About Us
 

Sumlar Therapy Services, Inc. began as one physical therapist’s dream to work a few hours a week at her home, offering pediatric therapy on horseback.  Kristin Sumlar began providing Hippotherapy—a technique in which therapists use the movement of a horse to assist riders in gaining strength, balance, and flexibility—in January of 2001. Kristin and her friends formed an interesting group to watch in the front yard of the Sumlar’s century-old antebellum home.  “I started my therapy business with one patient, Sarah.”  Sarah was the first of many children to seek out the special therapy.

 

At the request of a friend who was retiring, Kristin accepted a school therapy contract and another therapist as an employee.  It didn’t take long before more requests came pouring in, and Sumlar Therapy hired occupational and speech therapists to provide services for the children as well.  The clinic began taking over several rooms inside the Sumlar home.  Physical, occupational, and speech therapists began meeting there several times a week to treat children with mild to profound disabilities.  The home’s original library became the central office.  The front parlor became a therapy room, with brightly colored toys, therapy balls, and pediatric walkers lined up alongside the fireplace mantle.  The massive dining room soon housed multiple child-sized tables and chairs, a swing set, and even a trampoline.  The group rented space at the local country club swimming pool in the summers to provide aquatic therapy for their patients. 

 

Sumlar Therapy therapists were also getting started in the area schools, providing therapy for students and support for teachers.  In 2005, the staff took on the task of serving infants and toddlers in their homes, through Early Intervention programs.  Sumlar Therapy now has many occupational, physical, and speech therapists providing services to hundreds of children in the clinic, homes, and schools throughout southeast Alabama. 

 

In October of 2007 Sumlar Therapy moved to Sam Lisenby Road in Ozark.  The 4,000-square-foot facility has private treatment rooms with parent-viewing windows and a custom playhouse in the lobby.  But more important is the wheelchair-accessible riding arena and aquatic therapy pool.  “It’s been my goal to offer our patients all of our therapy opportunities—traditional therapy in the clinic, hippotherapy, and aquatic therapy—at one location,” Mrs. Sumlar says.   “In other cities, a parent has to take their child to a horse ranch for hippotherapy, to a community pool for aquatic therapy, and to a hospital or outpatient clinic for clinical therapy.   We’ve combined everything here, and the physical, occupational, and speech therapists are trained in each technique.  The therapists work to incorporate the successes achieved in the clinic, pool and arena into the daily lives of the children. We’re integrating our unique therapy techniques to result in the best possible outcome.” 

 

In 2008, Sumlar Therapy began offering tutoring and homework help under the direction of a certified teacher.  Tutoring is available to all ages and ability levels, kindergarten through graduation, after school and during the summer.

 

Sumlar Therapy has recruited some of the most experienced and respected therapists and teachers in the Wiregrass area, placing special emphasis on finding people who demonstrated an innate ability to work effectively with children. Many of the employees are also mothers, so there is a true understanding for the juggling act that parents face day-to-day.  

 

Growing steadily since 2001, Sumlar Therapy has developed a reputation for dedication and professionalism among pediatricians, teachers, therapists, and families, and continues to develop innovative approaches to respond to the growing needs of our community and our children.

 
The Lewis Mitchell Grantham Arena

for Exceptional Children
 

Dedicated in June, 2008, the arena that has been the site of first successes for so many exceptional children has been named in honor of its greatest supporter, Mitchell Grantham.  Mitchell is Sumlar Therapy’s Chief Horse Handler, and the owner of the therapy horses, Midnight and Cinnamon.  The patients, families, and employees of Sumlar Therapy will tell you that they have all received many blessings, and that Mitchell’s time, effort, love, and dedication has been one of the greatest.
 

OUR MISSION

To create a caring and innovative learning environment to assist children with special

needs and their families in achieving their highest potential by committing to

providing effective, ethical services and achieving standards of excellence in pediatric therapy. 
 

OUR VISION

To be recognized and respected as the best pediatric therapy providers for children with

special needs in southeast Alabama.


“And God will generously provide all you need. . . He will give you many opportunities to do good, and he will produce a great harvest of generosity in you.  Yes, you will be enriched so that you can give even more generously.  And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will break out in thanksgiving to God.”  2 Corinthians 9:8-11 (New Living Translation)