Occupational Therapists

Laura Heil, B.S., OTR/L

Laura graduated form the State University at Buffalo with a Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy in 1997. Since then, Laura has acquired a wide range of experience working in various different settings with many different populations. After college, she worked at NYU Medical Center where she discovered her true passion for pediatrics. After working with adults for 5 years, she transferred to the pediatric department at NYU. Her caseload included a combination of children from inpatient, outpatient, preschool and early intervention with ages ranging from 18 months to 18 years. The diagnoses also ranged from cerebral palsy to autism with treatment focus on neurological dysfunction to hyperactivity and sensory processing disorders. In addition to performing evaluations, treatment and documentation of all the children on her caseload, Laura was the OT representative for the Spasticity Clinic at Hospital of Special Surgery and responsible for all inpatient seating and positioning and wheel chair needs for the children in the hospital and in the classroom at the preschool. Laura was also the recipient of the 2001 Employee Spotlight Award at NYU.

In 2003, Laura started working at the McCarton Center. Here she gained further experience working with children ages 18 months to 10 years with diagnosis of ASD in one-to-one and group sessions in a sensory gym. She was one of two OT evaluators – administering, scoring and writing evaluations using formal assessments: Peabody Developmental Motor Scales, Bruininks-Oseretsky Test of Motor Proficiency, Beery-Buktenica Developmental Test of Visual-Motor Integration, Sensory Profile, Motor-Free Visual Perception Test. Treatment was primarily based on sensory integration approach and Laura worked closely with Dr. Cecelia McCarton, a developmental pediatrician. Also in this setting, she collaborated with psychologists, Speech-Language Pathologists, ABA (Applied Behavioral Approach) specialists, and teachers to help these children reach their goals.  Laura is also trained in The Listening Program.

For the last nine years. Laura has been working with children with cerebral palsy, developmental delays and autism from Italy. These patients come to New York City from Italy for intensive therapies and occupational therapy is typically implemented for three to six months at a time once a year. Treatment focus consists of positioning, upper extremity function, core strengthening, visual perception and cognitive skills. Laura has become fluent in Italian and all communication with her patients and their families is in Italian.

Laura has taken numerous continuing education courses in the last 14 years to further her skills. She has advanced training in wheelchair positioning and mobility devices (with Jean Minkel), NDT training (with Jan Davis), Handwriting Without Tears (with Jan Olsen), S.A.N.E. Method (with Ann Berkley-Reen), Sensory Defensiveness: A Comprehensive Treatment Approach (with Patricia Wilbarger), Listening with the Whole Body (with Sheila M. Frick OTR ), MORE: Integrating the Mouth with Sensory and Postural Function (with Eileen W. Richter and Patricia Oetter), PECS The Picture Exchange Communication System, Yoga and Pilates for the Special Needs Child. Her effort to further her treatment skills is ongoing.

Laura currently resides in Summit with her wonderful husband and three children, Anna, William and Julia. She has been a part of our talented staff at CSS and with the practice for over 10 years!