Occupational Therapist Helps Children Reach Their Greatest Potential
Stephanie Foster is an OTR whose work in pediatric occupational therapy (OT) has improved the quality of life of her young clients and their families.
- Published: October 24, 2023
Stephanie M. Foster, PhD, OTR/L, CYT500
Owner & Pediatric Occupational Therapist, Kid’s Work Therapy
Certified in 1989
A Fun and Evidence-Based Home Clinic
Dr. Foster, an OTR from California, has a passion for pediatric OT. She is the owner of and sole occupational therapist at Kid’s Work Therapy, a private practice that provides state-of-the-art pediatric OT services. In her clinic, Dr. Foster works with children of all ages who have developmental delays, self-regulation difficulties, autism spectrum disorder, or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), to name a few. She strives to help families support their children in reaching their greatest potential.
“[Dr. Foster’s] very first child in the clinic was a 3-year-old boy who had been expelled from preschool for poor behavior and biting his peers. Additionally, the family had difficulty with the insurance company paying for services. Dr. Foster chose care over compensation and now 20 plus years later, this same boy [is a] junior in college, studying chemistry, and [a] thriving baseball player. The parents still share Christmas cards and marvel at how OT and Dr. Foster made a difference.”
Margaret “Peg” Bledsoe, OTD, OTR/L, FAOTA
Dr. Foster manages Kid’s Work Therapy from her home. She believes that children progress when they are comfortable and having fun, and the home-based setting helps support this belief. Her clients may be learning new skills, trying new activities, and taking risks, but they are participating in a way that feels like play. To that end, Dr. Foster has furnished her home clinic with recreational equipment with a purpose. Equipment consists of a trampoline for clients to improve proprioception, vestibular input, and strength; a ball pit for clients to address areas such as proprioception, form constancy, and gross motor skills; and playground equipment that provides opportunities for climbing, bouncing, and strengthening. The clinic also utilizes an assortment of specialized equipment such as a vestibulator that helps clients explore, tolerate, and understand movement in all planes, as well as an Interactive Metronome®, which is an evidence-based training and assessment tool that has been shown to improve cognition, focus, executive function, and motor and sensory skills.
Dr. Foster believes that transfer of skills to home, school, and the community is critical to the effectiveness of therapy, which is why she includes her clients’ parents in every step of the process. Her practice is not a “stop-and-drop” clinic; rather, it is a place where parents learn alongside their children. In this way, parents can better understand the needs of their children and ways to help them reach their potential.
“My son and I spent an entire summer learning, alongside other children and their parents, about how his brain works, why he has certain responses, and begin learning how to properly interact with others. The experience was life changing for the both of us. … Dr. Foster clearly loves her role and her patients and it shows in all her interactions with both her child patients as well as their parents.”
Dr. Foster has assisted over 3,000 families since she started Kid’s Work Therapy 21 years ago. Parents have cited that after participating in therapy with Dr. Foster, their children have experienced improved behaviors, including fewer outbursts and fights at school, fewer reminders from teachers to stay on task, and better interactions with siblings and peers. In addition, parents who wanted to improve their children’s functioning without the use of medication were able to do so because of Dr. Foster’s evidence-based OT interventions.
An Accomplished Therapist
In addition to her work at her clinic, Dr. Foster is an international lecturer and a published author. She has provided OT services and presentations in Germany, Romania, China, Thailand, and Japan. In 2020, she published her first book, Self-Regulation and Mindfulness Activities for Sensory Processing Disorder: Creative Strategies to Help Children Focus and Remain Calm.
Additionally, Dr. Foster is an active member of the Occupational Therapy Association of California (OTAC). She regularly presents up-and-coming topics at the association’s annual conference. In 2020, she received OTAC’s Occupational Therapy Practice Award.
Dr. Foster is also committed to mentoring the next generation of OT professionals. As a certified yoga instructor, Dr. Foster teaches yoga to OT students who are learning at her clinic, to promote a work-life balance. These students have reported that because of the regular yoga classes, they are more grounded and can focus more intently on the needs of their clients.
“I have seen [Dr. Foster] work with several OT students. She provides the most amazing program for them, constantly pushing them to learn, do, and grow. She is there to help in any way needed, always willing to help anyone succeed with even the smallest challenge. She again is always watching, evaluating, and looking for ways to help them become successful in life as well as occupational therapy practitioners! Her impact seems to know no limits or boundaries!”
Melissa Hoien Vega
Office Manager/Interactive Metronome Therapist
Kid's Work Therapy