Kid's Work Therapy Staff
Dr. Stephanie Foster, PhD, OTR/L RYT500
Founder, Kid’s Work Therapy
I am honored to be your guide on this journey to help your child. After 30-plus years of practicing as an occupational therapist (OT) both in private and school-based settings, my passion is assisting families in understanding their child’s sensory needs. I work with families to help figure out why kids are unable to self-regulate and how to manage meltdowns and other disruptive behaviors. I firmly believe in occupational therapy’s non-pharmacological approach to assisting children in thriving in their true occupations of living, learning, and playing.
Interactive Metronome Therapist
Marie is a highly talented individual who provides Interactive Metronome training for Kid’s Work Therapy. She is excited to continually help kids improve their cognitive, communicative, sensory, and motor performance skills by coming up with creative ideas to make IM sessions interactive and challenging for kids. She hopes to help kiddos focus for longer amounts of time by making the training fun and interesting ways to grow!
In her free time, Marie loves to go on adventures with her friends, whether that’s the beach, hiking, or weekend trips to somewhere new. She is currently between schools and will be heading to India in Winter 2022 to work with different community growth initiatives. Marie values the work that Kid’s Work Therapy does and is excited to be a part of the team!
Kid’s Work Therapy is excited to have Abby Declines on our team. Abby is currently a Student of Occupation Therapy at Stanbridge University in Irvine, CA. She has a B.S. in kinesiology with a minor in cognitive & behavioral neuroscience from San Diego State University. Growing up, she played tennis and volleyball, and she was also on the SDSU Men’s Rowing team during her time in undergrad.
Abby is eager to gain experience and insight into the world of occupational therapy with KWT via Telehealth by helping kids with physical exercise skills, emotional maturation, and communication. ‘
Office Manager and Interactive Metronome Therapist
Kid’s Work is pleased to introduce Ms. Melissa Vega as the newest member of the Kid’s Work family. Ms. Vega has a long career as a professional office manager to several local medical practices. She brings a passion for precision, referral coordination, and accounting. She’s especially good at Quick Books and will make sure your insurance claims are accurately processed.
Ms. Vega is passionate about helping children and families understand their medical insurance, and wants to ensure that children are covered and receive the help they need to function. She shares that at a young age, she felt compassion for children who are differently-abled, and has admired how much love these children hold if you learn how to communicate with them properly. The most important lesson she learned is that all children deserve to be treated with the same respect and care.
When Ms. Vega is not working, she’s actively riding her bicycle around Santa Maria and helping the homeless with necessities. She’s a proud grandmother and is very close to her family. She’s the pet owner of a beautiful lizard named “Lucky Lucy”. One fun fact about her is that she used to drive race cars for fun. Nowadays, you can see her driving her favorite PT Cruiser around town.
Kid’s Work is pleased to welcome Ms. Ashtyn South to the family! Ms. South is a fourth-year undergraduate student at Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. She is majoring in Child Development with a minor in Psychology. While growing up in Eastvale, CA, she played soccer and was on the swim team during her free time. She plans to pursue pediatric occupational therapy working either outpatient or in the NICU, and eventually specialize in hippotherapy. She is joining Kid;s Work as part of the “Learn by Doing” internship through her studies. She will also assist with administration during this time.
During the summers, she works at a ranch in the Central Valley as a counselor for the children’s program. In her free time, she loves to spend time with her roommates and family when they come to visit! Please welcome Ashtyn to the team and congratulate her on her hard work and studies.
Kid’s Work is pleased to introduce Amanda Wright. She is a local resident of Orcutt, California, is married, and has two daughters, aged 11 and 5. She loves living near the coast and spending time with her family. They enjoy the Central Coast by always planning the next family adventure and doing things outdoors such as hiking, biking, and paddle boarding. She also loves yoga and meditation.
Mrs. Wright is currently a student at St. Catherine University where she is completing her Occupational Therapy Assistant program. Prior to becoming an OT student, she also earned an Associate of Social Sciences Degree and a certification in Early Childhood development.
Amanda was first introduced to the occupational therapy profession about fifteen years ago when she was employed as a behavioral therapy assistant for an early intervention program. She continued to work side by side with occupational therapy practitioners later as a para-educator in a school-based setting. She was always amazed by the work occupational therapists did and the positive impact they made on the functionality of the student she worked with. They taught her how to implement components of their therapy into sessions, which helped the students find balance and function more independently. Overall, working with children and their families has always been something she felt passionate about, aka her “happy place.” The value of occupational therapy has also been revealing itself in other aspects of her life, making it clear how valuable OT can be across the lifespan and in various settings.
After becoming a stay-at-home mom during COVID, she decided to return to school and embark on a long-time desire to become an occupational therapy practitioner. She’s excited and honored for the opportunity to complete her final fieldwork rotation before graduation at Kid’s Work Therapy, and to be back working with children and families in the community. Mrs. Wright is excited for this new chapter in life and the lives she will help to improve in the future!