A little bit about me:
I recently was honored by the president of the American Health Council as the "Best in Patient Care" in the United States for 2018.
I am a life long resident of Hamilton Township, New Jersey.
I earned a degree in
Occupational Therapy from Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia
I am licensed, and insured in the state of New Jersey.
I am married with two children
"I started this private practice to provide a dedicated,
focused, and more personal therapy for children".
" I want to hear from
you! Please call me. If I don't answer, just leave a short message with your name
and number, and I will contact you as soon as possible ".
"I'm sorry, I do
not answer my phone while I'm with a client. I insist the time spent with your child, or any other child,
should not be interrupted.......
Private occupational therapy
is usually reimbursable, but based on therapeutic need. I will provide a billing
statement with appropriate codes. The parent is
responsible for all contacts with the insurance company to determine eligibility
and reimbursement for services. "This allows me to provide therapy rates
significantly lower than standard rates and allows more children access to
Upon initial evaluation, we can schedule
weekly, or bi-weekly appointments. The appointments typically last 1 hour with your child,
I have a vast amount of experience
working with children. In addition to my Private practice, I
am presently the Occupational Therapy Department Supervisor with Children's Specialized Hospital in Hamilton, NJ.
I've gained valuable experience working with all my special children
the Joseph Cappello School, Mercer County Special Services, Princeton
Educational Resources, and the Burlington Township School District.
15 Behavior Strategies for Children on the Autism Spectrum
How to Create a Backyard Sanctuary for Kids with Disabilities
For Educators: Strategies for Working With Children With Autism Spectrum Disorder
Helping Asperger's Teens To Survive and Thrive: 15 Key Steps
Creating a Home Atmosphere of Solitude to Help Cope with Adult Autism
Go to the LINKS page and click on
Toy Story, an
interesting article on therapy toys written by
Jessica LaGrossa from
FAQs-- Frequently Asked Questions
What is Occupational Therapy?
activity either mental or physical, medically prescribed and professionally
guided to aid a patient in recovery from disease or injury. The therapeutic use
of self care, work and play activities to increase independent function and
enhanced development. The educational background of Occupational Therapist
includes extensive course work in anatomy, neurology and psychology. Their
education also includes course work in activity analysis. This enables the
therapist to analyze the components of play and work activities, choosing tasks
that will improve the child's basic skills.
What can I do as a concerned parent?
Contact your primary care physician and discuss Occupational
Therapy (OT) services for your child.
How much would
I charge $150.00 per hour with diagnosis and
prescription. This cost may also be offset with insurance. Parents are
responsible for payment as services are rendered. Please contact me to discuss,
special considerations can be made for unique circumstances.
How much would the
I charge $70.00 for a half hour, and I charge $120.00
for the entire hour. This cost may also be offset with insurance. Parents
are responsible for payment as services are rendered.
How can I contact Donna's Occupational Therapy?
Easy, just call 1-609-929-5576
Is there an address where
I can write?
E-mail me firstname.lastname@example.org
Some Common Terms
Relating to the sense of hearing.
- Attention is a complex behavior that rrequires the integration of several areas
of the brain. The first component of attention is
"registration", our initial awareness of a change in sensory stimuli.
The second component of attention is "orienting", an increase in our
level of alertness. The final component is involves "effort" or
exploration of the stimulus. For example, our effort might be to listen to
or watch the stimulus.
INTEGRATION - Refers to the ability to use the two sides of the body
together in a coordinated manner. Examples of bilateral tasks include:
running, skipping and jumping with both feet together.
COORDINATION - Includes both motor control and praxis (motor planning).
Motor control is the ability to move with precision and smooth quality.
Praxis is defined below.
- The ability to access a person's regullation state and create an equalizing
- DDifficulty in planning, sequencing, or
carrying out (motor planning) unfamiliar actions in a skillful manner.
- Actually doing the activity or executiing the action.
CONTROL - Involves development of manipulation skills in the hands to
eventually allow for efficient and precise manipulation of objects.
Sensory motor skills must be well developed for this to occur, including
postural control, sensory modulation and praxis.
- Relating to the sense of taste.>
Over sensitivity to sensory information. May present as being fearful, cautious,
negative or defiant.
Under sensitivity to sensory information. May present as craving intense sensory
information, withdrawal, or difficulty to engage.
The thought or idea. Planning an idea in your mind; the ability to visualize an
Being able to bring together sensory motor
functions in a useful, functional level of performance.
The brains regulation of it's own
activity. The ability of the nervous system to filter out, or let in sensory
TONE - This refers to the tension in a muscle. Muscle tone
should be high enough to hold a position against gravity, yet low enough to move
a body joint through its full range of motion. Abnormal muscle tone would
be either extreme tension or lack of tension in a muscle.
- Relating to the sense of smell<.
Refers to the ability to sustain the necessary background
posture to efficiently carry out a skilled task, such as reading or handwriting.
The ability to stabilize the trunk and neck underlies the ability to develop
efficient eye and hand movements.
PRAXIS - This is the medical term used to describe motor planning. It is
defined by Dr. A. Jean Ayres as "The ability of the brain to conceive of,
organize and carry out a sequence of unfamiliar actions." Inadequate
praxis, Apraxia, is often a symptom of inadequate sensory processing. Long
term problems noted in children with apraxia, include: clumsiness,
difficulty performing motor tasks at age level, difficulty following directions
and imitating movement. A child with apraxia may need extra practice and
instruction to learn a new motor task. Once he learns something, he may
refuse to try it another way and appear "stubborn".
REFLEXES - There are movement reflexes that each baby is born with.
These "primitive" reflexes assist the infant in successfully
progressing through various stages of movement so they may learn to roll,
crawl, sit and walk, etc. As a child matures, these the child is able to
move without the need of these reflexes and they become more integrated and do
not predominate or direct movement patterns. Sometimes a reflex continues
to direct or dominant movement after an age where it is normally integrated.
We would consider this an abnormal reflex pattern.
- This is information that the brain recceives from our muscles
and joints to make us aware of body position and body movement.
Proprioceptive makes a strong contribution to praxis, to the child's ability to
grade movement and to postural control.
- The ability for the body to register tthat sensation has occurred.
REGULATION - Refers to the ability to attain, maintain and change your
level of arousal appropriately for a task or situation. Arousal is
considered a state of the nervous system and describes how alert someone feels.
To attend, concentrate and perform tasks according to situational demands, the
nervous system must be in an optimal state of arousal (or alertness) for the
particular task. Adults use a variety of subtle sensory techniques
to maintain their arousal level.
SENSORY DIET -
The multi-sensory experiences that one
normally seeks to satisfy the sensory appetite.
INTEGRATION - The ongoing process of the
central nervous system to receive, interpret, combine, and respond to sensory
information in order to perform purposeful activity. The organization of sensations for use. Our
senses give us information about the physical conditions of our body and the
environment around us. "Sensations flow into the brain like streams flowing
into a lake." ...."The brain must organize all of these
sensations if a person is to move and learn and behave normally.
MODULATION - The ability to regulate our responses in a manner
proportional to the sensory stimuli. There are children who have an
increased level of arousal and seem to be over responsive to sensory input.
This is described as sensory defensiveness. Children at the other end of
the spectrum have a decreased level of arousal and seem to be under responsive
to sensory input. This is referred to as sensory dormancy. Both
extremes of modulation may be seen in one child to the same type of stimuli, but
generally, one extreme tends to dominate. Both, cause the child to have
difficulty with allocation of attention and interfere with the development of
sensory processing skills.
ability to interpret the information that the brain receives.
Making a plan for an action. Identifying
the steps for an activity.
TACTILE - This refers to our sense of touch.
Deep pressure and light touch receptors. The sense of touch is a
child's first way to learn about the external world. It is a critical
sense to developing relationships with primary care givers and to giving
comfort. The sense of touch plays a very important role in the child's
development of body awareness and is critical in the development of praxis
VESTIBULAR - This refers to the sense of
movement and balance. This is the sense that allows us to recognize how we are moving in
relationship to gravity. Receptors in our ears sense if we are upright,
upside down, moving sideways, spinning, etc. As a result of this sensory
input, we make adjustments to posture and to our eye movements. Vestibular
sensation has a strong impact not only on posture and eye movements, but also
on: balance, coordination of the two body sides, and emotional control.
Accurate vestibular processing is essential for the development of praxis.
VISUAL MOTOR SKILLS - Refers to the development of smooth and efficient eye
movements to allow for tracking of objects, focusing on specific targets and
shifting gaze from one object to another.
VISUAL PERCEPTION - Refers to the brain's ability to interpret and make sense of
visual images seen by the eyes.
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