Even as a teenager, I felt called to contribute to the health and wellness of others in a holistic way. This calling eventually led me to Yoga, but Occupational Therapy was my beginning.
I graduated from the University of Hartford with a B.S. in Occupational Therapy in 2002 and received an Advanced Certification in Sensory Integration (SIPT Certification) from the University of Southern California in 2006. My OT career began at a Special Education Collaborative in Massachusetts. Inspired by how much joy and well-being my personal yoga practice was creating in my life, I started teaching yoga and mindfulness to children. I was amazed at how receptive the children were and how beneficial the yoga was. Yoga soon became an integral part of my OT sessions and served as my main intervention strategy during my 12-year career as a school-based OT in Massachusetts and Seattle.
I have significant experience working with children with a variety of diagnoses, including Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD, Sensory Processing Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, and Down syndrome.
I believe that children with special needs can have a better quality of life through engagement in yoga and mindfulness practices. I combine my knowledge, expertise and passion of yoga, mindfulness, occupational therapy and sensory Integration to offer the following:
Coaching & Mentorship
In-person or online coaching and mentorships for Kids Yoga Teachers, OTs, PTs, SLPs, special educators and parents/caregivers who are interested in bringing yoga and mindfulness into the lives of children with special needs. Coaching & Mentorship sessions are designed based on what YOU want to learn about! Topics include, but are not limited to:
The hidden (and not so hidden) benefits of Yoga for kids with special needs
Information about specific diagnoses
Behavior management support
Sensory Integration 101
How Yoga increases motor skills
The social communication aspects of Yoga for kids with special needs
How to design a classroom Yoga + Mindfulness program
How to integrate Yoga into therapy sessions
How to choose appropriate, beneficial and FUN Yoga poses, breathing exercises, mindfulness activities and more
How to get buy-in from administrators, directors, and parents
How to market yourself, your classes, or therapy services with this specialized offering
Location-based (i.e. school, home, or community) OT consultations, involving skilled observations, sensory diet development with a Yoga and Mindfulness focus, and implementation guidance
Workshops for special educators, parent groups, other therapists and pediatric professionals on topics such as how to add Yoga to a daily schedule, Mindfulness activities for children with special needs, sleep, eating and transitions
Speaking engagements on a variety of topics, including “Yoga, Mindfulness and Sensory Integration Activities for Children with Special Needs”
Staff in-services with self-care and practical takeaway components that are easy to implement in everyday life
Specially-designed Yoga classes for children with special needs that can include siblings and parents or caregivers