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The Evolution of
Grow Play Thrive

Grow Play Thrive started as a school based occupational therapy service, which from 2015 grew to take place in over 15 Native Alaskan villages.  Services were provided in the Arctic Circle of Interior Alaska, along the Yukon River west of Anchorage, and in the Southeast Islands. During that time, the business was known as Arctic Circle Occupational Therapy (ACOT). 

In 2016, ACOT became the first pediatric occupational therapy outpatient clinic in Coronado, California, that supported the families of this unique island with their therapy needs with Occupational Therapy, Speech Therapy, and Physical Therapy. 

Relocation in 2021 transformed the business into Grow Play Thrive, which offers clinic based, home based, and telehealth occupational therapy and lactation services in Hawai'i, in multiple locations.  Services in Alaska continue to be provided as well.

A memory of our 2017 vacation at Hawaii’s most popular beach  - Waikiki_edited.jpg
About: About

Your Clinician

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Dr. Tara-Renee Whalen, OTD, OTR/L, IBCLC, NLP

Doctor of Occupational Therapy

Occupational Therapist Registered & Licensed

International Board Certified Lactation Consultant

NOMAS® Licensed Professional

Dr. Tara earned her Doctor of Occupational Therapy (OTD) degree in 2008 from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences, as valedictorian of her graduating class.  She is nationally board certified by NBCOT with a specialty in Pediatrics, and licensed to practice occupational therapy in Hawai'i and Alaska.  Additionally, she is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), allowing her to provide the highest level of lactation care to her families, in combination with her occupational therapy training and experience. 

Her passion in developing this practice has been inspired over the years by her clients, and more recently, her own experiences as a nursing parent, in order to provide high quality care for infants and children who need additional support in their feeding skills. Most importantly, she wants the families she works with to enjoy their home program, and build confidence while developing important life skills.

Dr. Tara's specialty post-professional certifications & education include:

* Lactation Consultant Education Certificate - UCSD Extended Studies *

* Neonatal Oral Motor Assessment Scale (NOMAS®) Licensed Provider *

* Beckman Oral Motor® Certified Provider *

* Beckman Advanced Orofacial Deep Tissue Release *

* Total Motion Release (TMR TOTS) Level 1 & 2 Trained *

* Aerial Yoga and Aerial Movement Certified Instructor (Aerial Silks, Aerial Hammock, Aerial Lyra, and Aerial Trapeze) *
* Vital Links Courses/Certification: *

---Therapeutic Listening® Certified

---Building Blocks for Sensory Integration (Reflex Integration)

---Auditory Defensiveness

---Trauma Informed approach to Sensory Processing

---Bilateral Integration

---Astronaut Training

* AEIOU Approach to Feeding *

* Learning/Handwriting Without Tears® *

* Pediatric Kinesiotaping *

* And More! *

About: Team Members
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