On The air
List of Episodes
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Andrea Ball, OTR/L, is an occupational therapist who owns and runs a pediatric therapy clinic called Play Ball Children's Therapy. Andrea is a 2005 graduate of the OT program at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (UTHSC) in Memphis, TN, and has experience working in home health, schools, and outpatient settings. One of the areas of expertise she has developed in her role as an OT practitioner centers on the use of mindfulness and meditation as a therapeutic tool. She serves as co-facilitator for the Tennessee Occupational Therapy Association's pediatric community of practice. She has hosted workshops in the community on the topics of mindfulness and meditation and is currently participating in research on these topics. Andrea is passionate about the role of OT in facilitating emotional mental health and wants to help physicians and others understand more about the role of OT practitioners in pediatric mental health.
Andrea began college at Tennessee Tech University to pursue a degree in music therapy. After 2.5 years, she realized that degree wasn't a good fit for her and shortly thereafter found out about OT from her mother who worked as a nurse at the time. She graduated with a bachelor's of science degree from UTHSC in December of 2005 and immediately began working in home health geriatrics. When a position opened up in the Nashville Metro Public Schools in July 2006, Andrea moved into that setting which was where she had completed her Level II Fieldwork in OT school. She worked there for 7 years, at which point she became a mother and took a part time position working in the area of early intervention in the home, later starting a private practice called Play Ball Children's Therapy in January 2011. Andrea and her husband now have three sons and since 2011 have opened a small clinic in Knoxville with 6 part time therapists in addition to the original location in Hendersonville, TN.
In January 2016 Andrea began learning about mindfulness & meditation and then began implementing these techniques with children in OT. More recently, she has begun hosting workshops for the community and participating in two OT research studies on the effects of interoception for children. As a result, supporting emotional mental health in children as an OT practitioner, and she strives to educate and support others on the topic as part of her career aspirations.
Resources & Recommendations from this Episode:
Andrea's two favorite books with authors who are OTs:
*Note: Kelly Mahler also just released a whole new curriculum and Andrea is participating in the research study to study the effects of the curriculum on students. Kelly's Facebook page for more info: https://www.facebook.com/groups/407492119460898/
PESI (AOTA approved continuing education provider) courses Andrea completed on mindfulness:
Other Resources on Basic Mindfulness (not directly related to OT but still recommended by Andrea):
Articles to Read:
Newsletter and/or Facebook page - Mindful.org.
Closed Facebook group for parents new to what I teach in OT with their child and for friends and colleagues - led by Andrea who says that it's open to "anyone wanting to travel along my journey and learn ideas": https://www.facebook.com/groups/1643184139312908/
Connect with Andrea:
The host of the On The Air podcast, I have practiced as an occupational therapist for over 25 years and am an OT educator specializing in ed tech and instructional design.