Welcome to Mompreneur Monday, where we introduce you to Mom-Based businesses in Lake County. Today we meet Sarah Rosten, owner of Pediatric Interactions.
Pediatric Interactions is a pediatric therapy group to give assistance in a child’s special communication needs in a supportive and creative environment. Pediatric Interactions encourages family participation and open communication to assist the families in how to better cope with a child that has development issues.
What was the catalyst that started your business?
I had worked as a speech/language pathologist at other settings and being a leader of the team left my cup “empty”. I needed to seek out opportunities that would allow me to continue my education and challenge my skills. I started off seeing children independently and almost 2 years into my practice, I hired my first employee. I realized that with more than just myself, we could help more people, and we grew from there.
Has it been difficult to get your business up and running, while being a mom, managing a household, etc.?
It’s challenging to be a mom and work, let alone a business owner. Seems someone wants something from you no matter where you go or what time it is. I have found time management skills to be essential. I am grateful for the team I have. I’m able to delegate responsibilities.
What is the best thing about your job?
Working with families and teaching them how they can help their child communicate better. It’s important to empower the family and teach them what they can do outside of the one hour they spend in therapy. Providing resources is important to me as well. I really love to teach, which is what lead me to also become an associate professor at Elmhurst College.
What do you do to recharge?
I used to love to go away, however, I find coming back seems to be more work now. Nowadays sleep is a great recharge (when I can) but coming home and cooking dinner or reading a book at the end of the day is relaxing to me.
What is your inspiration?
Providing quality service to many families throughout Lake County as well as providing education for families and professionals.
What is the most important thing you want our readers to know?
Education and early identification is so essential to help further a child’s development. Sometimes parents don’t know where to look/who to ask or get answers from others that they don’t understand or agree with. I think understanding what “typical” development is, what the range of skills can be, and learning how to interact with a child to help promote those is invaluable. I’m in the process of founding a non-profit charity, WeeBits, with two other therapists. We have a passion for working with kids.
What is your favorite part about your job?
I really miss sitting on the floor and working with a child. Sometimes as the owner I have to be more managerial. It’s important that I provide my staff with the tools and support they need to do their jobs efficiently. Good thing is there’s always a kid around the clinic to stop and talk with.
What is the most challenging part of your job?
Again, finding that work/life balance. Working with children and families, especially with special needs, can be emotional. I was afraid that I would be too tired at the end of the day and not have any more to give my child and family. However, I found I really love what I do and it’s sometimes what gives me that second wind at the end of the day to come home with the same enthusiasm for my family.
How difficult was it to get your business up and running while still caring for your child and other responsibilities?
Fortunately I was able to establish my business before having a child. However, since having a child, my business has greatly expanded with additional clients, staff and the physical location. It’s been challenging finding a work/home balance. No longer to do I have time to work at home at night and I can’t work late because I have to pick up my child from daycare. Initially when I was home with her I tried to get work done while she played or during nap time. I found myself becoming frustrated that I wasn’t getting my work done, her naps were too short, and that she wanted my attention. Crazy because I was home to be home with her. I had to change my attitude and start being home at home and keep work at work. I had to keep a “realistic” to do list and start paring down bigger activities. I found I got more done at work and really enjoyed having the opportunity to be at home a few days.
How did you come up with the name?
I wanted to provide services to only kids, not adults so needed a name that had kids/pediatrics/etc. “interactions” because a family’s goal in getting their child speech/language therapy may be to teach them how to talk or talk better, but it’s all about communication and interactions with others
Sarah is offering Little Lake County families who have concerns about their child’s development or are not sure what the child should be doing a FREE developmental screening. The screening will be with a licensed and certified speech/language pathologist. Families need to call/email to schedule an appointment. The therapist will review paperwork completed by family and interact with the child during a 15 minute session. Families will receive written recommendations, referrals and/or developmental information as appropriate.