From Poland to the U.S.: Kasia's Journey
Physical Therapist Kasia Gonciarz is originally from Poland, where she received her masters from the Academy of Physical Education in Krakow. She wanted to work in the medical field and enjoyed sports, and determined that physical therapy was the right fit for her. Upon graduation, she worked in a an outpatient pediatric clinic for 6 years before pursuing her desire to try physical therapy outside of Poland.
Encouraged by her family members she left her home and came to the United States. She brought skills including her experience as a physical therapist and her ability to speak Polish and Russian. Once she arrived in the US, Kasia found it difficult to find a physical therapist job. She applied everywhere but employers seemed unwilling to hire an immigrant following 9-11-01. When she found Little Lukes, she was hired and welcomed. She found her place with Little Lukes.
She has now been a dedicated Little Lukes therapist since February 2002 when she was hired. She works with children and parents to promote early intervention with physical therapy. She believes that her foreign background gives people the chance to appreciate the journeys people make voluntarily, just like physical therapy.
She can also better understand what other parents go through when they have children with developmental problems because of her personal experience with a daughter with Down Syndrome. This helps Kasia excel at her job because she can relate and better understand what other families are experiencing when children experience developmental problems. This empathy shows especially when Kasia works with parents of very young children, as she most enjoys the early childhood years.
Her favorite moments are when she can help a child do the movements they are supposed to be doing at that age and helping children achieve their goals for improvement. She explained how she will do anything to keep children’s attention on their therapy activity. “Sometimes I have to do a circus performance in order to keep their attention, but I will use whatever works to get the results I’m looking for,” explained Kasia.
“Starting to work on proper alignment and skills development is important in preventing bigger orthopedic and neurological problems when children grown up. It is important to start early not to miss the best window of opportunity for developing many motor, perceptual and cognitive skills,” said Kasia.
Not only is she an incredible physical therapist, but she has six children at home. Her advice to people who want to pursue physical therapy and have a big family is to go for it. A flexible schedule by working itinerant (in-home visits) and help from a supportive husband and friends allow her to exercise her passion for helping children. Kasia feels it is extremely important to be organized when working itinerant physical therapy jobs, because you set your own schedule and make visits to the children including make-up visits when someone is sick.
“Physical Therapy is a great field to work in,” she says, “I have chosen one of the most rewarding careers.” She really loves working for Little Lukes and values them as a company.
Little Lukes is a leading Syracuse daycare provider with five locations. The early education program includes credentialed and caring staff that specializes in comprehensive infant, toddler and pre-kindergarten development. Additional services include pediatric speech therapy, pediatric physical therapy and pediatric occupational therapy.
Visit the website for more information on Early Intervention or Preschool Related Services for your child, and how to get your child a free developmental evaluation. Details on how to refer a child to speech therapy, physical therapy, occupational therapy or special education services are at https://www.littlelukes.com/eireferral.html. For information about employment with Little Lukes and physical therapy jobs, occupational therapy jobs, speech therapy jobs and special education teacher jobs in Upstate New York, contact our therapy recruiter at 315-326-3350 or email@example.com.