Prior to joining the A Focused Brain Pediatric Therapy team, I was drawn to Lisa and John’s obvious commitment to walk in the Lord’s will no matter the cost or sacrifice. I felt moved by the lives they and their team of therapists were touching through occupational therapy and the programs being implemented. Since joining the therapy team, I have been itching to sit down with Lisa to develop a story to share with the parents and families of our current and future clients as well as strangers who may not know the story of A Focused Brain. I hope to capture the kindness and compassion that radiates from the A Focused Brain Pediatric Therapy family with my words, but know they won’t fully do it justice. If you have a child who needs therapy and you want to experience what the Lord is doing through this clinic, give us a call! Keep reading for the full interview! You won’t regret it.
Lisa, how did your career as an Occupational Therapist begin?
I began my career as an Occupational Therapist with Methodist Rehab in 1994. During my time working with other OTs, PTs and SLPs, I gained so much knowledge and experience in the field of neuro.
I also learned how to implement my skills as an OT to the clients I served. I truly believe that the Lord was preparing me, molding me, and helping me build a foundation to use my skills to serve Him where He wanted me to be even though I didn’t know it at the time.
What led you to start A Focused Brain Pediatric Therapy?
In the early 2000s, I attended a continuing education course for the Interactive Metronome. The Interactive Metronome is a treatment modality which measures an individual's timing response in milliseconds. Neuronal timing is critical for higher level functions such as speech, language, attention, memory, motor coordination, and behavior. I began to see how I could use this in my treatment sessions to accelerate outcomes and improve the lives of my clients. Further, while at this course, the Lord silenced everything around me, and spoke to my spirit directly telling me “I want you and John to do this as a business.” Immediately, I could hear the speaker once again and the movement of other people around me. Without a doubt, I knew the Lord was telling me to trust him and take that step. A Focused Brain Pediatric Therapy came from that moment with the Lord, so we have always treated this as the Lord’s clinic.
What is the foundation of A Focused Brain?
God’s grace. He has opened a door and gifted us with skills and talents as Occupational Therapists to empower children to reach their potential. Our team believes God’s grace is sufficient. We continuously aim to share that grace and love with our kiddos and their families. I truly believe our willingness to trust him with our lives and with A Focused Brain is what sets us apart.
How do you and your team empower children to reach their full potential?
Our main priority is to engage each child to want to “play” with us. This means getting on their level. We become a 4 year old, a 7 year old, a 14 year old, or whatever we need to be to gain the trust of that child. We meet the child where they are. We attempt to be intuitive to each child every day to know where they are emotionally and physically. We believe truly aiming to understand each child allows us to empower them to reach their potential.
How do you feel AFB has affected the children and families you, as a clinic, serve?
At the end of each treatment session, we discuss the children’s progress during the session as well as provide a home program to work on for the week or offer suggestions on how to engage their child during family time together. Parents have shared with us that their family dynamics have changed within their home and relationships have improved, leading to more intentional and life-giving family time. Often in the community, we will cross paths with families of previous clients and they share with us how their child continues to flourish in many areas including their self confidence and decision making skills. They also share their observation of improvements in sport performance due to better coordination. Our main goal is to help each child reach their potential, and we use everything in our toolbox to do that!
What are parents saying about AFB?
Parents share with us that they appreciate our willingness to be open and receptive to their concerns about their child. They also share their appreciation for our willingness to allow them to be a real, crucial part of their child’s therapy plan. This approach, a family centered approach, is something we value as a team.
What advice would you give to a parent who may be struggling with their child?
I like to remind them of Psalm 139:13-16 “For You formed my inward parts; You covered me in my mother’s womb. I will praise You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Marvelous are Your works; my soul knows it very well. My frame was not hidden from You, when I was made in secret, and skillfully wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, the days fashioned for me, when as yet there were none of them.” God created each of us individually to ultimately serve and love Him. At AFB, we are not here to change a child’s personality or character. We don’t want to! We are here to help them overcome and smooth down some of the hurdles and bumps in their path. Whether it may be developmental, behavioral or physical, we do our best to provide quality, evidence-based treatment for each child to help them reach their potential. If you are a parent reading this and feel like your child has some hurdles that need to be conquered, give us a call. We would love to work with you and your child!
A Focused Brain Pediatric Therapy has an unconventional backstory. Because of the Lord’s goodness and the faith of Lisa and John Poe, A Focused Brain Pediatric Therapy is currently serving numerous families in Mississippi. Most importantly, AFB is aiming to glorify the Lord in work and in deed by treating all who walk through the door as children of the Lord. Stay tuned for more information about what we are doing now to give our kiddos the best, evidence-based care!
About the Author:
Bryson Rial is an Occupational Therapist at A Focused Brain Pediatric Therapy. She attended Occupational Therapy school at The University of Mississippi Medical Center, where she obtained a doctoral degree. Bryson loves the Lord, her three dogs, the outdoors, and all the children she gets to work with!