On The air
List of Episodes
You can listen to On The air using your preferred podcasting service including iTunes and Stitcher by searching by the title or via this site by clicking on the desired episode below.
Occupational therapist Becca McCaskey, MOT, OTR/L, grew up in Knoxville, Tennessee, and attended UT-Knoxville to earn an undergrad degree in Therapeutic Recreation. She completed her Master's degree in Occupational Therapy in 2015 at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center in Memphis and then began her career working in outpatient private pediatric therapy. After recognizing some of the signs of overwhelm in attempting to juggle the demands of work and home and even of early burnout in herself, she took time off from work to stay home with her young children.
In 2018, Becca discovered teletherapy and she has been working in that specialty area of OT practice since that time. She has found that as an alternative career format, working in telehealth allows her to stay active as an occupational therapy practitioner while allowing for the flexibility she needs at this point in her life. As an OT, Becca is passionate about working with children of all ages and stages to help them reach their full potential and especially dedicated to helping those children who sometimes "fall through the cracks" due to a "hidden" disability or lack of resources. On this episode, Becca talks about the burnout that seems to be becoming increasingly prevalent amount healthcare providers, the importance finding balance in one's life in order to provide the highest quality of care to clients possible, and the perks of telehealth as an alternative to the traditional format of a career in occupational therapy.
Connect with Becca:
Rebecca Kadowaki is an OT who has developed an evidence-based toolkit connecting contact with nature and executive functioning in pediatrics as part of the work she's doing in the post-professional OTD program in which she is enrolled at Indiana Univ-Purdue University at Indianapolis (IUPUI).
Becca has developed a resource called "Nature + Occupational Therapy" which is a toolkit for executive function in children, which she has generously shared as a free, open-market resource. On this episode, Becca talks about her path into the field of OT, her interest in the link between development, health and wellbeing and nature, research on how and why nature benefits children's executive function, and ideas for incorporating contact with nature into practice and into daily life.
Resources & Recommendations from this Episode:
Physical therapist Karen Malone, an expert in stroke and stroke rehab after over 30 years in practice, is the guest on this episode of On The Air. Karen reminisces about her days in PT school and her first job as a PT working at a small Southern California hospital in stroke rehab. She talks about her experiences in stroke rehab Tijuana and China where she worked for 20 years and where she created opportunities to use physical therapy in a province where no one knew about physical therapy. Now residing in St. Paul, MN, with her son who was adopted from China, Karen is a delightful storyteller who highlights the challenges and the triumphs of being a trailblazer in the rehab field in China.
Resources & Recommendations:
Karen Dobyns, OTD, MOT, OTR/L, is an occupational therapist who lives and works in Southern California. She loves pediatrics and mental health and is adjunct faculty in an occupational therapy assistant college program. Karen was interviewed about her path into the field of occupational therapy on Episode 10 in January 2018 and is back to talk about her experiences in writing a children's book centered around the concept of inclusion (and OT!). She talks about how she came up with the idea for her book "The Centipede Who Couldn’t Tie His Shoes" and what she learned during the process of writing and publishing.
Resources & recommendations shared on this episode:
Kami Bible, OTR/L, is an occupational therapist who specializes in school-based OT via teletherapy. Kami graduated from Newman University in Wichita, KS with a B.S. in OT in 1998 and began working in an in-patient rehab facility on the spinal cord injury team. After passing the NBCOT exam in 1998, she continued her education, completing a Master's in Business Administration (MBA) degree in 2001. After several years working in rehab, Kami took a job in HR as the Allied Health Recruiter for a large hospital system in Oklahoma City. In 2009, when her daughter started elementary school, she wanted to stay home with her and so went to work for a contract company serving several rural school districts.
Since then, Kami has worked in schools in Oklahoma, Washington State and now Kansas. She's been a national presenter for the Bureau of Education and Research and now with Learning Without Tears. She currently works full-time for Lawrence Public Schools serving K-8 in brick & mortar schools and K-12 for Lawrence Virtual School. In addition, Kami also does contract work for eLuma, an online therapy company.
Connect with Kami:
Supplemental Resource on Telehealth in OT:
You might have come across a video clip making the rounds on social media that shows an adult daughter using sign language to have a conversation with her mom who has dementia. The two are in a car and the exchange between them is really animated and affectionate. On this episode, the daughter from that video, sign-language interpreter MJ Grant, shares about her experiences growing up as part of the deaf culture in a family as a child of deaf adults (CODA). In addition, she talks about serving as a caregiver in recent years for her mom and her dad who has progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP).
Born and raised in Sanford, Maine, MJ is a 44 year-old mother of four (ages 24, 18, 15 and 5), with a wonderfully supportive husband, Jesse Repolt. Having been raised by two culturally deaf parents in the city of Sanford, Maine, Grant has always had strong connection to the Deaf community and strongly identifies as a CODA (Child of Deaf Adults). Grant is the youngest of two daughters, with an older sister, LouAnn Grant. Having worked in the field of Sign Language Interpreting since 1997 as a freelancer, Grant decided in 2010 to establish her own interpreting referral agency, Mary Jane Grant Sign Language Interpreting Referral Services, in the state of Maine. Grant has been a mentor to student interpreters and adjunct faculty at the University of Southern Maine, teaching American Sign Language/English Interpreting classes intermittently since 2004. In recent years, Grant began caring for her mother, who has dementia, and father who has Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP). Currently Grant's mother is living in her home and her father resides in the next town over, requiring support from both daughters and his wife to care for his needs. Grant continues to balance more challenging demands as her parent's needs increasingly become more significant.
Click HERE to access an article and video about MJ and her mom.
Kaitlyn Jones is a recent graduate of the University of Scranton with a Master's Degree in occupational therapy. She is passionate about research and accessible technology, specifically adapted video gaming for veterans with limb loss and the impact that re-engagement in game play has on one's quality of life after traumatic injury. She serves as the Director of Clinical Outreach for Warfighter Engaged, a 501(c) non-profit organization that custom-adapts video game controllers for veterans who have sustained traumatic injuries. Kaitlyn recently accepted a role as a member of Microsoft's hardware research team where she will help to inform and aid in accessibility efforts at the industry level.
On this episode of On the Air, Kaitlyn talks about her path into the profession, her experience with and passion for assistive technology, and her work with Microsoft.
Connect with Kaitlyn:
Episode 53: The Benefits of Boxing and Other Out-of-the-Box Interventions for People with Parkinson's Disease
Stephanie Smith Goodman, COTA/L, is an occupational therapy assistant from Kansas City, MO. She graduated in 2016 as a non-traditional student with an OTA degree from Metropolitan Community College. Stephanie currently works as a coach at The Parkinson's Exercise and Wellness Center in Overland Park, Ks. As a life-long learner, she brings a multi-faceted approach to the battle against Parkinson's Disease. Stephanie is a Rock Steady Boxing Certified Trainer, a yoga instructor of 20+ years (including training in adaptive yoga for persons living with disabilities) and a professionally-trained theatre actor, director/educator, and a recently trained instructor in Tai Chi for Rehabilitation. In addition to her OTA degree, she has a BFA from the University of Florida, and a MFA from the University of Cincinnati, College-Conservatory of Music.
Stephanie loves sharing OT-based activities with her "Parkinson's fighters," and her classes reflect an atmosphere of hard work, camaraderie, creativity, fun and function. Her eclectic approach reflects her diverse skill-set and includes functional fitness, kinesthetic awareness, mind-body connection, vocal production, acting exercises, mental agility, fine and gross motor coordination, yoga, Tai Chi and ADLs.
Resources shared in this episode:
Allyson Chrystal is an occupational therapist and clinical instructor specializing in pediatrics. Allyson has a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from the University of Georgia, a master's degree in occupational therapy from Midwestern University, and a master's degree in functional medicine and clinical nutrition from the University of Western States. She serves as the clinical director at Westside Children's Therapy, a pediatric rehabilitation company with outpatient clinics in the Chicago suburbs. In her clinical work and research, Allyson has focused on sensory integration and self-regulation in children with behavioral and developmental disorders. More recently, she has expanded her work with self-regulation to typically developing children and adolescents as well as using her knowledge in the area of functional medicine as a tool in her practice as an OT practitioner.
Resources & Recommendations:
Connect with Allyson via email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.