Chair: Rosemary White, OTR/L

Members: Tal Baz, MS, OTR/L; Yael Binya, OTR; Kiegan Blake, OTR; Marjorie Cases, OTR/L; Anita Ellsberry, OTR/L; Brooke Hampton, PT; Kristin McNally, MS, OTR/L; Myania Moses, OTR; Edi Nelson, MS, OTR/L; Beth Osten, MS, OTR/L; Michele Parkins, MS, OTR; Laurie Raymond, MS, OTR/L; Christene Schwarzbach, PT, MS; Susan Smith-Foley, MA, OTR/L; Alexandra Sullivan, OTR; Kathy Walmsley, MA, OTR/L

The occupational and physical therapists of the Profectum Academy are a diverse group of therapists who provide services in a variety of settings to individuals and their families across the lifespan. We welcome all occupational and physical therapist to join us in providing comprehensive services for children and their families living with developmental disorders including autism and other challenges in relating and communicating.

Occupational and physical therapists bring our understanding of:

  • Postural control including gross and fine motor skills
  • Sensory processing, sensory modulation, sensory perception and sensory integration
  • Self regulation, both physiological and emotional
  • Praxis, including motor planning and sequencing to assessments and treatments

We integrate these core areas of development with the rich “emotional texture” of the DIR model in meaningful functional activity. This can include supporting successful function in:

  • Self help
  • Play
  • Social interaction with family and with peers
  • Preschool skills, classroom skills including physical skill such as handwriting and organizational skills
  • Developing life skills, both functional and social, including supporting optimum independence in self care, home care and leisure skills

This assessment and treatment supports the child’s physical, cognitive and emotional development in a sensitive relationship with a significant other. This includes, but is not limited to, the parent or caregiver, sibling, grandparent, teacher, peers and any other person who may be a part of the individual’s life.

The unique skills of occupational and physical therapists in understanding the neurobiology of the child’s sensory processing, postural control, praxis and related motor planning abilities is an essential part of the “I” of the DIR model.  This understanding the therapists bring to their work with children and their families guides them in how to “tailor” affective interactions and to coach the parent or “play partner” to engage in a manner that will support the child to strengthen their developmental capacities.

The functional developmental capacities, the “D” of the DIR model provide a direction for supporting the physical, social and emotional journey of the child in the context of a relationship.

The Profectum occupational and physical therapy work group share a wide range of philosophies and provide services in a variety of settings including in-home, in clinic, in the school setting and in the community. Treatment is provided with the child and parent or caregiver, individually, with peers, and at times with other professionals such as educators, mental health providers and speech and language pathologists. As a group we are working together to develop a comprehensive curriculum that will disseminate all aspects of our work with children. This curriculum will be advanced through webcast lectures integrated into the Profectum Academy teaching tracks and will also be discussed in real time webinars through multidisciplinary case discussions with experts and colleagues as well as in depth individualized case analysis through the Profectum mentoring process.

Specific areas that will be developed as part of the Profectum occupational and physical therapy work group will be assessment and treatment of the infant and toddler, the preschool child, the early and older age elementary child and the middle age child and the high school age child and then college age and moving to adulthood. Many of us work with individuals from all these ages and some work with a specific age group. Harnessing the expertise of all will make this a rich learning experience for all.

The Profectum occupational and physical therapy work group are committed to working with the interdisciplinary team as we develop a rich and meaningful curriculum that will be available to everyone working with children and families living with developmental disorders including autism and other challenges in relating and communicating.