Meet Courtney Engel, MS, OTR/L owner and Occupational Therapist of Rooted Together Occupational Therapy. Rooted Together Occupational Therapy is a “mobile” pediatric OT practices that provides therapy in a child’s natural environment – their home. As moms, I know we love hearing that. Courtney’s goal is to empower both children and their families to incorporate what they learn from OT into their daily routines. Courtney, thank you for sharing your business with our moms. This is so special and we know so many families will benefit from this. Learn more about Courtney and Rooted Together.
You’re the founder Rooted Together, a pediatric occupational therapy practice here in metro Detroit that provides home-based services. That’s an incredible service for families. Tell us more about Rooted Together and what made you start your practice?
Since becoming an occupational therapist (OT) in 2017, I’ve had the privilege of working with so many amazing children and families in both Chicago and metro Detroit. After working for several years in outpatient clinic settings, I knew I wanted to take a different approach to therapy that allowed me to connect with children and their families in a deeper way. With this in mind, I started Rooted Together, a “mobile” pediatric OT practice that provides therapy in a child’s natural environment – their home.
Through this approach, my goal is to empower both children and their families to incorporate what they learn from OT into their daily routines. Home-based therapy provides a safe and familiar environment for children to learn, and it has opened up so many opportunities for growth and connection. It’s also a flexible and convenient option for busy parents who are looking to save some travel time!
When I was brainstorming for a company name, I chose “rooted” because of the way the roots and flowers relate to a child’s growth and development. I then added “together” because of the importance of a child’s support network and growing together as a team. I believe a child’s parent is their best advocate and expert, and I’m passionate about involving them as much as possible in the therapy process.
What is pediatric occupational therapy? What specific services does Rooted Together offer?
OTs help children participate in their daily “occupations”, such as playing, socializing, and self-cares (i.e. dressing, feeding, toileting). We aim to address any barriers that may be interfering with a child’s independence with their daily routines. Some examples of these barriers include developmental delays and differences, difficulty with sensory processing and emotional regulation, and delayed gross/fine motor skills. Feeding is a great example, since it requires so many different skills: fine motor skills to self-feed, oral motor skills to efficiently chew and swallow foods, and sensory processing to be able to perceive and tolerate a variety of tastes/textures. We can work on all of these skills to help a child become more independent and enjoy mealtimes.
Rooted Together provides a variety of pediatric OT services, including but not limited to:
- Emotional regulation (ability to understand and manage emotions)
- Sensory processing (how a child perceives and responds to sensory input – i.e. sight, sound, touch, taste, etc.)
- Feeding therapy (transitioning to solids, picky or restricted eating, oral aversion)
- Fine and visual motor skills
- Play and socialization
- Self-cares and routines
- Executive functioning (attention, problem solving, self-control)
We provide individualized therapy, with an emphasis on meeting a child where they are at developmentally. Our practice is neurodiversity affirming and family-centered, meaning we respect and celebrate all neurotypes and provide services that are tailored to each child and their family. We believe in providing compassion and building connections with children and their families in order to support their overall growth and development.
You work with so many moms and families in the area, what’s your favorite part of your business?
I’m so lucky to do what I love every day, and this question is always a hard one for me to answer! I love building relationships with others, whether that’s through playing with children or collaborating with moms and other caregivers. There is so much magic in connection, which is at the core of everything I do as an occupational therapist. I also love being able to collaborate and learn from other therapists and providers in the community. I know I’m only one part of a family’s journey, and I’m passionate about making connections that will allow me to provide a holistic and team-based approach to therapy.
If a local mom is interested, what are the best steps for her to take to see if this is right for her child?
You can reach out to me directly at [email protected] or 248-266-0543. I also provide free phone consultations to discuss our services in detail and answer any questions!
What drove you to start your own business? I know the most fun part is learning about all the women owned businesses here that provide amazing services to our families.
I’ve always had an entrepreneurial spirit, which started in grade school when I tried to “sell” the service of decorating other kid’s binders at school with paint pens (that one didn’t last too long). I’ve had several leadership roles over the years, including managing a research lab in graduate school and eventually managing a large pediatric therapy clinic in Chicago. This all relates back to building those meaningful connections, and I’ve loved being able to lead and mentor others, in addition to my passion for being a therapist.
When my husband and I made the move from Chicago to Detroit, I knew it was the right time to finally bring my dream of owning my own practice to reality. I have the most incredible support system, including my husband, our amazing families, and our friends (some of which have started their own women-owned businesses!). I also want to note that I have met SO many inspiring women in the metro Detroit community and around the country who have started their own businesses and have provided more support than I could have imagined. Everyone rallied around me and gave me the confidence to continue doing what I love every day, but in a way that feels the best for me and for my clients. I will forever be grateful to my people and this community for their unconditional support.
What can one expect from Rooted Together?
You can expect a compassionate therapy process, where the focus is on your child and family every step of the way. I started Rooted Together with flexibility in mind, and my goal is to create a therapy plan that works for each individual child and a plan that we can modify together at any time. You can also count on convenience and consistency, knowing that therapy will be provided in the comfort of your own home and that we will come to you!
Tell us a fun fact about you?
I’m very open about the fact that I have my own food intolerances, which is what actually led to my love for cooking. My husband and I are both foodies, and we’ve learned to be creative with our cooking so that we can continue to share our love of food together. We are big fans of Alex Snodgrass’s Defined Dish cookbooks, and we make it a point to cook together every single weekday (weekends are for exploring all the great restaurants around us!). Cooking is our way of winding down and spending time together after a long day. We also call our 2-year old yellow lab our “sous chef”, which basically means she patiently waits to eat all the scraps that I drop on the floor during the process.
What are you looking forward to this fall?
My husband and I got married this summer, which was beautiful and also very busy! I’m really looking forward to winding down a bit and having a relaxing fall with family and friends. This is also our first fall back in Michigan after moving from Chicago, so we’re very excited to see the fall colors up north and enjoy all the local fall festivities ☺
Courtney Engel, MS, OTR/L
Owner and Occupational Therapist
Rooted Together Occupational Therapy
Email: [email protected]
*Photo Credit: Rimma Aronov | https://www.rimmages.com