Paulina received her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Aquinas College in Grand Rapids, Michigan, and her Master of Occupational Therapy degree from the University of Illinois at Chicago.
Paulina’s training and experience in the DIR/Floortime model began internationally at AZ+A’s sister clinic in Naples, Italy. She continued in Chicago as an OT student leading summer camp groups and participating in individual sessions. Paulina is currently in the process of receiving her Profectum Level 1 Certificate in the Developmental, Individual Difference, Relationship-based Model/Clinician (CL1).
Paulina was inspired to become an OT through firsthand experiences of her younger brother receiving OT services. She witnessed the work of OT give her family the perspective to understand his unique profile which further supported his ability to thrive at home and school. Paulina found it valuable for her family to shift their focus to understanding his needs and preferences for certain things to be a certain way rather than “fixing” him. She then knew she wanted to support children and their families in the same way.
Paulina’s favorite part about being an OT at AZ+A is being together with all of the wonderful children we have the joy of meeting! Paulina enjoys being surrounded by families and OTs who embrace one another’s individual differences and preferences. She most enjoys working holistically with an individual’s entire team. It can’t be done in isolation, and Paulina appreciates AZ+A’s approach of including the entire family and team (teachers, caretakers, and other interprofessional team members).
If she weren’t an OT, Paulina dreams of being a baker, tasting all the yummy treats and pastries. Her dream superpower is teleportation so she could more easily travel the world! We’re happy it’s not that easy for her to leave us!
Outside of AZ+A, Paulina enjoys going on outdoor adventures with her dog, traveling around the world, rock climbing, and trying out new restaurants in Chicago.