Sabrina Adair is constantly innovating and adapting, which makes perfect sense because it’s right there in her company name, Enabling Adaptations.
During 18 years as an occupational therapist, she has designed countless adaptations for seniors staying longer in their homes, people recovering from life-altering injuries, and children experiencing challenges with sensory regulation, fine motor control, routine development, and more.
When two of her own children began to struggle in school, Sabrina waded into the process of school-based assessments and supports. “I learned that there were waiting lists for a few years to get help, especially school-aged children. My children were not even struggling enough to get help even though they were behind in class,” she recalled.
As a result, she saw the need to adapt her own therapeutic approach. Rather than working only with a struggling child, she began “supporting parents and caregivers to better understand their child’s needs, learn new strategies and then feel empowered to be able to communicate those to other people.”
As a mom of four children and a busy entrepreneur herself, Sabrina understands the challenge of time-pressured parents and conflicting schedules that make appointments a recurring frustration.
“In 2019, I decided to pivot my company to an online portal,” Sabrina said. “I wanted to take away that hindrance for people to access support.” Parents and caregivers can reach out and speak directly to a therapist at a convenient time. “I can meet when parents need it - I can do it in the evenings – which is what I wished for as a parent of kids with extra needs.”
At Enabling Adaptations, there are no wait times, and the visits are done from the flexibility of a family’s home, on a lunch break, or while on a morning walk. Parents who want additional resources subscribe for a ‘Skootle Box’ filled with “activities and toys that help children build the skills they need for daily activities in a fun and therapy-inspired way.”
This model represents a paradigm shift within occupational therapy and how to support families with children who struggle in a variety of different forms. It put parents in the driver's seat “because they know their children best” and puts an emphasis on a holistic approach. Sometimes adaptations involve adjustments for whole the whole family, at school or recreation programs so that collaborative efforts work in tandem to help a child succeed. Essentially, Sabrina said, “if, as a society, we can better support parents and caregivers, we can have better outcomes for our children.”
Sabrina’s entrepreneur journey is a reminder that even mature businesses need continual support. She established Enabling Adaptations in 2008 but being a solopreneur can be a lonely road. She joined the Grow My Business Accelerator at the Laurier Women Entrepreneurship Centre to be “surrounded by other women in a community that can encourage and support each other while working on your business,” which echoes her own business vision: if we can better support women entrepreneurs, we can have better outcomes for society as a whole.
The Women Entrepreneurship Centre (WEC), as part of the Lazaridis School of Business and Economics at Wilfrid Laurier University, is dedicated to empowering women entrepreneurs of every age, stage and culture to achieve their business dreams. We believe in fostering leadership. We believe that everyone deserves an equal shot at success. We believe in connecting you with the right people, skills and support to make it happen.
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