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New site offers help, resources for those seeking occupational therapy

New site offers help, resources for those seeking occupational therapy




Dr. Stephanie Foster

Dr. Stephanie Foster, Ph.D., of Santa Maria, was recently awarded the Occupational Therapy Practice Award by the Occupational Therapy Association of California. Foster has been a registered occupational therapist for 30 years. She spent 25 of those years specializing in pediatrics. 



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Meltdowns, trouble sleeping, difficulty adapting to new routines aren’t just symptoms of COVID-19. They can be symptoms of a child’s sensory or developmental disorder, and occupational therapy may provide welcome relief to area parents.

Kid’s Work Therapy, located in Santa Maria, recently launched its new website to better serve parents seeking help with their child’s developmental or behavioral issues. The site, www.kidsworktherapy.com, helps parents understand how children benefit from occupational therapy, schedule an assessment and explore treatment options. The site also features a blog covering topics from technology use and teens to how yoga helps with sensory integration.

“In the past six months, our patient load has increased by 150%. Kids and parents are overwhelmed and stretched beyond their capacity, so we have adapted our services to meet their needs,” said Dr. Stephanie Foster, Ph.D., founder of Kid’s Work Therapy.

The clinic implemented the Telehealth platform to allow virtual coaching, weekly exercises and activities and even allows parents to record their child’s “misbehavior” and send it in. Foster evaluates and analyzes the behavior and then provides fun, play-based ideas to help remedy the situation in the future.

“We are excited to help others understand the role our sensory system plays in many of the issues adults and children face — anxiety, sleep issues, attention deficits,” Foster said.

Foster, who has been practicing as a registered occupational therapist for 30 years, recently published a book to help parents and educators understand sensory processing disorder and its role in behavior. The book, “Self-Regulation and Mindfulness Activities for Sensory Processing Disorder,” includes 60 easy-to-use activities to teach self-regulation skills at home or in the classroom, helping children remain focused and calm.

“Through the website, blog and book, we wanted to make it easier for parents to get the help they need and know that there are proven strategies to help struggling children feel and function better,” Foster said.

Kid’s Work Therapy specializes in sensory processing disorders and provides specialized occupational therapies for children with special needs, behavioral problems or developmental delays like attention deficit disorder and autism spectrum disorder. The clinic focuses on identifying root causes that impact a child’s functioning at home and school and offers individualized treatment plans.

In addition to traditional occupational therapy, Kid’s Work Therapy offers sensory integration therapy, auditory processing therapy, Interactive Metronome, and playgroup and yoga therapy. They cater to all ages of children and stages of development, including early intervention, preschool-aged children and school-aged children.

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