Occupational Therapy Program

Sarah Grinder MOT, OTR/L


Office Location




Academic Degrees

  • PhD Candidate in Occupational Therapy, Nova Southeastern University
  • MA in Occupational Therapy, University of Southern Maine, 2013
  • BA in Religion, Hillsdale College, 2005


Sarah graduated from the University of Southern Maine’s occupational therapy program in 2013 and began teaching for the program in Spring 2015. Before becoming an occupational therapist, she enjoyed over six years of teaching and private tutoring experience, including classical languages and formal logic.  She currently teaches in the Pediatric Clinical courses and the OT Foundations course. 

When she is not teaching, Sarah practices occupational therapy in a local, private clinic, where she works with children of all ages. She has experience in school-based and early intervention settings, as well as in community settings for adults with developmental disabilities. Looking at the whole person as a fellow human being, not just a diagnosis, guides Sarah’s practice, and she draws inspiration from the satisfaction of empowering a child to do more than he or she thought possible. Sarah explores how play can help a child learn, develop, and grow, while using Sensory Integration techniques, and is inspired by helping children learn how to live and love, and play with family and friends with joy.

Sarah was recognized as an AOTA Emerging Leader and presented research at the AOTA annual national conference. Sarah is also an active member of MEOTA. Outside of work, Sarah loves working with a local beagle rescue, performing with community theater, traveling as much as she can, and spending time outdoors with her husband.  

Research Interests

Participating as a lead examiner and pilot tester in “Validity and Reliability of the Evaluation in Ayres Sensory Integration (EASI) Tests for Children Evaluation in Ayres Sensory Integration,” 2016 through Thomas Jefferson University (not published- still in research/data collection phase)

Normative data collector for Peabody Developmental Motor Scales, 3rd edition, through Pro-Ed, 2016 (still in data collection phase)


Black, Roxie, Grinder, Sarah, & Stazsak, Emily, “Perceptions of Elder Cane Use Following a Cane-Based Tai Chi Chuan Program: An Exploratory Study,” 2013 (Presented at AOTA conference in 2014)

Professional Activity

  • Certification in Sensory Integration (WPS/USC)
  • Handwriting Without Tears
  • SOS Approach to Feeding
  • AOTA Emerging Leaders Development Program, 2013-2014