PlayBig Therapy & Learning Center Offers Private Schooling

Until recently, parents with special-needs children were often driving 90 miles or more to Tallahassee after working all night to ensure their children could receive assistance from Play Big Therapy.

Last year, to serve this region, owners Kelley Hutto and Rachel Scharlepp opened a second therapy and learning center at 4550 Lafayette St. in Marianna, in the Rivertown Community Church shopping center. Less than a year later, the facility includes a private school for special-needs children.

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Marianna Therapy Facility is Looking to Fill Spots

MARIANNA, Fla. - Play Big opened in Marianna in October 2017. Currently, it is serving around 25 patients a day.

Patients are coming from outlying counties but Play Big is looking to serve more children in the community.

"The biggest thing we've been having a hard time with is getting the word out for people to know when it's appropriate for a referral to come to us," said Carissa Stumpf, Practice Manager.

Stumpf said that Play Big receives a lot of referrals from local pediatricians, but a parent, teacher, or coach can also refer a child.

"Many people don't understand that their insurance would cover therapies for their child or that their child even needs therapies," said Carissa Stumpf," Practice Manager.

The idea at Play Big is to help children develop different learning skills by playing and interacting with their therapist.

"We are coaches, and they are athletes at play big. And so, they learn how to really interact with an authoritative figure that's not a parent, or a teacher," said Carissa Stumpf," Practice Manager.

While the company does cater to children with speech, occupational, physical or behavioral health needs, they also offer open play hours on Friday and Saturday for kids who don't need special attention.

Play Big in Marianna is planning to add to their services.

They will host summer camps starting after Memorial Day and plan to add a learning center in the fall. 

For more information, visit www.playbigtherapy.com

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Rachel Scharlepp
Say Hello To...Kelly Hutto

Kelly Hutto (formerly Hackler) is a former FSU track All-American and the co-owner of PlayBig Therapy & Learning Center, a local facility that uses play therapy and other methods to help children with autism, developmental delays and social, emotional and behavioral issues. In this latest installment of "Say Hello To ...," Hutto talks with columnist Corey Clark about why physical therapy is so close to her heart, how she met her husband Michael and what she loves about Tallahassee. Continue reading on Tallahassee.com

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Bryan Schultz
PlayBig Fights Back and Wins

TALLAHASSEE — PlayBig Therapy Center, a Tallahassee treatment center for children with autism and other neurological disabilities, was recently awarded $52,000 to recoup incurred legal fees and costs by the Department of Administrative Hearings (DOAH) after the judge determined the suspension of PlayBig’s Medicaid payments in April 2016 for five weeks was not substantially justified.

The suspension followed the Florida Attorney General’s office receiving an allegation of fraud from an unnamed source against PlayBig and issuing a subpoena for records due April 15, 2016.

Continue reading on Tallahassee Reports.

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Bryan Schultznews
Celebrating Small Victories

There are those who measure success by money earned or office held, or, as children, by number of homeruns hit or grades received; but there are also those who find gratification and victory in the attainment of much simpler milestones. 

At Gretchen Everhart School, Leon County’s special education center for students with significant intellectual, medical, physical and behavioral disabilities, the principal and a special education teacher both stop what they are doing and smile, jubilantly, as a boy, about 12, walks across the room and grabs a tissue out of its box. He wipes his nose and walks back to his table. 

Continue reading on Tallahassee Magazine.

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Bryan Schultznews
PlayBig Finds Success/Obstacles Treating Autism

PlayBig Therapy & Learning Center is shaking up traditional treatment practices for patients with autism and other neurological challenges in the Tallahassee area.

“PlayBig is the first therapy practice in the nation to integrate developmental therapies with behavioral health therapies in its model, which has had profound results for our young patients and their families,” said Rachel Scharlepp, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and PlayBig owner.

Continue reading on Tallahassee Reports.

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Bryan Schultznews