Subject: September Newsletter

    September 2017 | Volume 1 | Issue 7
DICP Digest 
A monthly newsletter for clients and colleagues of Development is CHILD'S PLAY!

Back to School!

Although we just survived what will surely go down in history as the great heat wave of 2017, it's almost Fall and that means it's time for kids to go back to school. 

Whether your child attends school in the classroom, in the community, or at home, the transition to a new schedule can be challenging. Read below to find out more about using every day items to help your kids stay calm when it's time for school.

Fall scheduling is done, and the office is busy working hard to fill in the holes. If your schedule changes and you want or need a different therapy slot, please let our office manager NhuMai know and she will put you on the wait list for your preferred therapist and time.

We have a student starting at the end of September. Her name is Diana Nguy, and she recently graduated from San Jose State and is currently finishing her first three-month OT internship. We interviewed her back in March, and she will bring professionalism, new knowledge, and fresh energy to our office and clinic. Please see more information below.

If you are planning to take vacations or know you want to take some time off during the fall and winter holidays, please let your therapist or NhuMai know as soon as you set your schedules so we can get those dates on the calendar.

Warmly (understatement),
The therapists and staff at Development is CHILD'S PLAY!

Congratulations Sahana!

Earlier this year Sahana accepted an award as one of the top 40 Under 40 Entrepreneurs in the Silicon Valley. Here is text from the article that was published in the Silicon Valley Business Journal. 

“Isn’t it amazing that children innately want to make sense of the world and gain mastery of skills needed in life just through play?” Sahana Baker-Malone asks in a script she wrote and read for KQED’s Perspectives program.

Toys are one among many tools used by therapists at Development is Child's Play, a pediatric occupational therapy clinic where Baker-Malone is CEO and co-owner. This job gives her the opportunity to support countless families by coming alongside children with autism, Down’s syndrome, ADHD, and other learning disabilities.

Her inspiration: Susie Baker, Sahana’s mother: "My mom inspires me because she always wants to help others to do their best and succeed. She taught me to work hard, dream big and live my life in a way that makes the world better."

Sahana Baker-Malone is just one member of the SVBJ's 40 Under 40 class for 2017.
Baker-Malone dedicated herself to this facility as a therapist for 12 years before she and another therapist purchased it. Ever the problem solver, she has found ways to boost the company’s productivity and morale. Since stepping into a leadership role, she has implemented bonuses for therapists who take on extra evaluations and consultations as well as introduced gratitude parties for those who turn in their quarterly notes and reports on time. But Baker-Malone’s accomplishments are not limited to the clinic. She is also a marathon runner, a doula, a volunteer coach for Peninsula Junior Derby and Peninsula Roller Girls, and a derby player on the Peninsula Roller Girls’ charter team. Considering herself a peaceful warrior, she chose the derby nickname Pax Punches (pax meaning “kiss of peace”). 

Sahana Baker-Malone
Age: 38
Education: B.A., psychology, Scripps College; M.A., occupational therapy, University of Southern California
The best part of your job: Working with the kids. They are funny, resilient and frequently amaze me.
Your biggest professional whoops so far: Probably the fact that I'm open and honest and say what I think even when it might be best to keep my thoughts to myself.
Your best career move: Moving from Maui to the Bay Area and changing from being a therapist in a hospital to a clinic based occupational therapist.
If you weren't doing this, what would you be doing? I'd be a midwife or a doctor.

Monday, September 4
This is an optional day, so we are open but if you choose to cancel it will not count against your "allowed" cancellations. Please tell your therapist or NhuMai if you plan to attend.

Saturday, September 9: Sensory Gym
Please check with the office about start time.

Saturday, September 16: Sensory Gym
Please check with the office about start time.

Saturday, September 23: Sensory Gym
Please check with the office about start time.

Saturday, September 30: Sensory Gym
Please check with the office about start time.
Therapist Vacations
If your therapist is out of the office, we still want to see you! Please note the following dates, and we will do our best to make it up or find another therapist who can see your child at or near their scheduled time.

Sahana Baker-Malone: 
  • September 5 - 7
Sena Felt
  • September 8
Hana Ju:
  • September 22 (3pm and later)

Meet Karen Swinehart

Karen is another home-grown therapist who started her DICP career as a volunteer in 2004, became an Aide in 2005, and started as a therapist in 2007. This year was Karen's 10-year anniversary as a therapist at DICP.

Karen received her undergraduate degree from UC Davis with a BS in Human Development and a minor in Psychology. After college Karen spent six years in HR and internal employee training. When it was time for a career change, Karen got her master's degree in OT at San Jose State University, and joined the staff as a therapist at DICP in August of 2007. Karen is trained in Therapeutic Listening, The Astronaut Training Protocol, Social Thinking, The S.O.S. feeding approach, Handwriting Without Tears, and has completed two SIPT Courses. Karen is the clinical fieldwork supervisor for OT interns, and does some of the marketing for DICP including starting the Facebook page, and working on the newsletter.

Karen was born in Palo Alto, CA and lives in Mountain View. Her parents, brother, sister-in-law, niece, nephew, and cousin all live near-by and she feels lucky to get to spend so much time with her family. Karen has a very close relationship with her 6 year-old nephew, Gavin, and recently got to take him on a 2-day Bay Area adventure before he started Kindergarten. Karen also has a 9 year-old dog, Rowdy, who keeps her and her family entertained. Karen enjoys spending time with friends and family, swimming, trying new restaurants, and going to Giant's games.

Karen Says:
"I have always been drawn to working with children, and at a young age babysat the kids in the neighborhood. I was a lifeguard and taught swim lessons through high school and college, and in college I studied child development and did research at the university preschool. After college, and during the tech boom, I was offered a job at Sun Microsystems and spent six years working with grown-ups. I realized, after a few years and too many long meetings, that it was time to make a career change and get back to my roots. After seeing a pediatric PT on television, I looked into PT as a career, and was easily convinced to become an occupational therapist after talking with an OT friend. I took classes at night and volunteered at DICP after work until I was accepted to the OT program at SJSU.
The moment I walked through the office door at DICP I knew I was where I needed to be. The one-on-one client relationships, the play, the interesting and fun equipment, and the ability to have a more direct impact with my work was so exciting. I feel so fortunate to have found a wonderful place with such fantastic friends and amazing support from our Aides, Volunteers, and Office Manager. I don't know what other clinics are like, but this is the most collaborative, kind, caring, open, knowledgeable, willing, helpful, smart, and funny group of people that I have ever worked with and I can't imagine being a therapist with any other group. "
DICP's 2017 Fall Intern

This Fall, we are excited to welcome Diana Nguy to DICP! She was one of a number of candidates we interviewed, and she was selected because of her professionalism, excitement, and passion about becoming an occupational therapist. Diana has completed her master's degree coursework and her first internship, and is coming to DICP for 12 weeks this fall to complete this last step before she can sit for the OT licensure board exam. We have had many wonderful student interns in the past, and are sure Diana will be no exception. 

An OT intern is very similar to a student teacher. As a part of her internship, Diana will begin by observing treatment sessions with various therapists to get an idea of how we work and start to understand our clients as well. She will slowly begin taking on more responsibility by writing treatment plans for individual sessions, participating in small parts of the sessions, planning entire sessions, participating in larger parts of the sessions, and eventually becoming the primary therapist treating a full caseload of children. The Child's OT will be observing each session, and will always be available to jump in if needed. We often find that the OT interns have so much creative energy, they inspire us to step up our OT game as well!

The therapists and staff at DICP agree that accepting and training students is an important part of advancing and protecting our profession. Although it takes additional time for us to meet with, train, educate, and supervise our students, we know that by the end we will be sending experienced therapists into the OT world. We thank you, our families, for allowing your children to be a part of Diana's education. Having a student work with your child means you get the benefit of two therapy brains for the price of one! If, however, you are uncomfortable with the idea of a student working with your child, please tell your therapist and we will respect your wishes. Watch this space for more information about our new intern Diana!
Back(pack) to School

September 20th is the American Occupational Therapy Association (AOTA) backpack awareness day. On this day, AOTA educates practitioners, teachers, and parents about the potential pain and injury that can come from using a backpack incorrectly. Please visit the AOTA website to find handouts containing information about backpack safety. Here are a few highlights:
  • Use different compartments to distribute weight
  • Always wear your backpack on both shoulders
  • Lighten the load to no more than 10% of your child's body weight 
  • The backpack should rest snugly against the back
  • Be aware of signs of discomfort such as pain, tingling, red strap marks, or a change in posture while wearing the backpack.
Backpacks are not just for books! If you have a young child who is willing to carry a backpack, use it whenever a proprioceptive boost is needed. This works especially well during field trips, at amusement parks, and in other crowded spaces. It works just as well for trips to the grocery store or park. Load a backpack with beanbags, beanie babies, a water bottle, favorite books, fidgets, or a weighted lap pad (keeping the weight at or under 10% of your child's body weight), and hit the road. Your child will have the things she needs to stay calm and the added proprioceptive input of a weighted backpack will help her stay grounded and connected.
Questions, comments, feedback?

We have really enjoyed creating the DICP digest for our families, friends, and colleagues. If you have any questions, comments, or suggestions for us we would love to hear from you! Feedback about content, layout, and ideas for future issues would be appreciated. We want to give you information that you find valuable, appropriate, fun, interesting, funny, and pertinent. Please send us a message on the portal, call or stop by the office, or send a message to
10011 N. Foothill Blvd., Ste 109 • Cupertino, CA • 95014 • (408) 865-1365
10011 N. Foothill Blvd., Ste. 109, Cupertino, CA 95014, United States
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