I'm sure when Occupational Therapist Cara Koscinski began practicing over 18 years ago, she did not think she would be a successful mom-trepreneur, public speaker, blogger, and the 2015 Parent's Choice Award winner. But then of course, who would?
Cara's experience runs the gamut, from heart/lung transplant hospital to rehab and hand therapy as well as pediatrics. But it is her personal experiences raising her two children with special needs that inspires much of her work.
"They attended hundreds of hours of therapy. I felt as though I was on a ‘Level 3’ Fieldwork as I watched and learned from some amazing OTs! I took the good and left the bad to begin my own pediatric private practice. I specialize in autism, posture, and SPD. It’s the best when I go to a training that benefits my own sons and my clients! I’d go to EVERY training out there if I could afford to."
Searching for connections with therapists and other parents dealing with similar issues, Cara began The Pocket OT in 2005. Originally it was entitled Route2Greatness because her son was fascinated by roads; he could name them all. But as her blog evolved into what it is today, she changed the name to The Pocket OT to better suit Cara's quick-reference intentions.
One of her favorite posts hits close to home. 7 Tips for Fear of Loud Noises highlights the need for patience when working on desensitization. "So many children are fearful of loud and un-expected noises at school. My own son could not complete his classroom work for weeks after the school year began as he was afraid that the fire alarm would sound. My sister’s a music therapist and together, we invented a way to help him." Sound-Eaze and School-Eaze are available for download from her site as well as sold in special needs catalogues.
Now writing content for 10 years, Cara has also expanded her passion for sharing information into two books, “The Pocket Occupational Therapist” and “The Special Needs SCHOOL Survival Guide," both of which were Family Choice Awards winners She also has two new books coming this fall: the first is ‘The Weighted Blanket Sensation” and the other is a children’s book called, “Joshua’s Mighty Mitochondrial Disease."
When asked about a memorable therapeutic moment, Cara shared about how goofiness helped to finally break the ice with a teenage client who hated going to OT. "He spent seven sessions sitting in my clinic- refusing to speak to me……One session, I went through his entire home exercise program making up silly words; we both started laughing. After he decided I wasn’t so bad, he ended up meeting ALL of his goals! I hope he’s doing well!"
Not only can you find her working, writing, managing social media and email (ThePocketOT@gmail.com), posting products on Teachers Pay Teachers, this month you can see her in person. Cara will be speaking after Temple Grandin at the Future Horizons Dallas Autism Super Conference this month. Luckily for followers, The Pocket OT is pocket-full of energy, insight and inspiration.