What got you interested in working as an occupational therapist?
I first learned about OT during a “Take your grandchild to work” day event. I tagged along with my grandma to the hospital she worked at. Each medical profession had a table set up where kids could learn about what they do. I was immediately drawn to the OT table as they were set up with hands-on activities. I had to assemble a puzzle while wearing glasses with Vaseline on them to simulate a vision impairment, had to tie my shoes with one hand behind my back to simulate an arm amputation, and make a PB&J wearing oven mitts to simulate grasping challenges. It was eye-opening, engaging, and fun all at the same time. I LOVED! I went home that night and told my mom I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up – I was going to be an occupational therapist!
What do you love most about working as an occupational therapist?
I love collaborating with families and helping children learn and grow through play and movement. I adore being an OT and believe in celebrating every step of progress, no matter how big or small! My favorite thing about working with FRPT is the ability to work with children and families in their most natural, familiar environment — their home.
What do you enjoy doing outside of work?
Outside of working with children, I truly enjoy spending time with family. I love cooking and baking with my son, having dance parties in our living room, and singing along to Disney music on car rides.
What is something most people don’t know about you?
My name (first and middle) rhymes with Christmas Tree, thanks to my sister who believed Christmas trees are “the most beautiful thing in the world”… I love how children’s minds work!
What is your favorite activity to encourage learning and growth with kids?
Play! Play is a child’s primary “occupation”. So many skills can be targeted through play, including gross motor, fine motor, visual motor, social-emotional, and sensorimotor function. Get down on the floor with them, follow your child’s lead, and playfully model skills you want them to learn. You don’t need specific toys or therapy items – use what you have whether it’s action figures, cardboard boxes, couch cushions, or food (in the kitchen of course). The options are endless!
Is there anything else you would like to share?
My areas of expertise include: Sensory Processing and Integration, Feeding and Eating Challenges, Primitive Reflex Integration, and Early Childhood (Birth through 5).