OT Month Spotlight
To celebrate Occupational Therapy Month, we want to highlight one of our fabulous OT’s here at Coastal. We’ve put together a fun Q&A interview to help our families and friends get to know Mrs. Mary Sebold. She has been with Coastal since 2006 and brings over 30 years of pediatric experience to our team! Her highly skilled therapy skills and passion for helping children succeed makes her an incredibly valued part of Coastal Pediatric Therapy Center!
What is your favorite thing to do when you are not working?
"Walking or bike riding on the beach, spending time with my family and most recently I am really loving gardening. I have a raised vegetable and a butterfly flower garden, and I just planted an avocado tree."
What is your favorite part about being an OT?
"Every day I get to use my knowledge and skills to make a purposeful difference in someone’s life. There is nothing better than that!"
Looking back on your career as an OT, what is one of your best memories?
"I just love it when a parent tells me their child is excited and has been asking to come to therapy and play with me. One of the best memories I have was when a little boy told me that he liked coming to OT because he knew that I liked playing with him and he didn’t think that many other people did. I still tear up when I think about that little boy!"
What are your favorite therapy techniques?
"I have always been drawn to clients in need of neuro-developmental and cognitive behavioral treatment. I am fascinated by how the brain works and how you can facilitate changes in a child’s sensory motor and cognitive function that can improve their independence for the rest of their life. I also enjoy teaching children about self-regulation and how to cope with their anxiety and sensory processing issues. I look forward to seeing the relief and confidence in a child who knows what he can do to help him or herself. "
What is your favorite part about working with kids?
"Kids are so complex and there are so many different aspects of their development to work with and address. I am a person who likes change and gets bored easily so pediatrics has been a great fit for me. Every child has a unique set of challenges and keeps me constantly on my toes. I also love to laugh and have fun at work and children have such a great way of keeping this a part of my daily workday. "
Since April is also Autism Awareness month, tell us about your experience working with children with autism.
"I have been working with children on the spectrum for over twenty years. I’ve learned about how complex this diagnosis is. I have grown in my understanding of their unique challenges and difficulties over the years attending as many of the courses and training seminars as I could. Over the years many of the children with ASD I have worked with have been above average intellectually and have presented with lots of questions and interests that can be quite fascinating! I just love the unique knowledge and perspectives that these kiddos bring to me and to the world. Their passion for those things that they love, whether it is an animal, famous character, tools, music, movies or whatever it may be, is inspiring! It never ceases to amaze me how much they know and how excited they are to share it!"
What is the most interesting thing about you that we wouldn’t know from your work history or resume alone?
"That after raising 3 children of my own, I am becoming a foster parent. I hope that my knowledge of behavior in children and their development as well as my desire to bring love to children and families in need will help me to be successful."
What would you do if you won a million dollars?
"Most likely I would retire, and devote my time to teaching/writing, foster care, my family, traveling and being a cheerful and generous giver."
Can you tell us more about why you began the fostering process?
"I am a faithful person and have always had a deep heart for children in need. When in church one day, my pastor told us to think what we could do to get off the sidelines and get into the game of loving like Christ. Although I had thought about it in the past, I knew that it was time when both my husband and I felt called by God to foster care. So we began the journey!"
What are you and your family hoping to gain from the experience?
"My biggest hope is that I will be able to show children who have been abused and neglected by their families that there are people who will love and care for them and will commit to being there for them for the long haul. I have been blessed with good role models and opportunities throughout my life and I would like to pay that forward to children who have not been as fortunate."