An Albemarle Co. business continues to help kids be rock stars

Helping kids be rock stars

ALBEMARLE COUNTY, Va. (WVIR) - A business in its infancy in Albemarle County continues to help bring out the inner rock star of the children it works with, but now it’s being done in a different way.

Rock Star Therapy (RST) continues to help kids develop speaking and fine motor skills. Now the work is entirely virtual, and RST says it is working out better than anticipated.

“I help children and young adults who have difficulty with communication, and so our big push here at Rock Star Therapy is using an integrative approach where we’re treating the whole child,” RST co-owner Suzanne Dailey said.

Helping kids become rock stars involves speech and occupational therapies.

“In order for them to be able to access their education at school, I help them improve their fine motor skills, bilateral coordination. So just the ability to follow directions and have an appropriate sensory system to allow them to access their environment,” RST co-owner Kerri Heilman said.

When the team is in their usual facility, it involves getting the kids active: “Most of what we do is completely play based, and so oftentimes the kids don’t know that they’re even working,” Dailey said.

It also involves using Zones of Regulation throughout a therapy session.

“It’s a system that uses colors to identify with emotions and that’s a really easy way for children to be able to learn how to identify their feelings and not only how they’re feeling inside, but also how their actions and behaviors and words impact the feelings of other people,” Dailey said.

In March, the team packed up their facilities and began conducting virtual sessions, meaning they had to adapt some of their practices.

“For tele-therapy, I use things that are common in the child’s home, like for motor skills, I use pillows that they have in their house or maybe step stools,” Heilman said.

The company’s owners look forward to the day when they can return to their facilities, but until then, they’re just filled with gratitude.

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