Haden talks with Nicki Grates

Posted on November 4th, 2014

In this episode of The Working Therapist, Haden is joined by physical therapist and Pediatric Developmental Therapy purple team member, Nicki Grates, as they discuss torticollis.  Torticollis is a muscular condition that affects many children.  It can be reversed, though, with appropriate treatment.  Join Haden and Nicki as they give practical, functional insight into treating this in infants and young children.  This is a must hear podcast.  Visit www.pediatricdt.com/podcasts.php today!

I’ve got a New Podcast Up!

Posted on October 27th, 2014


I’m joined by guests Mike Montgomery and Glenn Bakie of Mercury Active as we discuss “Incredebooks.”  Mercury Active is a digital entertainment studio that has worked with companies such as Hasbro, Electronic Arts, Disney, Nickelodeon, and many others in developments.  They have recently released a new series of augmented reality books titled “Incredebooks”.  Each Incredebook contains a classic tale infused with interactive and engaging mobile gaming technologies.  These books have become a smashing success for therapy in all of our clinics, schools, and developmental day centers.  Join me and my guests as we discuss the development, design, and future of these great books, as well as the range of therapy applications that they contain.  Looking for more therapy resources?  Be sure to visit www.pediatricdt.com today!

8 Quick Interview Skills That Will Set You Apart

Posted on May 22nd, 2014

I have interviewed a lot of therapists in the last 17 years. Here are some tips and pointers that will help you in interviewing to be a professional therapist or really for any job. I would commend the Podcast, “Interview Skills” in The Working Therapist Podcast on the website and on iTunes and Sticher. Alyson Nance is our lead recruiter here at Pediatric Developmental Therapy (PDT). She adds some real-life nuts and bolts that will really help you to find the career you want.

As a starting point, however, here are 8 quick points to consider:

The first thing to remember is to “Dress Professionally.” At PDT we have some horror stories. Don’t show up for an interview in what my generation would call “Daisy Dukes.” (Short, very short, shorts as a character in the 1980s show “Dukes of Hazzard” wore.) At PDT we typically are not hiring for lifeguards, so we wouldn’t expect a person who was serious about wanting to be part of our team to show up dressed for the pool. First impressions are hard to overcome. Because what employers think is: “If you didn’t care enough to dress professionally for an interview, what in the world are you going to wear if you’re hired.”

Now that doesn’t always mean a “business suit.” To some degree a lot of organizations are past the “business suit.” But you have to know your audience. We’re a therapy company, so khaki’s and a collar shirt or nicer blouse would be very appropriate. Maybe a skirt and a nice top. No jeans!

If you’re coming from another job during a lunch hour or something, then let the person interviewing you know that you’re coming from that job and how you will be dressed.

Bring a copy of your resume.  You would be surprised how many people either forget their resume or just don’t bring a copy of it.

Turn your phone off. 

Absolutely don’t check your phone during the interview. For me, I understand that people who finished high school after 2001 are accustomed to regularly checking mobile phones. But for my business, which is dealing with children one-on-one, if an applicant is checking his or her phone when they’re trying to make a good impression, what in the world is that person going to do during a therapy session involving parents and children. It’s a deal breaker for me.

I need you fully present because I’m trying to be present for you.

This next point ought to be obvious, but I’ve had it happen with Master’s Degree Level applicants. Don’t bring parents or friends to an interview, we’re not hiring them.

I understand bringing a spouse, significant other, or parent to the geographic area if you’re coming from a distance to explore the possibility of moving to an area for work. But the companion shouldn’t be in the lobby or even in the parking lot. Tell them to go to Starbucks and get a coffee or back to the hotel for a nap. Employers need independent, self-assured, team members who can stand on their own feet.

Be authentic. 

Anyone who has interviewed a lot of candidates can immediately tell if the interviewee is being candid or is giving canned responses. At PDT we’ve spent a lot of time and energy to develop certain questions, for example, specifically designed to bring out a candidate’s personality to help us determine if the candidate is a good fit for our practice. Most good employers will have created specific questions to bring out a person’s personality. So be authentic. It will help you, too, because if you’re not a good fit, chances are you wouldn’t be happy working at that place anyway..

Ditch “LIKE” from your conversation.

It’s an immature way to speak. I have a 15-year-old and so does Alyson. We both hear: “like this” and “like that” all day. In an interview, it comes across as immature, so my advice is to work very hard to drop it.

Have questions for the person interviewing you.

At the end of a good interview, most good employers will ask you for questions. Have some! Many times, those questions can reveal a lot about you and help the employer assess the fit. People interviewing for a position with an organization should use the interview process to interview the organization as well. Good employers want you to be a good fit, so engage in the process.

Finally, Send a Thank You. A hand-written note or even a well-crafted email will be graciously received and set you a part.

Check out “Interview Skills” in The Working Therapist Podcast on our website at:

www.pediatricdt.com or on iTunes or Sticher.

Top 9 Things to Look for in a Therapy Position

Posted on May 7th, 2014

Throughout the years, I have interviewed many therapists.  With that experience, I’ve put together  what I consider to be the top 9 things to look for in a Therapy Position.  This list, is by no means complete, but it is a good place to start as you look for a place to establish your career.

  1. A facility or practice that has an INVOLVED INTERVIEW process cares about who they hire.  If the people hiring a person put that individual through his or her paces, then that is a good sign the team you would be working with is committed and have met a certain level of expectation.
  2. DIVE INTO THE INTERVIEW PROCESS.  Going through an interview process with a facility or practice that is involved, will by itself, challenge you to seek the “right fit.”
  3. Think about THE POPULATION YOU WANT TO SERVE.  Specifically, decide to work with adults or children.  Pay close attention during clinical internships to what “gives you energy.”  Don’t be afraid to change tracks if you start off, for example with pediatrics and later decide to work with adults.  Most importantly, concentrate on what feeds your personal professional motivations.
  4. Have a variety of clinical experiences before taking the plunge into on specific area.  Take your experiences, wrap them up, and ask yourself HONEST QUESTIONS, such as:  Was this setting successful for me?  If not, why?  If yes, then why?  Is this a setting where I can maximize my talents and strengths?  Was it fun?  If so, what specifically made it fun or rewarding?
  5. Look for a place where you can CONTINUE YOUR EDUCATION.  Ask yourself how the place your interviewing with can help you grow and mentor you in your field.
  6. CONSIDER WHERE YOU ARE LIVING.  You are establishing roots and making yourself a part of the community where you live – both professionally and personally.  Think where in the country or world you want to establish yourself.  Think about whether you want a city setting or rural setting.
  7. RESEARCH WHERE YOU ARE INTERVIEWING.  Find out how long the job has been open.  Find some details about the person interviewing you, and the story of the facility.  Today, with communication and connection via the web and social media, you can really get to know a place long before you interview.
  8. GET A FULL DETAIL OF THE PAY PACKAGE INCLUDING BENEFITS, EQUIPMENT, HEALTH INSURANCE AND CONTINUING EDUCATION.  Consider whether you’re looking for a salaried position or a contract position.  Dive into the full details of the pay package to get a complete picture of just how much you’re getting reimbursed for your commitment. 
  9. CONSIDER TIME OFF.  Review the time off and vacation time you’ll be afforded with a practice or facility.  Having time to rewind and refresh is important to any professional.

For more information, please check out Pediatric Developmental Therapy’s Working Therapist Podcast entitled “What to Look for in a Therapy Job” available under Therapy Resources at www.pediatricdt.com, on iTunes, or on Sticther.

A Therapist’s Place

Posted on May 7th, 2014

Welcome to “Haden’s Place.”  I am hoping that this becomes a place for therapists to come, get information, and eventually share experience working as a Pediatric Speech, Occupational or Physical Therapist.

Pediatric Developmental Therapy (I often refer to the practice as “PDT” for short.) is a practice I founded in 1997 with the goal of bringing together the three disciplines involved with developmental therapy.  The idea is to collaborate so our clients (who I often call our “kiddos”), get the best, most up-to-date and innovative therapy available.

As a small practice, we don’t have the budget of, say, a hospital system.  But we have therapists who are highly skilled, dedicated and committed to serving our kiddos every day.  It’s my hope that all our therapists at PDT will share with this Blog their experiences from clinics, developmental day centers, the public schools and home visits.  As we grow this outlet, we will have guest therapist columns as well as other stakeholders who have dedicated themselves in some way to serving children.  We will be seeking input from everyone who reads as the site grows.

This Blog is also supported by a corresponding Podcast which is available on our website (www.pediatricdt.com) and available via iTunes and Sticher.

Please feel free to contact me at haden.boliek@pediatricdt.com if you have any questions, comments or would like to contribute to the Blog.


Christmas Child Project

Posted on November 15th, 2013

Several years ago, we had our annual Practice Christmas Party.  I looked around the room and there stood our team members who came together.  They chatted about the season, maybe talked about what happened at work that week and so on.  Meanwhile, the team members’ husbands or significant others (all male since we had and still do at this point have an all-female team), were staring at each other and surely wishing they were anywhere but the obligatory Company Christmas Party.  It wasn’t a bad time, but considering how much money we were spending on the party I simply asked, “Was a Christmas Party the best use of resources for us?”

Enough of the Christmas Party, I thought.  So we embarked on the idea that we would take the money we would ordinarily spend on the Christmas Party and we would, instead, adopt families with children.  That’s what we did and thus was born our Christmas Child Project.

The entire team gathers on a Saturday in December.  We put on Christmas T-Shirts that match … family reunion-style. We divide into teams.  We descend on a big box retailer (the last few years it has been Target).  We shop.  We return to the clinic with the goods.  We wrap.  We pray.  And we eat a lunch together.  Then we send out the gifts anonymously.

Each year the project has grown and we’ve had other companies and organizations join us.  Last year, we served 89 families.

What a blast!  What a blessing!  Our team, I hope and pray, gets more out of it than the families we serve.  I certainly do.

Think if other companies would consider similar projects, how many people could be served.  Consider these three thoughts:

  1. How do we spend our money?
  2. How do we spend our time?
  3. Who are we serving?

We considered those questions and have been blessed for it.  Check out www.christmaschildproject.org, listen to the Podcast posted on this page or contact me if you’d like information on about our project or how to do your own.  My email is haden.boliek@pediatricdt.com.