Meet Our OT
My name is Jamie Duva. My passion for helping others started at a young age but I didn’t realize my true calling until I obtained a position with a pediatric oncology program upon graduation from Boston University in 2007. My mentor recognized my natural ability to build special relationships and connections with these children. She actually suggested I return to school to pursue a degree as an Occupational Therapist.
As I began to explore alternate career paths, I was fortunate to meet Dr. Miligros Cordero of Floortime Atlanta. I witnessed the special relationship she had developed with her children by teaching them skills in a meaningful way. Dr. Cordero introduced me to the DIR®/Floortime™ Model as an approach that creates an intervention program, tailored to unique individual interests, strengths and challenges of each child. This approach emphasizes that a child develops within the content of relationships. Hence, shared interactions that are meaningful, positive and pleasurable create the foundation necessary for development to occur.
With thanks to Dr. Cordero, exposure to her work and this newly discussed Model, I immediately realized a vision of my future. I enrolled into the Master’s Program for Occupational Therapy at Nova Southeastern University.
I remained in contact with Dr. Mili Cordero and she connected me with Lois Gold, Center for Pediatric Therapy, in Coral Gables, Miami. Interestingly, both Mili and Lois learned and studied directly under the late Dr. Stanley Greenspan and Dr. Serena Wieder, the creators of the DIR®/Floortime™ Model. In 2012, I completed my internship under the guidance of Lois and received my Master’s Degree. In 2014, I received my DIR®/Floortime™ Certification from Profectum™.
Since graduation, I continue to work at the Center for Pediatric Therapy under the guidance of Lois Gold, an incredible mentor and role model. She shares her expertise and knowledge, not only about the DIR®/Floortime™ Model and having a continuous flow of affect, but also about infant mental health, attachment, mommy baby relationships, and the importance of the mind-body connection.
In the past few years I have put this model to practice at Casablanca Academy, a non-profit school for students with autism and the only one in the state of Florida based on the DIR®/Floortime™ approach of teaching. Here, I performed initial occupational therapy assessments and set yearly occupational therapy goals for each student. Using the DIR®/Floortime™ Model, I implemented therapeutic interventions to children with autism and sensory motor-based challenges in the classroom.
I continue to expand my learning and skills, as all health practitioners should. As an equine specialist, I am also certified as a PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship) International Riding Instructor. I strongly endorse Equine-Assisted Therapy and Hippotherapy, as a powerful complementary approach to any intervention program. Each child derives individual benefits and experiences from the relationship of a particular horse that matches his/her needs.
Each child I treat, whether in the clinic, in the home, at the school, or on the farm, is special to me. I will continue to ensure that your child receives an individualized and customized treatment program that will continuously address his or her specific needs.
Jamie Duva MOT OTR/L
DIR-FCD Professional in Occupational Therapy
PATH International Certified Registered Therapist
Engage Pediatric Therapy, LLC