Hello! I am Ushma Sampat, Your Occupational Therapist and partner in progress! Occupational therapy is more than a practice to me, it is my passion—to help little ones live life to the fullest by becoming more independent in their self-care and daily activities. My occupation is a work of deep love and commitment to the learning, development, and recovery of children of all ages. My husband and I, along with our furry Puggle Luke, have been residents of San Francisco since 2012 and have grown fond of the beautiful sights and sounds of the Bay Area. We just welcomed our first child, Dhir in June 2018. Needless to say, we are the typical first time parents—still oohing and ahhing over our new bundle of joy. Family time is crucial for me and can be found hiking or enjoying a picnic over the weekends, and over long weekends or holidays we enjoy imbibing in cultural experiences through travel.
While living in India, I earned my bachelor’s degree in occupational therapy and later earned a post- professional master’s degree in occupational therapy from San Jose State University. I have worked with children ranging from preschool to High School and have extensive experience working with children with sensory processing disorders, autism, cerebral palsy, intellectual disability, emotional disturbance, learning disability, ADHD, Down’s syndrome, and neurological impairment among others. I am acutely familiar with and have administered various standardized assessments. I have a keen ability to relate and work with clients from different cultures and socio-economic contexts. My interventions focus on, but are not limited to, Motor skills, Perceptual skills, Sensory processing, Behavior interventions, Feeding therapy, Social and play skills. I am a level 1 certified provider for sensory processing disorders by STAR institute and also a credentialed Certiﬁed Autism Specialist through IBCCES. I am trained in Bal-A-Vis-X, Handwriting Without Tears®, SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) Approach to Feeding program and Zones of Regulation®.
Occupational therapy (OT) addresses a child’s physical, social, psychological, and environmental well being with an aim to increase their independence by building their motor, sensory, physical, and cognitive skills. For many kids, especially those with special needs, developmental delays, or cognitive, sensory or physical disabilities, occupational therapy can be a key part of healthcare that dramatically increases quality of life. Our work is designed to make children feel good, both physically and emotionally. Through occupational therapy, not only do the skills improve to cause betterment in function, the child’s self-esteem also grows and they experience a sense of accomplishment.
Here are a few ways occupational therapy could touch your child’s life:
– Refining fine motor skills, which can help your child to grasp and release toys, use zippers or buttons, or improve their handwriting
-Learning basic daily tasks like bathing, grooming, getting dressed, and feeding themselves
-Working on gross motor skills to improve balance and coordination, help them go up and down stairs, and understand right and left
-Building muscle strength and tone to improve your child’s physicality, correct their posture, and increase their body awareness
-Improving hand-eye coordination, which can help your child during play and school (such as when copying from a blackboard, catching a ball during gym, or riding a bike)
-Increasing attention span, ability to focus, and engagement
-Refining visual processing skills, which can help with letter recognition, visual tracking, and eye contact
-Replacing negative behaviors like acting out or physical violence with positive coping mechanisms for their anger
-Addressing learning challenges to increase productivity at school
-Improving social skills, language skills, and ability to engage with others
-Assessing their need for specialized devices including mobility equipment (wheelchairs, splints), household equipment (bathroom or bedroom accessories), and communication aids
-Developing and implementing feeding programs for kids that are picky eaters or problem feeders to improve nourishment