Theraplay LA’s mission is to help children and their families lead the happiest and most fulfilling lives by providing a fun, nurturing, and supportive environment that facilitates growth and development through playful therapy. We use your child’s individual gifts and unique skill set to help create a specially tailored and innovative treatment plan with an
array of opportunities to build a strong foundation for learning
and growing to reach their developmental potential.
By embracing your child’s strengths and identifying learning styles along with
challenges, we will empower your child with the necessary skills to navigate their
day to day life in the home, school, and community setting.
"Play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really
the work of childhood.”
– Fred Rogers
The daily occupation of play is
one of the most important things a
child will do in their entire life.
Play is the natural process in which children learn from their environment. Through purposeful play children engage in endless opportunities for learning and growing that facilitate optimal development. Each therapy session is tailored to your child’s individualized needs making it playful, fun, and rewarding. We use play as a means to help children work on underlying skills necessary to happily engage and function in their daily life as independent as possible.
Our team of specially trained pediatric therapists provide a holistic approach to occupational therapy and look at the child as a whole. A consultation with one of our therapists is not only an assessment of various skills and sensory processing but an insightful engagement which will help you better understand your child and their individual strengths and areas requiring external support including sensory processing, motor skills, higher executive functioning skills, and their ability to complete meaningful and purposeful daily occupations (e.g. activities required for daily life).
ABOUT THE OWNER
Dr. Marielly Mitchell, OTD, OTR/L, SIPT, SWC, a Los Angeles native was born and raised in Manhattan Beach, CA. She attended Loyola Marymount University majoring in Psychology with a minor in studio arts. A fascination with the mind and body connection from childhood led her to occupational therapy. She graduated with her Master’s in 2011 and in 2012 completed her Doctorate with a teacher’s aid scholarship from the top ranked occupational therapy program at the University of Southern California. During her academic career she practiced in a variety of settings across the lifespan with various abilities. However, she fell in love with the infectious energy of children and the positive impact her therapeutic touch had on children and their families.
From the beginning of her professional career Marielly was on the constant pursuit of self-evolution as a therapist as she took numerous courses and trainings. Her curiosity led her to further her studies in sensory processing and become “SIPT” certified. She also focused her training on helping children with feeding and swallowing disorders which led to an Advanced Practice Certification in Swallowing Assessment, Evaluation, or Intervention (SWC) and studied Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy broadening her knowledge base to help children with oral motor challenges, feeding difficulties, and facilitating optimal closed mouth breathing. She also has training and experience in Neurodevelopmental Treatment (NDT), Cuevas Medek Exercise (CME), Handwriting without Tears, and Integrated Learning Systems (ILS). Marielly’s dedication to occupational therapy and her expansive skill set has allowed her merge her two passions as she has traveled the globe including Bali, Sweden, and Australia, helping children with various abilities reach their full developmental potential.
At Theraplay LA our therapists provide individualized therapeutic programs based on years of experience and cutting edge research to help children reach their full developmental potential. We pride ourselves on educating and empowering parents to help them accelerate the therapeutic process and use a collaborative approach with families to help children reach their goals not matter how big or small they may be.
What is Occupational Therapy (OT)?
Every person including every child has many ‘occupations’ or meaningful activities that they participate in daily life to lead a fulfilling and happy life. For children, some of these occupations include playing, learning, and socializing. For children, the goal of Occupational Therapy is ensuring that a child is able to functionally participate in and succeed in meaningful occupational engagement throughout their daily life to learn and grow from their environment.
HOW DO I KNOW
if my child needs Occupational Therapy?
Listed below are some “red flags” if your child exhibits one or more of the following it is highly recommended that your child receives a comprehensive occupational therapy evaluation by a licensed occupational therapist, preferably one that is Sensory Integration certified (SIPT).
At Theraplay LA we believe that individualized therapeutic programs are the most successful because they incorporate various treatment methods and approaches specific to your child. As pediatric specialists we pride ourselves on using cutting edge modalities and treatments to help your child reach their individualized goals and full potential.
The TheraPlay LA Way
OUR TREATMENT METHODS
With a wide range of expertise and areas of focus, our treatment methods include but are not limited to:
Sensory Integration Framework
NDT (Neurodevelopmental Treatment)
Integrated Listening Systems
Advanced Practice Certification in Swallowing Assessment, Evaluation, or Intervention (SWC)
Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy
Cuevas Medek Exercise
Challenges Related to Sensory Modulation Disorder (SMD)
Challenges Related to Sensory Discrimination Disorder (SDD)
Challenges Related to Sensory Based Motor Disorder (SMBD)
Challenges Related to Fine, Visual Motor, and/or Perceptual Skills
Challenges Relating to
Gross Motor Skills
Challenges Relating to Activities of Daily Living and Instrumental Activities of Daily Living
Challenges Related to
Ocular Motor Control
Challenges Related to Executive Functioning
Challenges Related to
OROFACIAL MYOFUNCTIONAL THERAPY
What is an Orofacial Myofunctional Disorder (OMD)?
Orofacial Myofuctional Disorders (OMDs) are abnormal movement patterns of the face, tongue, lips, and mouth that result in inappropriate function of the anatomy.
HOW DO I KNOW
if my child needs OMT?
If your child experiences any of the following, you may want to consult an OMT:
• Thumb and/or finger sucking
• Pacifier and/or lovey sucking
• Tongue Sucking
• Mouth Breathing
• Resting open mouth posture
• Crowded / Crooked Teeth Difficulty breathing through the nose
• Excessive Drooling (especially beyond age 2)
• Limited tongue movement
• Poor Lip Seal
• Tongue Thrusting (tongue pushing forward against or through front teeth)
• Poor Posture / Leaning on Chin
• Forward Head Posture
What is Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT)?
Orofacial Myofunctional Therapy (OMT) is a therapeutic approach focusing on a series of exercises and techniques to help retrain facial and oral muscles through muscle repatterning and neurological rewiring. This approach focuses on optimizing the oral structures and habits to facilitate nasal breathing with a closed mouth posture. It also focuses on extinguishing poor oral habits such as thumb sucking, pacifiers, nail biting, lip licking, tongue sucking, etc. OMT focuses on optimal tongue position, lip seal, nasal breathing, and proper chewing and swallowing.
“I met Marielly when my son Ethan was diagnosed at 16.5 months old with moderate hypotonia which is low muscle tone. When we first met Marielly my son could barely swallow any solid food. Within 2 weeks of working with her he was able to eat so much more! He learned to chew! She is an incredible occupational therapist and feeding/swallow therapist. Before working with Marielly my son also had major sensory issues .... he wouldn’t even go on a swing ... all that changed with working with Marielly! Ethan enjoys swings now and so much more! I truly recommend her for so many reasons but most of all my son loves her and she is so kind”.