My son has seen Aaron off and on as needed for the past six years. Aaron's OT work is thorough and thoughtful. I'm going to speak to
what Aaron does that sets him apart from other OTs.
Aaron connected with my son as he began to work with him. He modeled and reinforced social emotional vocabulary and body awareness. I think of Aaron as having not only saved my son from an angry path, he also saved me from my own reactive tendencies.
Sensory Processing Disorder and ADHD are hard on the child and adolescent struggling to find a path through school, home and the greater world. Parenting a child finding his way can be an emotional roller coaster. Because Aaron models an empathetic approach to conflict, he helped me too. I learned to first connect with myself and then with my son. My son and I have remained close through some turbulent times. I will forever be grateful for Aaron's work.
Margarita was the Early Interventionist for both our kids and we are all appreciateve of everything she's done for our family. She has a genuine passion for children and goes above and beyond to help. Margarita always made sure we were well informed or provided the resources needed to be informed. She is also great with our kids, always providing a positive environment and developing learning plans specific to our kid's needs. Margarita is very focused on results and will do everything she can to help our children develop successfully. Even When she was no longer our interventionist, she would regularly check in to see how we were progressing and conntinued to answer any questions and provide support. We are so lucky to have worked with Margarita as she is clearly passionate about what she does, is a true advocate for kids with needs, and a wonderful source of information. We are eternally grateful for how much she has changed our lives and the lives of our kids!!
Aaron is an amazing occupational therapist. My son has been going to Aaron for OT sessions for close to two years now, and in that
time, he has shown great progress. Aaron is not only exceptional at what he does, he also connects really well with the kids and engages them and makes the sessions so much fun. As someone who has to
drive for close to an hour with my son in traffic to get to the clinic, this is a great blessing, because my son is always eagerly looking forward to the sessions.
Aaron's approach with my son (who was diagnosed with autism a few years back) is not just OT, but also a mix of floortime/DIR to go with the OT, that encourages problem solving, communication and abstract thinking in a play based setting. Starting with tacking basic regulation issues, we have made steady progress and now my son is able to go to piano lessons and tennis lessons and keep up with the instructor.
Aaron is highly invested in my son's success. He is very involved, takes his role very seriously and is very enterprising when it comes to having a good mid-term to long-term vision while still solving short term problems that crop up. Me and my husband are very grateful to have found him, and he has played a tremendous role in my son's progress and self-esteem.
Our appointments with Aaron are one of the highlights of my daughter’s week. She looks forward to playing with Aaron. What I like the most about him is that he is working on specific issues my daughter has by playing games and making up games she loves. She has no idea that he is working on coordination, balance, fine and gross motor skills, core workouts, sensory issues, perseverance, eye-hand coordination, good sportsmanship and more! He keeps things interesting for her with new activities every week, but also allows her to repeat activities that she really loves until she perfects them. Aaron is friendly, professional, approachable and kind. It is obvious that he loves kids and interacts with them on such a positive level. At times, my daughter needs some motivation, or may have a bad attitude, but Aaron sticks with her and never seems rattled, even when I am concerned about her behavior. He is able to redirect her and get her to refocus on the task at hand. He also involved the parents in his practice. Instead of just sitting in a waiting room for your child, you are in the gym observing, interacting and participating in the activities. This helps provide collaboration and precious time with your child that you may not get much of during a busy week.
-Leah Maxwell Cohen
I had the pleasure of working with Margarita when my son was diagnosed with dup15q at one year old. My son had global delays in speech and fine and gross motor skills. Margarita was assigned to us to provide early intervention for my son. I could not have asked for a better first early interventionist since she was wonderful on many different levels. First of all, she was able to ond with my son and he was very receptive to working with her. He was making progress while working with Margarita and I could see improvement in his skills. She was able to work with him on all of his skills - physical, occupational, and speech. In addition, she educated me on using sign language to communicate with my son as well as how to navigate this new world of being a special needs parent. She shared available programs and provided recommendations on my son's needs. I highly recommend Margarita for not only her professional skills, but also her compassion and thoughtfulness for families of our special needs children.
Aaron DeNardo OTR is absolutely amazing! He has been working with my son who is diagnosed with Asperger's off and on for close to 10 years. The progress he has made with his fine motor, gross motor and motor planning skills is truly remarkable. Aaron has a natural rapport with spectrum children, he is incredibly kind, patient, persistent and structured to just the right degree. He has helped our son through some very difficult times, and even gave him the confidence/gift of teaching him to ride a bike, which is something we never thought possible! I am a physician within the community and have seen the gamut of therapists around the Silicon Valley. If you are lucky enough to get a spot on his schedule, jump on it, Mr. Aaron is truly a very talented therapist and a wonderful human being, he and his crew will work magic. The essence of time and great therapy with him is the key.
I am excited that my daughter's occupational therapist Aaron DeNardo has opened his own clinic - he is an amazing professional and he is great with kids. My daughter started seeing Aaron when she was 4 and he quickly became one of her favorite people. She had a lot of sensory issues and a diagnosis of autism, and our psychologist recommended us to do occupational therapy with Aaron. He immediately "got" my girl and connected with her, which not everyone can do. Each time she couldn't wait to see him.
There are two very important things which Aaron is very good at: first of all, he is clearly a very experienced therapist who suggested many great things to try. He found the right "sensory diet" for my daughter, figured out what could help her not to be scared of loud places, what will make her progress and develop faster and what could help my little girl to understand her body and the space around it better.
Aaron is an exceptional occupational therapist. His practice focuses on individualized play-based therapy (Floortime/DIR) and he incorporates parents into his plan for their child. We were looking for a therapist that focused on developmental stages rather than behavior modification for our son with Autism. Aaron fit the bill. From the very first session, my 3 year old was engaged and loving every moment of his time at Laughing Giraffe... and so were we! This has NOT been the case with other therapists and/or companies. The most noticeable practical results for my son in the three months since we've been working with Aaron are: joint attention, speech/communication ability, and sensory regulation. For me, what that looks like is a child who suddenly wants me to play with him a good majority of the time, a child who is either saying or using body language to convey needs and/or desires, and a child who is much more in tune with his own body because his sensory needs have been identified and are being met.
-Stephanie and Mark Paulson
Aaron has been nothing short of amazing for my son.
Other OT's & teachers have made my son shut down or fall apart, but Aaron has a way of putting my highly anxious boy at ease. He knows how much to push kids, but still allow them a feeling of success. It seems intuitive. I can tell being a therapist is not just a job for Aaron, he genuinely cares. I'm sure the kids sense that too.
-Jill De Cicco
My teen daughter struggles with low muscle tone and emotional regulation. Aaron was always flexible about what they did during her appointments based on how she was feeling at that time. He combined his OT skills with compassion and care for each of his clients. She looked forward to each of her appointments with him and improved in several areas of physical abilities. After almost two years, we've moved on but I still highly recommend him!
Our son was diagnosed with cortical dysplasia and global developmental delays at around 18 months and showed signs of sensory processing issues. Our son was extremely shy and was anxious when around strangers which made it difficult for Margarita to do her job. For the first 3 months of therapy, our son would get so anxious that he would cry and throw tantrums for over half of his sessions with Margarita and then fall asleep from being so worked up. But Margarita never gave up on him. Her professionalism, patience and overall care was exactly what our son needed. And in time, he not only trusted her, but looked forward to the sessions with her (he especially loved it when Margarita sang songs and told stories, not realising that he was being taught a lesson at the same time). We were beyond thrilled with the progress he made under her care. He became more aware of his body, started communicating more and more (both using sign and words) and would overreact less and less - he even started to sooth himself through tantrums. But aside from that, Margarita was such a great resource for me and my husband. Her reports were always very organized, detailed and provided us with great resources to further assist with our son's progress. She was always a positive sources for our family and believed in our son's abilities when providing short and long term goals. Most importantly, as he hit milestones (such as going to preschool), she helped us communicate our son's need to the district and his doctors and made a great deal of effort to ensure that he would recieve proper treatment at his school.
We are so fortunate to have worked with Margarita and have her in our Son's life. We fully Believe that his progress was in large part due to the care he recieved from her.
100 O'Connor Drive #14
San Jose, CA 95128