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Meet Jontue Koff of At Play Occupational Therapy

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jontue Koff.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Jontue. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
Becoming an occupational therapist was a second career choice for me. After I graduated from undergad, I went on to work in the marketing field.

About three years passed and I was ready to move on so I started volunteering at Shriner’s Children’s Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii. I specifically signed up to volunteer in the occupational therapy and physical therapy department. My experience working as a volunteer really sparked a passion to help children. I instantly fell in love with the work that the occupational therapist was doing.

I worked for the New York City Department of Education and an early intervention program right out of graduate school. I worked all over Manhattan from Tribeca to Washington Heights which allowed me the privilege to work with a range of families.

When we moved to Solana Beach in 2011, I continued to work in the school-based setting but always dreamed of starting a private practice.

In 2013, a family in our community approached me and asked if I would provide OT services to their daughter. I didn’t have an office so At Play OT originally started as a home-based private practice service. But, as the business grew, I found myself needing an office space that would allow me to provide the most outstanding service to a child.

Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
When I first started At Play, I was managing a full-time job in a North County school district so my days were rather long. Play has grown so much over the past two years so I recently made the decision to resign from my school district position and work full-time in private practice. Certainly managing both jobs had its ups and downs but I have been so lucky to work with families that were very understanding about my schedule.

One of the challenges I face constantly is saying goodbye to a family. It’s bittersweet when we have a child “graduates” from OT. I’m always happy to see them attain their goals but when a child has been seeing you for a long period of time one to two times per week, you build a strong therapeutic relationship and attachment. I work with each child as if they were my own and I provide the same high-quality of therapy I would want my own two daughters to receive.

At Play Occupational Therapy – what should we know? What do you guys do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
I refer to At Play as a “mom and pop shop” for OT services. I always tell my parents- it’s not just about the session each week! I encourage them to share their child’s grows and glows at home too. By keeping close connections with the families I service, I can treat the whole child. When appropriate, I will conduct sibling sessions to work on appropriate play and interaction skills and take the time conference with parents who need support.

I really enjoy going out to school sites to see kids in action and getting to know the educators that help them each day. My vision is to create a team that works collaboratively to ensure that the child’s needs are being met.

At Play continues to thrive and grow! I’m very proud of it and the range of services it can offer a family. At Play provides individual and group services for children, workshops in the areas of self-regulation and feeding, preschool screenings, support for educators, Individualized Educational Plan (IEP) consultation and comprehensive evaluations.

What is “success” or “successful” for you?
This mission of At Play is to improve the lives of children by fostering their growth and sense of achievement. I have found that my interventions and unique approach to each child has been more impactful when I am able to build relationships with their parents, caregivers and educators. When there is a collaborative team approach to treatment, we can be more successful and ensure that child will reach their goals.

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Image Credit:
Whitney Peterson

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