Paula McCreedy graduated from the University of Puget Sound in Tacoma, Washington, with dual degrees in occupational therapy and psychology. She completed her masters’ degree in education at the University of New Orleans. With her husband, she moved to New York City from New Orleans, Louisiana in 1985 to take a teaching position at New York University.
In 1998, a research study revealed that there was a severe shortage of occupational therapy services for children in the greater New York City area. In addition to providing occupational therapy to local preschools, charter schools, independent schools and developmental centers, Paula and the co-founders of SPOTS responded to the needs of children and their families by opening a Manhattan office and later a Brooklyn office. The founders of SPOTS have a unique understanding of the challenges of sensory dysregulation which upsets a child’s ability to play and enjoy the simple pleasures of childhood. We appreciate that at times sensory regulation problems leave a child hard to reach, hard to parent and hard to teach.
Paula retired from New York University (NYU) after 26 years of teaching in the Occupational Therapy Department. She continues to enjoy teaching occupational therapy as a guest lecturer at Columbia University and New York University, and by providing advanced education for occupational-therapy-field-work students from ten other university programs at both the Manhattan and Brooklyn SPOTS locations. She provides comprehensive and specific evaluations at SPOTS as well as therapy. Paula consults with many agencies and schools in the tri-state area. She evaluates and provides occupational therapy to 3-to-5-year-old children at East River Child Development Center. She continues to consult and lead educational seminars for a variety of programs that serve children and their families. She has done so for groups such as Sheltering Arms Children’s Services, The Uncommon Schools and Success Academy Charter Schools, Reach for The Stars Learning Center, Rockefeller University Child and Family Center, The Ackerman Institute for The Family and local Head Start Programs in Brooklyn, Queens and Manhattan.
For more than 30 years, Paula has been researching, publishing and speaking nationally and internationally about difficulties and solutions to living with sensory processing challenges from the perspective of the child, parents, therapists and educators.
Paula lives in Brooklyn, New York, with her husband and “Harley” a rescued dog, who is in training as a therapy animal. Her adult son lives in Manhattan. She and author, Peter Mirabella, have published a children’s book titled “The Dad and The Dog: Nera” which is used at SPOTS to help children better talk about their emotional triumphs and tragedies. It is planned that this book will be part of a series of stories starring 3 rescued dogs whose adventures and misadventures with their families and friends will resonate with children and help them feel safe to talk about feelings that otherwise would seem too scary.
Paula remains interested in the benefits of therapeutic riding and is on call to High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Academy when she can spend weekends in Connecticut.
Paula can be contacted at: firstname.lastname@example.org