About Janine Wiskind MS, OTR/L
I am a passionate, pediatric occupational therapist who has spent a decade-and-a-half treating children. I started my career working on the brain and spinal cord injury unit at Children's Healthcare of Atlanta. This unique environment gave me the opportunity to develop expertise in treating children with brain and spinal cord injuries. My favorite aspect of this environment was the ability to educate the families and foster deep relationships with them as they learned to take care of their child after injury.
After becoming a mom, I transitioned to the school systems to manage my own work-life balance. In this environment, I worked with children with developmental disability, ADHD, autism, cerebral palsy, genetic disorders, and learning disability. Shortly after working in the school environment, I realized that many of the families needed more support at home. I knew that families were doing their best to cope, but their fatigue, stress, concern over their child's development and/or attempts to just keep up over-shadowed their ability to take control and objectively make changes in their home. This is why I established On Solid Ground, so that families can get the support they need to run a successful and happy home.
I also travel frequently as a national speaker to teach my seminar titled "The Pediatric Brain: Functional Neuroanatomy, the Visual-Vestibular Systems and their Treatment Applications." My seminars are very successful because of my ability to take complex information about the brain and make it easy to understand. I feel that my strength is in educating families about their children's brain, their development, and their needs. The more parents can understand the challenges their children experience, the more successful they will be in implementing the strategies and adapting to the needs of their child.
My goal is to work in collaboration with the family and the other professionals serving the family to provide the most well-rounded and effective treatment to promote a family's success. The idea is simple - let's work together to create as many happy family memories as we can!
Why I am called On Solid Ground
It was very important for me to choose a name that reflected my passion as an occupational therapist. A name that gave families an understanding of my vision. On Solid Ground represents two ideas:
- The concept of helping caregivers to create a cohesive family unit.
- If our bodies are lost in space, our entire well being and ability to function is compromised.
My philosophy is grounded in the function of the visual-vestibular system. The vestibular system is our movement system. It works with the visual system to keep us upright on our feet. We know how to walk, run, play, and move through space without losing our balance or becoming dizzy because our vestibular system keeps us grounded and oriented. Some children may not have this natural sense of where their body is in space. These children feel they are “lost in space”. There are key elements that have to take place within the body and its connections to our brain that give us a true sense of where all of our body parts are in relation to each other. This is called body awareness. We need body awareness to have a sense of our feet being firmly planted on the ground. A lack of awareness can result in numerous areas of dysfunction including motor development, academic development, social skills, anxiety, and stress management. I am a firm believer in establishing a strong foundation of our vestibular system. A strong vestibular foundation sets a child up for greater success. Through therapeutic activities that incorporate sensory integration, strengthening and motor development, a child can learn to understand their bodies in space and stand firmly On Solid Ground.