SALINE COUNTY, Ark. — Pediatrics Plus announced on Thursday its plans to open two new outpatient facilities that provide therapy services in a natural farm setting.
The Farm by Pediatrics Plus will have locations in Conway and Bryant with an expected opening date in Spring 2022. They will offer applied behavior analysis (ABA), occupational, physical, and speech therapy.
"Right now, there is a huge demand for these services," Pediatrics Plus co-owner Krista Tapp said. "We're seeing more and more children that have these needs, and we just want to be able to meet those the best we can."
That demand led to this expansion. Rather than building traditional clinics, Tapp said Pediatrics Plus leadership wanted to try something new. The Farm is the result of dreams that came together during the height of the pandemic.
"Our family was outside a lot," she said. "We were spending time outdoors and it made me think back to when I grew up on my grandparents' farm in a small town in Arkansas. I thought, 'What an incredible opportunity to be able to provide the therapeutic services that we are able to provide in that setting.'"
The Farm by Pediatrics Plus will include a farmhouse with multiple therapy gyms, a sunroom, and kitchen areas for functional therapy sessions.
Walking trails will connect the different areas of the Farm, which will include a garden, greenhouse, barn, chicken coop, fishing pond, and outdoor play areas.
Miniature horses, goats, pigs, rabbits, and sheep are among the specially trained animals that will call the Farm home.
"Animals can be so therapeutic for children," Tapp said. "They can help calm children. They can relieve anxiety. They can help them adapt to new experiences. Animals are a great tool to build responsibility."
According to Pediatrics Plus, this is an entirely new approach to outpatient therapy in Arkansas.
"I hope it provides an innovative experience for children and families where they can enjoy the simple things and really be able to focus on what's important, what matters -- to be able to focus on their child's strengths," Tapp said.
The Farm will provide services at alternate locations in August 2021, and patients will transfer to the permanent facilities upon completion.
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