Cara Koscinski has her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy and has been an occupational therapist for families for over 15 years. Ms. Koscinski is also a parent to children with autism spectrum, eosinophilic and sensory processing disorders. She has used her experience and knowledge gained from being a mom of children with special needs and her studies and work experience as an occupational therapist to come up with a wonderful guide book, The Pocket Occupational Therapist for Families of Children with Special Needs.
This book is for you if you’re raising, teaching, or treating a child with special needs. Ms. Koscinski’s gem of a book with 144 pages is brimming with answers to questions we all wish to ask pediatric occupational therapists. It will be as much appreciated the first time you read it as the many other times you refer to it for added guidance and reassurance.
When you find yourself caring for a child with special needs it is often overwhelming. There is so much to do and to learn that often caregivers do not know where to start looking for information, services, and support. Often one of the specialists a child with special needs will be working with is a pediatric occupational therapist. What is occupational therapy? How do you choose the right occupational therapist (OT) for your child? How can an OT help your child? What can parents do between OT appointments to help? You will find answers to all these questions and a wealth of more parenting information in Cara Koscinski’s guide book, The Pocket Occupational Therapist for Families of Children with Special Needs.
Parents are usually the first to question if their child’s development is on track. If you are new parents and are wondering if your child is meeting his developmental milestones, this handy pocket guide with its developmental checklists will help you. The author tells anxious parents that each child is unique and develops at his own pace; however, if they feel something is just not quite right with their child they must share their concerns with their pediatrician.
The author told me that for a number of years, she put her heart into the task of writing The Pocket Occupational Therapist for Families of Children with Special Needs. Readers. The time and effort that the author put in writing this guide book shines through on every page. Congratulations for a job well done, Cara Koscinski! Thank you for this wonderful resource in the name of all the parents out there who will benefit from your book.
PLEASE NOTE: Cara Koscinski’s second book, The Special Needs SCHOOL Survival Guide: Handbook for Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD, Learning Disabilities, & More! published June 3, 2014 and The Pocket Occupational Therapist for Families of Children with Special Needs both won 2015 Family Choice Awards.
Note: This post was updated in May. 2016 to add information about Cara’s new books.
About The Pocket Occupational Therapist for Families of Children with Special Needs:
We learn that the slogan for occupational therapy is, “Skills for the Job of Living!”. The OT will specifically look at how each special need affects a child’s life and helps to problem solve with the caregiver. The OT will use age-appropriate activities to work on the developmental skills that your child needs. If your child has a diagnosed special need and occupational therapy has been planned as part of his treatment Cara Koscinski’s book is a must have resource guide. What topics are covered in her book?
The Pocket Occupational Therapist for Families of Children with Special Needs has seven chapters that address various topics and each chapter has many sub-sections. Here are the chapter titles:
- What is Occupational Therapy?
- What Are Core Muscles and Why Are They Important to My Child’s Function?
- Feeding and Oral-Motor (Muscles of the Mouth)
- Handwriting and the Upper Extremity (Arm)
- What Do You Mean We Have More Than Five Senses?
- Behaviors and Transitions During Daily Activities
- OT in School vs. OT in an Outpatient Setting/Clinic
Cara Koscinski’s book is a handy, well organized resource book. It has an index and a detailed Table of Contents with numerous sub-headings in each chapter. This format makes it easy to find the information you are looking for. For example in the chapter Feeding and Oral-Motor (Muscles of the Mouth), there are thirteen sub-headings. Usually they are in the form of a question. Here are a few:
Feeding and Oral-Motor
- Food Aversion
- Why does my child eat only one or two foods?
- How can I tell if my child is having difficulty with eating?
- Who should be involved in the “feeding team”?
- Why does my child drool?
- How do I help my child to strengthen her mouth/oral muscles?
After answering a sub-title question in her very easy to understand way, the author always has an “Out of the POCKET Activity”. For example to answer,”Why Does My Child Drool?” Her activities suggested are to increase oral-motor strength and tone in the mouth. Her suggestions are easy to implement, inexpensive, and do not require a lot of equipment/therapy tools.
Other Features I Love About The Pocket Occupational Therapist
- Great cover and perfect title that so aptly shows folks what the book is about.
- Comfortable font size, a great balance of text and blank space inviting the reader to jot down important notes.
- Ideal size to hold, to carry, to keep handy and easy to hold open with one hand.
- Easy-to-understand, friendly tone of “voice” the author uses makes it feel you are talking to a trusted friend.
- Expert advice intertwined with personal anecdotes makes it an informative and interesting read.
- Extensive recommended resource list of catalogs and websites for products and information for raising or working with children with special needs.
Cara Koscinski said that the best teaching she has received is from living with her two special children. In turn, for those parenting a child with physical or developmental disabilities or parents of children in rehabilitation from illness or injury reading The Pocket Occupational Therapist for Families of Children With Special Needs by Cara Koscinski is your resource tool to helping the child under your care reach his full potential.
Cara Koscinski has her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy and has been an occupational therapist for over 15 years. She was one of the founders of Aspire Pedictric Therapy, LLC. Cara currently owns, which provides occupational therapy services and consultations. Her company also creates, produces, and distributes CDs for children with auditory sensitivity, and designs and distributes autism, sensory processing disorder, and eosinophilic disease awareness products. The CDs that Cara has created, Sound-Eaze and School-Eaze, are featured in several catalogues for children with special needs including: Southpaw Enterprises, Abilitations, and Achievement Products. Cara is also a homeschooling mother. She is the parent to children with autism spectrum, eosinophilic and sensory processing disorders.
Cara was the recipient of the Duquesne University’s Innovative Practice Entrepreneur Award and has served as an adjunct clinical instructor for the Duquesne University Occupational Therapy program. Cara has been a guest on the ‘Community Psychiatric Centers Presents’ program discussing occupational therapy and sensory processing disorder. She has extensive training in sensory processing disorder, pediatric feeding techniques, core muscle considerations, autism, gastro-intestinal disorders, upper extremity treatment, handwriting, Therapeutic Listening, caregiver stressors and support, visual perception, and business/private practice topics. In addition, she enjoys speaking to groups of therapists, for training sessions, and to teachers, schools, and parent support organizations. In 2012, Cara was a guest for the ANDERSON Cooper show discussing eosinophilic disorders.
Cara is passionate about providing quality treatment to children with special needs which is evident by her additional training and drive to seek new and fun ways to help children to achieve their goals. By forming a partnership with the caregiver, goals for therapy can be met faster and while everyone is having fun!
Follow Cara Koscinski
A Boy Allergic to Food
Cara ‘s son, Joshua, a 9-year-old who lives with a disease called eosinophilic esophagitis, is allergic to nearly all foods.
- Interview Cara Koscinski, MOT, Mom of Children with Special Needs, Speaker, Author, and Entrepreneur
- Review of The Special Needs School Survival Guide: Handbook for Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD, Learning Disabilities, & More! by Cara Koscinski MOT OTR/L
Buy Books by Cara N. Koscinski MOT OTR/L
- The Pocket Occupational Therapist for Families of Children With Special Needs – Nov 15, 2012 Amazon.com Amazon.ca
- The Special Needs School Survival Guide: Handbook for Autism, Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD, Learning Disabilities, & More! – Jun 3, 2014 Amazon.com Amazon.ca Future Horizons
- The Parent’s Guide to Occupational Therapy for Autism and Other Special Needs: Practical Strategies for Motor Skills, Sensory Integration, Toilet Training, and More 2 edition (February 21, 2016) Amazon.com Amazon.ca
- The Weighted Blanket Guide: Everything You Need to Know about Weighted Blankets and Deep Pressure for Autism, Chronic Pain, and Other Conditions – May 19, 2016 by Eileen Parker and Cara Koscinski Amazon.com Amazon.ca