You’re the owner of Small Strides OT, a pediatric occupational therapy practice in the Beach Cities – what drove you to become an OT in the first place, and to set up shop here?
I always knew from a young age that I wanted to work in health care, and I’ve always loved working with kids. When I discovered occupational therapy (OT), I was in college getting my Bachelors in Psychology. And when I learned that OT involved helping kids develop the skills needed so they can better participate in meaningful activities – I really couldn’t think of anything else I’d rather do!
As far as how I set up shop here – my husband and I moved to Hermosa Beach, from Michigan, in 2019 for his work. I decided to open my own practice in 2021, and have been loving it ever since!
What are some of the different services you offer?
I offer evaluations which are a comprehensive, and holistic assessment of your child’s strengths and areas of need that may be impacting their participation in daily living activities. And then if a child would benefit from OT treatment, I offer ongoing treatment sessions.
I also offer complimentary screenings which are typically a brief phone or zoom call to discuss a parent’s concerns and determine if an OT eval would be beneficial for their child.
In addition, I also offer consultative services, which are typically a 30 minute zoom call and can be with parents, teachers, other therapists, etc.
Can you tell us more about your consultative service?
Yes! So consultative services are typically on an “as needed” basis, and can be scheduled by anyone on my website. As I mentioned, they’re typically done over a 30 minute zoom call, and can be with parents or members of the child’s team. These additional services are meant to either:
A) supplement current OT services, and provide additional opportunities for more in-depth discussion of activities that can be done at home, or
B) maybe the child isn’t receiving OT services, and parents would just like to ask some questions, and receive feedback regarding concerns they may have. I’m currently offering anyone’s first consultation booking for free!
I usually like to ask the question: “Is your child having trouble participating in anything they either want or need to do on a daily basis?”
The term “occupation” comes from anything meaningful that “occupies” someone’s time. So in “occupational therapy”, we help to address anything that may be hindering your child’s ability to participate at an age-expected level, in their daily occupations.
A few examples of areas of occupation include:
- Grooming and hygiene
- Play & Leisure
- Education participation (handwriting, typing, scissor skills, etc.)
- Snack and meal preparation
- Sleep and Rest
You are certified in ASD and SSP- can you tell us more about what these specialties are?
I am an Autism Spectrum Disorder Clinical Specialist, which is just a long fancy name meaning that I’ve done extensive training, continuing education, and clinical work experience in working with Autistic children! However I also treat children who have other diagnoses such as ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, Developmental Delays, or no diagnosis at all.
The SSP is short for the Safe and Sound Protocol, It is a music-based intervention that utilizes specially filtered music to help stimulate and strengthen the nervous system, improving resilience and regulation. I’ve found it to be a great intervention for those kids who seem to be constantly in a “fight or flight” mode, or highly sensitive to sounds. This is a service I offer both for children I treat, and others who may come to me specifically seeking the program. In short, the SSP helps to reduce sound sensitivity, and improve auditory processing and behavioral regulation.
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I have a rescue dog from Mexico! The rescue agency (Labs and More) named her Kendra, but we call her “Kenni” for short. She is a pointer-terrier mix, who was rescued off the streets of Tijuana when she was about 1.5 years old. She is the laziest dog I’ve ever known,, and prefers naps and couch cuddles over going for walks 10 times out of 10.
What are some of your favorite local things to do in the Beach Cities?
I’m a huge foodie and coffee lover! I love finding new restaurants and coffee shops to try.
Please visit Small Strides OT for more information and booking!