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Atlas Foundation For Autism

Meet Emily Mallard!

Atlas' Occupational Therapist

By Nicole Kolenda, M.S., CCC-SLP

Atlas Featured Content   /   More From Emily Mallard   /   More From Nicole Kolenda

Emily Mallard

We are so excited to introduce Emily Mallard, our new Occupational Therapist!

Emily is a NYS licensed Occupational Therapist with a Master's degree from Barry University in Miami Shores, FL. Prior to obtaining her Master's degree in Occupational Therapy, Emily graduated from San Diego State University with a Bachelor's degree in Kinesiology. Emily completed her pediatric affiliation at an outpatient center in Shrewsbury, NJ where she gained a strong background for a diversity of diagnoses. Her areas of expertise are in the evaluation and treatment of children with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), ADD/ADHD, neurological and genetic disorders and developmental delays. Emily has also participated in continuing education and training in Brain Gym, Social Thinking, Handwriting without Tears and Using Visual and Sensory Supports to Assist Students with Focus and Attention in the educational environment.

1. Welcome to Atlas! Take a moment to tell us your background--where did you complete your education? What brought you to the east coast?

Emily Mallard: As a California native, I spent most of my life on the west coast eventually attending San Diego State University to obtain my Bachelors Degree of Science in Kinesiology. Following graduation, I was ready to spread my wings so to speak and set out for Miami, Fl where I completed my Master's in Occupational Therapy. From there I completed several clinical rotations eventually ending up in the northeast. The rest is history!

2. Why OT?

OT Girl Occupational Therapy was something I knew early on I wanted to practice. It was important to me to be in a field where I had endless opportunities to connect with students and clients on an individual level while also having endless flexibility and creativity. More importantly, I wanted to be in a field where I was able to make an impact, big or small, on the lives of each individual I worked with.

3. You are trained in many different methodologies--which one resonates most with you?

It is always my goal to draw from a wide range of foundational theories in order to explain Occupational performance in each individual. Clinical reasoning drives implementation of specific interventions therefore not all methodologies are applicable to each students’ unique needs. With that being said, however, Ayer’s Sensory Integration (SI) theory is what resonates with me the most and what I most often incorporate into my treatment sessions. It is also where I have done the majority of my post graduate continuing education.

4. Many of our students have fine/gross motor difficulties, including handwriting and ADL's as well as sensory needs--how would you go about setting the treatment plan for the student with many OT needs?

Following a comprehensive evaluation, I find that it is most important to prioritize identified problems in collaboration with the rest of the team (i.e. teacher, speech therapist, parents etc.) in order to develop the most appropriate and individualized plan of care.

5. Summer in the city is a great time for our students to get out and be with their families--which sports/activities do you find yourself recommending most?

I am a huge fan of gymnastics as another extracurricular activity for our students. Not only does it provide a structured and motivating environment, it further addresses social skills, fine and gross motor strengthening, among other things.

Girl On Ball

Emily is available for individual and group therapy sessions at the Atlas Foundation for Autism Monday-Friday. Please contact Nicole at for more information, including booking session(s) and pricing.

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