Therapist Thursday…..Featuring Michelle Yoder

Last week we learned more about Amy Bumgarner.  This week we are excited to hear what Michelle Yoder has been up to!  Michelle has added training in the John Barnes’ Myofascial Release Approach.  She is also co-chair for the North Carolina Occupational Therapy Association Leadership Team.  Michelle still owns and works at Touchstone Therapy.


1.  Why did you decide to enter the occupational therapy profession?  What appealed to you? 

My Great-Aunt, Beth Ann Ball, is an OT and she introduced me to the profession.  I love that as OTs we treat the whole person and consider the physical, social and emotional aspects of each client.  Every client has different needs, which allows me to be creative as I work to find what’s meaningful and best for each individual.

2.  Tell me a short story about one of your favorite kids/families/etc.

I have a few clients who I’ve watched grow up!  I treated them as infants and either still work with them as teenagers, or continue to remain friends with them now that they are teens.  We have worked hard together, shared sadness and celebrated triumphs! They have taught me so much and I value the relationship that I have with them and their families.

3.  What is one of your favorite therapy techniques you seem to always find yourself doing with your clients?

I value and use a therapeutic tool that as OTs we call “Therapeutic Use of Self”.  There is no need for toys or fancy equipment, just the use of myself as a tool in interacting with my clients to either evaluate or treat them. The therapeutic relationship that I strive to develop with each client helps guide treatment and enhances therapeutic outcomes.

4.  What is one of the most challenging aspects of your job?

Unfortunately, a challenge that we contend with on a daily basis is conforming to the demands of the different payer sources.  However, I refuse to allow it to interfere with the quality of treatment that I provide.

5.  Tell me about your family….husband, kids, parents/siblings, anything you find that would be neat to share with the Fundanoodle audience.

My husband, Matt, and I were born and raised in Ohio- Go Buckeyes!  We’ve lived in Charlotte for 17 years.  We have two children, Sydney (11) and Owen (7). They love to play outdoors and keep us busy with their sports and activities. We love to travel! As we were leaving our resort from our Spring Break trip, the kids were in the back seat already planning our next vacation! Matt is a K9 police officer with Charlotte Mecklenburg Police Department.  His partner, Jacks, lives out back and he and our black lab, Enzo, add excitement to our household.  Our parents live out of state, with the exception of Granny Pat, who just moved here in July.  I have three brothers, all who still live in Ohio, along with three nieces and a nephew.  I have two more nephews on my husband’s side of the family.  My oldest niece is in college and studying to be an OT, as well.

7.  What is a funny fact about you that you don’t mind sharing with everyone?

My Motto-  “All I want is peace on Earth and a great pair of shoes!”

Interactive Metronome- IM is a computer based treatment strategy that we use to promote timing in the brain.  We incorporate interactive metronome into our therapeutic activities to increase attention, timing and sequencing and motor coordination.  It is great for children with ADHD, dyspraxia, Sensory Processing Disorders, dyslexia, learning disabilities and those post brain tumor/chemotherapy.

 TAMO therapy is a gentle handling technique that we use to help a child’s body re-organize movement patterns.  We use this approach to treat motor and movement disorders.

 SOS Feeding Approach- Developed by a psychologist, Kay Toomey, PhD., this approach addresses feeding difficulties in a playful, non-threatening manner.  We work with the child in a progression from food exploration via play to touching, licking, kissing, tasting and then eating food.

**Don’t forget we want to feature your favorite OT on our Facebook page.  Just click here and tell us why your OT is so special!


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