Kid's Work Therapy Blog

Santa Maria Therapist Advises on Autism Video, March 2011

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Santa Maria Therapist Advises on Autism Video, March 2011
Santa Maria Therapist Advises on Autism Video
 Stephanie Foster, Occupational Therapist and owner of Kid’s Work of Santa Maria, provided expert advice in the making of a new DVD training series called Autism Spectrum Disorders (ASD).   Stephanie was the subject matter expert and Occupational Therapy consultant for the project.  Her role was to ensure they were depicting accurate and authentic signs of the disorder as well as treatment.
“I also was the treating therapist–they came and filmed me working with the families” said Stephanie of the experience.
This three-part series delves into the mysteries of autism.  It explores the causes of the disorder, the signs and symptoms seen, tests performed to make or confirm the diagnosis, and interventions used in its treatment. Each of the syndromes under the umbrella known as Autism Spectrum Disorders: Classic Autism, Asperger’s Disorder; Rett’s Disorder; Childhood Disintegrative Disorder; and Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Not Otherwise Specified is also described in detail. There are three 20 minute sections.
The DVDs can be purchased at

Santa Maria Therapist Published Article on Effects of Stress During Pregnancy, February 2007
Santa Maria Therapist Publishes Article on Effect of Stress During Pregnancy
Stephanie M. Foster, PhD, OTR/L, owner of Kid’s Work, an occupational therapy clinic which specializes in children with developmental delays, has published an article entitled “A Literature Review: The Effects of Maternal Stress in Pregnancy on Sensory Integration in Children” in the Journal of Prenatal and Perinatal Psychology and Health, Fall 2006.
The article reviews existing research on how a pregnant mother’s mental health status, stress level, and temperament affect her unborn baby’s sensory processing.  The article points out how the mother’s unhealthy mental state may impact her child’s physical, cognitive, self-regulation, and sensory processing. 
To learn more, Foster is currently working on a pilot study to examine more closely the connection between maternal abilities, birth risk factors, and her baby’s development.  She hopes to present her conclusions in early summer at the Santa Barbara Graduate Institute’s annual Day of Presentations on July 14, 2007.
Foster has been working as an OT since 1988 and has been operating Kid’s Work in Santa Maria over five years.

Free Developmental Screenings for Children Five Years and Younger, July 27, 2005
July 27, 2005
Contact: Jim Foster
Phone: 805-264-1553
Free Developmental Screenings for Children Five Years and Younger
Kid’s Work of Santa Maria is participating in the Centers For Disease Control’s “Learn the Signs. Act Early” program by offering free developmental screenings at the Santa Maria Valley YMCA’s Family Day in the Park on Sunday, August 28th.  Volunteers will use a questionnaire to screen for developmental delays in gross motor, fine motor, speech and language, cognitive and self help skills and hand out information on services available locally.  To learn more or to volunteer, contact Jim Foster at 805-264-1553.

Local Therapist Elected Director, July 1, 2005
July 1, 2005
Contact: Stephanie Foster
Phone: 805-264-1553
Local Therapist Elected Director of State Organization
Stephanie M. Foster, PhD, OTR/L, owner of Kid’s Work, an occupational therapy clinic which specializes in children with developmental delays, has been elected Director of the Tri Sans Chapter of the Occupational Therapy Association of California (OTAC).  OTAC serves as California’s professional organization for occupational therapists (OT).
The Tri Sans Chapter, which represents OTs living or working in Santa Barbara, San Luis Obispo, and Ventura counties, provides local occupational therapists with professional advocacy, networking, and continuing education opportunities.  She hopes to sponsor local workshops, establish the Re-Building Together program, and provide communication about state licensure, government affairs, and work compensation issues.  Services that Tri Sans provides the public are to identify competent practitioners that meet a patient’s specific needs.
Upcoming events sponsored by the Tri Sans Chapter include an “Internet Marketing for Health Professionals” workshop offered in Grover Beach on September 17, 2005.
Foster invites the OTs living and working in the Tri Sans’ area to participate and attend their organizational meetings.  Please call her at 805-264-1553 for more information.
Foster has over 17 years experience working as an OT and has been operating Kid’s Work in Santa Maria for over three years.

Local Therapist Shares Her Expertise With Chinese, August 5, 2004
July 5, 2004
Contact: Stephanie Foster
Phone: 805-264-1553

Local Therapist Shares Expertise with Chinese
There are few occupational therapists in China, but unfamiliarity with the profession isn’t discouraging Stephanie Foster, PhD, OTR/L, from sharing her medical expertise with Chinese diplomats.  Foster, the owner of a pediatric occupational therapy private practice in Santa Maria called Kid’s Work, is departing Sunday as an ambassador with the People to People International Program.  “‘We’ll show them what occupational therapy is and how it can help their people be independent,” she said.
“This exchange of knowledge is one of the goals of the People to People programs,” said Rosanne Rosen, the senior vice president of operations for the organization.  The programs, which are offered to different age groups, were started in 1956 by then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower to foster peace and understanding in the international community. Eisenhower had seen the horrors committed in the death camps of World War II and wanted a program, like People to People, to prevent these types of atrocities from happening again Rosen said.  “People to People offers programs for everybody.  Kids as young as kindergarten can interact with kids from Uzbekistan by exchanging letters, cards, and talk about the holidays.” Rosen said it shrinks the global community.
Thousands of students and professionals travel across the globe each year because of the program.  Medical professionals such as Foster are working toward bridging the medical gap between doctors in China and the United States, while younger students are traveling to Australia, Europe and the British Isles to live with international families.
“You really have to be committed to the program and what you’re doing,” Foster said.  All of Foster’s expenses for her 13-day People to People stint in China will be paid out of her own pocket.  “It’s not being subsidized by the government.” Foster’s trip will cost around $6,000, but she said, “It’s worth it because you learn so much from working with people from different countries.  I always enjoy experiencing things from the fresh viewpoint that other cultures provide.”  Foster has practiced occupational therapy in Germany, Romania, and Japan.
Foster will promote occupational therapy at the China Rehabilitation and Research Center, and the Hospital for Disabled Children Children in Beijing; the Traditional Chinese Medical Hospital in Xi’an, and the Kunming Medical College and the Recovering Center of Kunming Children’s Hospital.  The three-city tour will promote the practices Foster and the other occupational therapists use to teach patients how to dress, feed, or function in their daily lives or workplaces after an accident has left them with limited ability.  “Occupational therapists help people live independently.  The children we work with also need help, whether it’s dressing, self-care, learning to sleep through the night, calming themselves, or improving their motor skills,” Foster said.  “Physical therapist help you get where you need to go and occupational therapists help you do what you need to do once you get there,” she said.
For more information, please contact Foster at 805-264-1553 or visit their website at

Local Therapist Guest of KCBX’s Heathwise Radio Show, June 10, 2004
July 27, 2005
Contact: Jim Foster
Phone: 805-264-1553
Local Therapist Guest of KCBX’s Healthwise Radio Show
Stephanie Foster, a pediatric occupational therapist in private practice in Santa Maria, will be the guest on KCBX’s Healthwise radio show at 11:00 on Thursday, June 17, 2004.  the show will discuss accessing specialty health care for treating sensory processing disorders, attention deficit disorder, Asperger’s Syndrome, and other developmental disorders.
For more information, please contact Stephanie Foster at 805-264-1553 or visit her website at

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