Introduction Parent Letter
You may be reading this because you are interested in exploring the world of gymnastics for
your child. In this letter I will share with you my background in gymnastics and occupational
therapy, and what I hope to offer to kids with special needs in the Fairbanks community.
I am a licensed occupational therapist currently working full time for Fairbanks Memorial
Hospital (FMH). I hold a BA in Psychology and a Masters in Occupational Therapy from the
University of Washington. Occupational therapy is a profession geared toward helping people
of all ages and abilities reach their fullest potential by learning “skills for the job of living.” We
use everyday activities (occupations) to help people do the things they need and want to do.
For children, a major occupation is play, and therapists commonly use play to help children
build up the skills they need to grow and learn.
Gymnastics has always been a large part of my life. From my toddler years to my early
twenties, I trained and played on my playground, the gym. I competed for a gymnastics club
in Washington State, then in college I competed for the University of Washington Huskies. I
developed coaching experience for younger gymnasts through my teenage years and into
adulthood. Through my schooling in occupational therapy, I developed an interest in Sensory
Processing Dysfunction and Sensory Integration, and began to see that the gym is a fantastic
sensory playground. For a school project, I wrote a proposal for beginning a special needs
program at a gymnastics club in Washington State, and this is when I found out about Gene
Hurwin’s “Big Fun,” gymnastics for special needs. Gene is a coach and occupational therapist
based in Los Angeles, California who has combined his passions to help many young people
with special needs, using a sensory based perspective while he instructs them in the sport of
gymnastics. You can visit the link on the next page for more information on his program.
A 12-week clinical internship at Fairbanks Memorial Hospital in 2007 brought me to
Fairbanks as part of my occupational therapy schooling. When I graduated in winter 2008 I
came back to Fairbanks to work for 4 months at FMH. During this time I also provided several
hours per week of therapy at Talkabout Inc, working with kids in the occupational therapy
setting. That spring I traveled to Uzbekistan and helped to educate orphanage workers on
sensory processing and the importance of sensory stimulation for orphanage children. I then
traveled to Turkey and collaborated with physiotherapists in pediatric clinics, teaching about
sensory processing dysfunction, which had not yet been introduced to the therapists there.
For the past several years I have been working primarily with adults at FMH, and coaching
gymnastics part time at Gym Inc. Last winter I traveled to Los Angeles to become “Big Fun”
certified through Gene Hurwin’s certification program for therapists and coaches. You can
visit the link below for more information on Big Fun.
I am now ready to begin coaching therapeutic gymnastics to your child, using the “Big Fun”
model. I will use play and gymnastics as “occupations” in the gymnastics setting to help your
child achieve his or her goals and reach his or her fullest potential. I hope to be an addition to
any therapy your child is already receiving, and I am willing to communicate with your child’s
primary therapist to learn how I can best help him or her participate in school, work, play,
As of November/December, 2011, Therapeutic Gymnastics is a licensed business. I offer
recreational therapeutic gymnastics and occupational therapy under this business name.
Currently, I am offering recreational gymnastics instruction and/or occupational therapy as a
one on one lesson to take place at Gymnastics Inc. There is now an option to pair students up
or form small groups for instruction after I get to know children individually. Sessions will be
45 to 60 minutes long, depending on what is appropriate for your child. After the initial
lesson/ assessment we can schedule out further lessons 1-2 times per week. Currently I
charge what is listed below for my services.
Recreational gymnastics (with a therapeutic approach):
Initial lesson/assessment: $85 Subsequent lessons: $70
Small groups of students (2-3 students at one time): 40 per child per lesson, must have initial
assessment individually prior to joining a pair or small group.
Occupational therapy (needs physician referral, future option to bill insurance)
Cost is to be determined, as I set up this sector of my business.
If you need a receipt, or information for funding or reimbursement purposes, please let
me know ahead of time and I will do my best to offer you whatever information you
need. Thank you for your patience and understanding.
There may or may not be other classes going on at the time of the lesson. I recommend
bringing your child to see the gym while classes are in session, at least once before his or her
initial lesson, to get familiar with the gymnastics environment, such as the smells, sounds and
sights that fill a gym. The website for Gymnastics Inc is http://gymincandbblc.com/.
I am excited to share my love for gymnastics with you and your child!
Kim Dugas OTR/L