child’s successes. One child she worked with was a sensory seeker. He had trouble sitting still and even had trouble sleeping through the night. This boy was also having trouble with his language and vocabulary. Teaching the mother about sensory processing led to great improvement, he is now sleeping through the night, sitting down for meals with his family, and speaking in three word phrases.
Her job at Rainbows has impacted Allison in a great way. “Working at Rainbows makes me a happier person,” she said. “I’ve learned that having a career where you feel valued is important. I feel appreciated and am often thanked for my work, it makes me strive to be a better employee.”
A normal day for Allison starts with home visits where she works with kids to reach their developmental milestones. For every child there is a team effort from various Rainbows’ therapists, parents, and caregivers to see the child succeed. “There is always a team behind me,” Allison said. “There is a lot of knowledge and expertise on our team.”
Allison’s “aha moment” was discovering her role in empowering a family, which is what Occupational Therapy is all about. “I know the coaching model we use is a great fit for me because it allows me to say to the parents ’look what you have achieved’ when they celebrate their child’s success.” A family she worked with was having a hard time potty training their son. Allison and the parents set up a visual schedule and incentives for the child. Weeks later, the boy was taking himself to bathroom. “The parents were so excited for their son,” Allison said. “They were grateful for the work I’d done and I was proud of the effort they put in.”
In her free time Allison enjoys spending time with her own family including Jon, her husband of 13 years, and Jack and Kate, her children. They enjoys traveling and attend K-State Football games. Allison also plays in the Handbell Choir at her church with fellow Rainbows’ colleague, Leslie English.