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Check Out The Expert Exchange

As physical, occupational and speech therapists working with children with complex needs (and too often) exhausted families and disconnected teams that don't always see eye-to-eye, we recognised the need for clinical discussions that go beyond what we can gather from textbook and published guidelines.

Kim Barthel: Inspiration From an Extraordinary Occupational Therapist

Kim Barthel Occupational Therapy for pediatric therapists

Scroll down for the podcast and links to all good things discussed in the interview

From craniosacral therapy to biomechanics and neurobiology, attachment theory, neurodevelopment, sensory integration, mental health and trauma. Kim Barthel is eclectic, grounded and everything in between. She is an OT, an author, a teacher and a visionary. Kim is both an NDT and Sensory Integration instructor, she has consulted at government level on policies and programs impacting vulnerable populations. She was mentioned by Karen Pape in her book, "The boy who could run but not walk" and was introduced to me by the very wise Shelley Mannell from Heartspace PT. I was super excited to get the chance to peek inside her head to see what makes her tick and I was not disappointed!

I truly wished I could bottle Kim up to keep in my pocket for a daily dose of inspiration and wisdom. She has a gift for putting things in perspective and making complex ideas simple - You will come away from her interview with a deeper understanding of many different therapy approaches and a feeling that you could probably start to make headway with some behaviorally complex kids. You don't want to miss her insights!

Scroll down to the podcast player to listen or find us on iTunes or Stitcher.

For quick links to all the good stuff Kim shares and more in depth info scroll down to the Resources Section

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The Podcast: Listen, enjoy, share...

If you have a slow internet connection, you may need to download the podcast first by clicking on the download symbol (the little down arrow) in the player below or find us on iTunes or Stitcher

Time Stamps (drag the cursor along the sound wave - might only work on desktop)

  • On creating profound change and curing disabilities 5:35

  • Truths about science and neurobiology (in the bathtub) 7:20

  • SYNCroSI 8:42

  • Sensory Processing not sensory integration therapy 9:40

  • The most challenging clients for Kim 10:35

  • Fascinating clinical stories that shaped Kim's therapy approach 12:08

  • On Behavior - An integrated approach 20:52

  • Becoming a behavioral detective 21:47

  • Projects for youth with multiple complex behaviors 21:40

  • Where to start with your treatments (tracking) 27:29

  • On NDT & transdisciplinary models of care 29:30

  • Questions

  • Craniosacral Therapy 30:49

  • Working with traumatized clients 35:56

  • Treating the highly mobile child with autism 40:44

  • The evidence for SI and evidence based practice 45:32

  • How to do therapy with kids who don't want to be touched 49:37

  • Great advice for new therapists 52:35

  • Frustrations 53:14

  • Current Passions 54:00

  • Recommended learning 55:12


Wired ON Development clickable links to great resources

Please note: these book links go through to Amazon Affiliate Program

Thanks for your support!


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