The Transformative Power of Neurodiverse-Affirming Therapy

At Reach for the Top Therapy, the only therapy clinic in the Dover, NH, area offering trauma-informed and neurodiverse-affirming therapies, every story begins with a child, a family, and a dedicated team of therapists committed to making a difference. Founded on the principles of inclusivity, empowerment, and a deep understanding of diverse needs, Reach for the Top is not just a therapy clinic — it’s a lifeline for families navigating the complexities of neurodiversity and trauma.

Parent Testimonials: Stories of Transformation

Offering a wide range of therapy services, with 18 therapy options and specialty programs through physical, occupational, and speech-language therapies, Reach for the Top Therapy operates in a distinctive family-centered empowerment model. The families that choose Reach are led by employees with a collective 122 years of experience who focus on meeting the family where they and their child are, bridging any gaps, learning from each child and family, and providing education to carry over the skills to the home environment. 

“This is the second year my son participated in hippotherapy. The minute he got to the barn he found something he was very good at, gaining confidence and bonding with his horse. He still remembers his first horse’s name: Buck. He doesn’t always remember his best friends’ names, so this was huge. It helped him gain strength, and flexibility and he even looks like an equestrian. We enrolled him in the UNH program and the PATH program in Wolfeboro because he had such a great experience with Hippo with Reach. It is always wonderful to watch him riding confidently and joyfully, especially if he is having a difficult time in other areas of his life. I find his OT, Liz, to be exceptional. She is kind and empathetic and shares Sammy’s joy.”

With parents and caregivers involved in every part of the therapeutic process, each program at Reach is carefully designed to cater to the unique needs of neurodiverse individuals, offering a blend of play-based practices and innovative approaches. One mother shared her journey from feeling helpless to empowered after seeking support from Reach:

“A friend referred me to Reach for the Top when my son was 10 months old and still unable to eat or drink, surviving solely on breast milk. As a mother of two, I have never felt so helpless as I did then when I realized I did not know how to take care of my baby. Amy’s expertise, knowledge, skill set, and wholehearted investment guided the rest of my son’s treatment team and ultimately spared him from requiring the feeding tube that his doctors had once felt he would need. With her determination, persistence, and skilled communication she taught me how to get my son to eat and drink. In doing so, she not only changed my son’s life but she restored my confidence as a mother by empowering me with the knowledge and skills to care for my child. Thanks to Amy, my son is growing, thriving, happy, and eating well! My family and I are forever grateful to the amazing team at Reach for the Top!” 

Dedicated to Empowerment and Inclusion

Reach for the Top Therapy is a community driven by a mission to empower families and advocate for children with exceptional needs. Led by seven women that have lived disability experience, and three that also have children currently in therapy, this team understands firsthand the challenges families face in accessing high-quality care. This team, built on inclusion and acceptance, works hard to ensure that every child and family feels supported and valued throughout their journey.

“Reach for the Top has exceeded my expectations of what speech and OT services would be like for my daughter. Everyone from the director, to the office staff and the therapists consistently go above and beyond to make sure she gets the very best care. They listen to my concerns as a parent and take time to talk through challenges as they arise. The Reach team is truly exceptional, and we feel very lucky to be a part of this amazing community.”

Reach remains steadfast in its commitment to building community relationships and securing the necessary funds to serve more children and families. In 2023 alone, Reach for the Top served 490 children and families, providing 8,450 hours of therapy and support. With 260 children still waiting to start therapy services, the need for continued support and advocacy is more significant than ever.

Impact Beyond Numbers

Neurodiverse-affirming therapy goes beyond traditional models by recognizing the inherent value and potential in neurodiverse individuals. The impact of this approach is profound and extends far beyond therapy sessions. One of the primary benefits is the enhancement of self-awareness and self-acceptance, that leads to positive self-esteem. By focusing on and including strengths rather than deficits, Reach’s patients develop a sense of pride in their unique abilities. Improved communication skills are another significant outcome, as therapy helps children navigate their ability to understand and express themselves best.

The practical strategies learned in therapy, that validate and support the child’s experiences, translate into real-life benefits, such as improved communication, regulation, self-care, and coordination, leading to increased independence and a greater sense of control over one’s life. Ultimately, neurodiverse-affirming therapy has a ripple effect on families and communities. This inclusive and compassionate approach not only transforms the lives of those directly engaged in therapy but also contributes to a more accepting and inclusive society that values diversity in all its forms. 

As we envision a future where children with exceptional needs not only survive but thrive, it’s vital to recognize the importance of neurodiversity-affirming therapy. It’s a journey of self-discovery, advocacy, and building a more compassionate world—one therapy session at a time. Whether it’s through hippotherapy, music therapy, nature-based therapies, yoga therapy, STEM-based groups, or parent support groups, Reach for the Top Therapy is paving the way for a brighter and more inclusive future through engagement, connection, and understanding.