After months of renovation and preparation, Bridgett Dimant and her team have a lot to look forward to as they spread their wings and move into their new workspace.
Dimant, a local speech-language pathologist, is the owner and founder of Metamorphosis Therapy. The pediatric-therapy business has been operating out of Oakland, but a big move is coming soon.
In March, Dimant announced on Metamorphosis Therapy’s Facebook page the business would be moving to a 3,500-square-foot building located on the same campus as West Orange Church of Christ in Winter Garden. It’s a perfect partnership, West Orange Church of Christ Pastor Brian Tipps said.
“We’re excited about the partnership of the church with the school, because of the value that they’re going to bring to families in the community and families (who) are often underserved,” Tipps said. “We’re grateful for their passion and their abilities that they provide for these families, as well as the resources that they provide.”
Metamorphosis Therapy, which began after Dimant left her job at a school for autism to pursue fertility treatment, is celebrating its 10th anniversary this year. She began as a one-woman show by offering speech therapy.
In the following years, she added the Early Steps program and began hiring other therapists to help. Today, Metamorphosis Therapy offers speech, occupational, physical and Applied Behavior Analysis therapies.
“Life is a transformation,” Dimant said. “We all go through a metamorphosis at some point in life. When our parents come and see the kids when they first start … and then they see the progress that they make, they truly understand the work that goes into it — they see them transforming in front of their eyes, a metamorphosis in just the first few months that they see us.”
With each step of expansion, Metamorphosis Therapy was outgrowing its clinic space in Oakland. Dimant hasn’t been able to see new patients, and she knows many children and families who want to get into the program. The space on West Orange Church of Christ’s campus seemed like the perfect fit.
“They came, they looked at the space, and I remember it was not just Matt and Bridgett (Dimant) but three or four of their therapists came,” Tipps said. “I remember being so impressed at the energy, the passion, the excitement and enthusiasm they had. It was contagious.”
Tipps said others had been looking at the space, but the prospect of being able to invest in the lives of these children and the adults working with them was perfect.
“I believe that the greatest investment we can make on this Earth is in children,” Tipps said. “I think that’s the most important thing we could do. If there’s people that are being overlooked or underserved, then those are people we need to have a focus and fierceness about helping. It fits with that vision ... and going all out doing things to serve and love children.”
TRANSFORMATION IN PROGRESS
Dimant and her team have been remodeling their new space for a few months. Although COVID-19 has delayed the process, Dimant expects move-in for her team should take place in the next few weeks.
“Our philosophy in working with (children with autism) is that the lighting is very important, and we explained that to the church,” she said. “They were really super excited about what we were going to create with the atmosphere. We changed out all the doors and put doors with windows so we had natural light coming through. All the paint colors are very soft in muted greens and blues.”
There’s also a new sensory room that once served as a storage room. Dimant said it features a galaxy light, moon ball, a swing, light-up stepping stones and blackout curtains. One of the best features, though, is the playground.
“We have the playground, which is really highly sought after by therapy companies that are looking for space,” she said. “We’re going to add some equipment and upgrade it a little bit and get some playground mulch in there eventually.”
The new space allows her team access to a full kitchen and a break room, as well. In the future, Dimant hopes to add a designated room to assist with desensitization therapy. This room would allow children to practice a real-world situation and get used to things such as haircuts and doctor’s visits.
She has other plans in the works, too, including a nonprofit called Chrysalis Academy. This would provide financial assistance to parents who may not have insurance that covers the therapies their children need.