Maria has worked in a developmental evaluation center, sensory clinic, school setting, and private practice over the past 25 years. She has been nick-named the Mindful OT because of her ability to integrate mindfulness practices, in a variety of fun and engaging ways, with all her therapy students.
Although Maria has worked with children presenting with a variety of developmental disabilities, she specializes in working with kids who struggle with sensory processing, self-regulation, bilateral integration, attention deficit (focusing and sustaining attention), fine motor delays, handwriting challenges, emotional regulation, social-emotional learning, self-confidence, anxiety, and self-compassion.
Beginning each therapy session with a grounding mindfulness activity (incorporating a mindful body chant, rhythmic movement, breath practice, or a slow motion exercise) helps set the child up to be engaged and focused from the start. Students know they can rely on this routine to settle their energy, find their calm and be themselves, while learning and developing new skills.
Maria not only authentically integrates mindfulness into all her therapy sessions to keep students focused/on task; but, she also teaches students a variety of mindfulness skills to help them to be: more self-aware, present, connected with others, less anxious, less judgmental, more compassionate, resilient, and excited to always try their best.
Maria currently provides private occupational therapy services and offers Seasonal Inner Explorer Groups (teaching kids: mindfulness, self-regulation, and social skills) at KidTherapy, a sensory-based therapy clinic located in Chester, NJ. www.kidtherapynj.com
Address the whole person by understanding the body system, the effects of our mind on this system, and by utilizing creative strategies (making adaptations when necessary) to decrease pain (physical and emotional), advance mobility, increase attention, and to primarily improve function and quality of life. Wellness is more than being free from illness. It's also about engaging in and fully experiencing life, finding and maintaining balance, and learning to capture moments of joy in every day. Mindfulness is one of many life skills to help prevent illness/injury/suffering and to positively impact our overall well-being.
Include mind, body, and spirit practices/techniques to promote wellness and to prevent illness/injury. These holistic approaches, in conjunction with other therapeutic modalities supported by their depth of knowledge in biology, anatomy & physiology, neurology, and psychology, helps therapists get to the "root" cause of the problem. Educating clients in the value of small lifestyle changes, such as making time for wellness, empowers them to meet long term goals and to, more independently, manage their health.
Restorative Yoga (Fully Supported Poses with Guided Meditation)
Hatha Yoga Traditional Postures/Asanas - Physical poses
Pranayama - Breath work
Mudras - Hand Postures (hand yoga)
Mantras - Breath & Repetition of Positive Statements
Mindfulness Meditation - Present moment awareness
EFT- Emotional Freedom Technique (tapping with positive affirmation)
Relaxation Techniques (The Relaxation Response, Visualization)
Guided Somatic Imagery
Sensory Integration Techniques - Tactile Embracing, Naval Radiation, Brain Gym