Denise Ribarich

My name is Denise Ribarich and I am grateful that you have chosen my course. I began my  OT career at Stony Brook Hospital  then moved to ACLD ( Kramer Learning Center), and  HASC (Hebrew Academy for Special Children) for 6 years. I gained knowledge of sensory processing delays and interventions from many colleagues. And lastly SLCD (School for Language and Communication Development). 23 years ago I began working for Nassau BOCES in the Hearing and Vision program and presently work at Rosemary Kennedy School and Iris Wolfson Middle and High school.  

     In the last few years I was fortunate to have a wonderful principal and assistant principal who embraced my vision of building a garden and has provided me the area and resources necessary for it to be successful. They have observed the changes in the students and the life skills that they have been  afforded to the students in this program .Some gains that the educational staff and I have observed have been increased expressive speech, participation, motivation, curiosity, as well as improved fine/gross motor and motor planning skills. This gardening program has built up from flowers to vegetables and herbs being grown. I look ahead  to expanding even more as this school year progresses and the best part is the once resistive students are more motivated to come to their OT sessions to get their hands in the dirt and achieve their goals. I truly hope this will inspire you to have a vision to plan a simple garden at your school or community and see the joy that your students will experience.

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3 Credits – In service Course (45 Hours) Instructor:  Denise J. Ribarich OTR/L This course is designed for professionals/educators/therapists working directly with elementary, middle/high schoolers and young adults.  In this online course you will learn the multiple benefits that can be achieved during the process of cultivating and beautifying a small garden space in and around your school or community. These include academic improvement as well as social, psychological, emotional, as well as improved verbal expression and essential  life skills. You will learn skills developed such as responsibility, self-confidence, decision making, teamwork, organization and working together towards an ultimate goal. Besides the educational improvement in math and science , many students have improved sensory processing capabilities which frees these students to more easily learn and integrate new skills that they were unable to do before. Working together with your students on designing a simple garden will provide enjoyment and satisfaction and will have long-lasting memories with development of meaningful vocational applications for the future.  This course is important for all educators  including School Psychologists, Guidance Counselors, Social Workers, Speech/Language teachers and Occupational and Physical Therapists.  The knowledge you will learn will have a direct impact on your students and will affect  all aspects of their lives as well as yours.

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