Mamabear OT – Helping Children Thrive

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Carolyn Orfahli, MS, OTR/L  

 

 

What is Occupational Therapy and How Can It Help My Child? 

 

Occupational therapy (OT) helps individuals gain independence in their activities of daily life (ADLs) also known as occupations. Our occupations and expectations change as we age. Therefore, OT looks very different with infants vs. school-aged children. OT may also look different in different settings, such as in school vs. home or community-based settings.  

 

Common Parent Concerns that OT Can Address: 

 

  1. My son’s preschool teacher said he can’t sit during circle time. 
  1. At Mommy and Me, my baby was the only one not able to sit up. 
  1. My baby isn’t crawling. 
  1. My daughter is a picky eater; she won’t even touch certain foods. 
  1. My daughter screams when I wash her hair or brush her teeth. 
  1. My son’s always chewing on things and bites others sometimes. 
  1. My preschooler can’t use a spoon or fork and ends up eating with his hands. 
  1. My kindergartener doesn’t want to use the bathroom in school because she can’t wipe by herself.  
  1. My daughter can’t hold a pencil properly. 
  1. My son is very uncoordinated. He’s like Jell-O. 

 

About MamaBear OT’s Practice 

 

MamaBear OT is a faster and more convenient way to receive quality occupational therapy. MamaBear OT provides a unique setting, that is limited only by creativity. Any concern a parent has is valid and important, as parents are the experts concerning their children. Together, parent, child, and I (therapist) create goals to drive treatment sessions. I consider each child’s strengths and challenges and turn them into child-inspired activities, which directly target our goals.  

 

Within this model, OT tends to be shorter term – results are seen more quickly! I complete the evaluation and can start working with your child the next day.  

 

For example, an infant came in for four weekly sessions  and in one month met all his goals. He came to me delayed and is now age-appropriate. With other OT programs, this infant could have still been waiting for the paperwork to be processed or for meetings to be scheduled and then finding a therapist. This would have further delayed him, as there are more milestones to meet as he ages. 

 

The MamaBear OT space offers one-on-one pediatric occupational therapy in a safe, clean, and calm environment. Infant and sensory equipment is often utilized (infant soft climbers, child climbing area, swing, and vertical play spaces, etc.). Parents are welcome to get involved in our sessions or to relax and have a complimentary cup of coffee. 

 

 

About the Founder of MamaBear OT- Carolyn Orfahli 

 

I have over five years of experience working as Senior OT at NYU Hospital – Rusk Rehab pediatric outpatient unit. I treat infant milestone delay, fine motor delay, arm/hand weakness, sensory processing difficulty, emotional regulation, daily living skills (feeding, dressing, self-care/hygiene), coordination, executive function, and writing. Some of the most common neurological, orthopedic, and genetic diagnoses I work with daily are Autism, ADHD, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Stroke, Brachial Plexus Injuries, Hand Deformities, Arm/Hand Injuries, and more. 

 

I love collaborating with pediatricians, orthopedic surgeons, neurologists, psychologists, teachers, paraprofessionals, speech therapists, and physical therapists. I have learned so much from them. I hope we can boost each child’s development together!  

 

How Do I Start OT? 

 

  1. Contact:  
  • Reach out via text, call, email, or Instagram message. 
  • Discuss your concerns and schedule an evaluation and/or session. 

 

  1. Evaluation:  
  • Intake discussing your child’s abilities and challenges 
  • Standardized assessments 
  • Observe your child in unstructured play 
  • Go home with a new activity/exercise to start working on our goals 

 

  1. Treatment Sessions:  
  • Bring your child to the sessions 

 

 

 

Additional Resources at MamaBear OT: 

 

  • MamaBear OT’s Instagram page exhibits developmentally appropriate ways to play with your infants and everyday activities that boost child development.  

 

  • Original MamaBear OT activity kits including curated toys, custom made worksheets, and an activity guide with various games to build fine motor skills.  

 

  • An Amazon link filled with toys and supplies organized by age.  

 

  • Parent education workshops coming soon! 

 

Carolyn Orfahli, MS, OTR/L is a pediatric occupational therapist and founder of MamaBear OT. She has extensive experience working at NYU Rusk Rehab pediatric outpatient unit and additional experience in Early Intervention and school settings.