Michaela Gordon is so much more than just an Occupational Therapist. She has a deep understanding of Sensory Processing and is a true advocate for children that learn and think differently. My daughter has seen Michaela on and off for the last four years. She is able to identify her needs, set goals for her and help her to achieve these goals. She also walked along side us through the IEP process. Her advice and insights were extremely helpful throughout this process and have allowed us to have a successful plan in place at school. We are so fortunate to have found Michaela Gordon and feel grateful to have such a caring, passionate expert available in Santa Barbara.

-J.W., mother

Santa Barbara, CA

Michaela saved us from a very dark time when we were out of options as parents. We had jumped through every hoop and tried every technique to get our daughter to stop biting her preschool classmates and nothing was working. She cared for Jade with a loving, holistic approach, working to balance her vestibular system, practicing to improve her coordination, and providing us with so many tools to improve her sensory defensiveness disorder. As parents we wanted to feel like we were doing everything we could to help, and Michaela gave us tangible techniques and practices that actually made a difference. She made it so fun for Jade with music and toys, it never seemed like a chore. I love that she taught me how to do cranial sacral work on Jade so that I could actively participate and connect with her therapeutically. By the time Jade started Kindergarten, the biting was a thing of the past, and Michaela even came to do a classroom observation to give us suggestions to help her with the new transition. We are forever indebted to Michaela for the energy and nurturing she gave our family.”

-Sarah Rochlitzer

Carpinteria, CA

Michaela has been a constant support for our family. She worked with our son at five years old, addressing motor skills, visual perception issues, coordination, and behavioral issues. We witnessed undeniable improvement in his performance at school and his ability to do simple tasks such as tying his shoes. Several years later we found ourselves working with her again to strengthen focus and organizational skills. She has always been an extremely knowledgeable and helpful sound board for us. We have actively tried to support our son without medicating him and Michaela has been instrumental in that process. She has gone above and beyond to help us give our son the proper tools he needs to navigate his specific challenges. I highly recommend her.

A.A., mother of two children

Carpinteria, CA

Working with Michaela has been pivotal in my child’s ability to find a better balance with emotions and relationships. Michaela has been able to provide a truly safe, comforting yet playful environment in which my child could learn and grow. Michaela’s comprehensive background in sensory therapies was an additional advantage being that she was able to help my child improve on the fine motor skills and daily communication skills while at the same time improving cognition. We as a family are so very grateful to have been able to work with Michaela!

-Joanie, mother of three children

Santa Barbara, CA

We think of Michaela as a wonderful life coach. She exemplifies professionalism while connecting with my children and coaching our family to build skills that support the needs of our son. In a tactful and skillful way she is able to help him build social emotional skills and gain confidence. Not only has she helped him meet his motor goals, develop his visual perceptual skills, and support him with sensory integration strategies, but she continues to work to further develop him as a whole person, realizing his uniqueness and celebrating his talents. She has been a tremendous advocate for both academic and social goals. Michaela is truly amazing and our entire family has grown because of her.

Michaela is also a very skilled practitioner in cranial sacral therapy, which she performed on me during my pregnancy and after birth for my newborn.

It’s hard to imagine life before Michaela, she is a gift to us all!

– a very grateful SB mom

Michaela was the hugest blessing and best find. My little baby had trouble latching. I went to multiple lactation consultants that all helped in their own way before but prior to cranial sacral therapy with Michaela my little baby was only able to latch onto a nipple shield. I had to pump a lot with worry that my milk production would go down. Lactation referred me to an ENT to rule out lip tie/tongue tie, yet  ENT and pediatrician stated only minimal and did not recommend procedure. My chiropractor recommended Michaela for cranial sacral therapy. After 2 sessions with Michaela my baby was able to latch to both sides. Since I was exclusively breastfeeding my baby after that, Michaela also helped me and my baby transition to bottle to go back to work. I do not know how things would have been different, but I would recommend her to anyone with babies that are having trouble feeding. Michaela is so professional and is truly caring to her clients.

Anna Schere 

Ventura, CA

Michaela has become like family to us. Her knowledge and expertise combined by her supportive and kind demeanor has been a blessing. She has helped our 8 year old gifted child overcome several sensory related issues, all the while teaching him strategies to self regulate in order to cope with over stimulating situations . Michaela has a gift in her ability to engage children in a fun and easygoing manner. She has been an incredibly helpful resource to our family. With her support, we were able to find other professionals to help our son thrive in his academic environment. She is a pleasure to work with, her communication skills as well as her long-term plans for our child has allowed our family to be at ease knowing that realistic goals will be met in a timely manner. Recently we have sought Michaela’s expertise to help our highly sensitive 10 year old child learn much needed executive functioning skills. We are confident that with her knowledge she will help our son develop strategies to be able to learn basic life skills needed to perform daily tasks. Overall, Michaela’s professionalism, knowledge and warmth is a much needed relief for parents dealing with the many challenges that arise raising children.

C. K., Parent

Santa Barbara, CA

My 4 year old son was having some behavior issues in his preschool classroom. He was having trouble listening and keeping his hands to himself. He liked to give lots of strong hugs and often did not know his own strength. I took him to Michaela to assess him and see what could be done to help him. It turns out that he has trouble regulating himself. When he gets excited, he has a hard time calming back down. Just verbally telling him to calm down was definitely not enough. Michaela is so gentle yet firm with my son and her expectations of him. She incorporates games and play into her sessions and my son looks forward to each & every session with her. She explains to me why she does each particular task and helps me to understand how it can help him and how I can incorporate the same at home. She is patient, kind and full of knowledge. One of the books she recommended for me is what I now refer to as “My Bible”. She is passionate about her work and is excited to share her knowledge with others. We are so happy we found Michaela!

Jill, Parent

Santa Barbara, CA

Michaela is much more than an OT!  We know because we’ve worked with many.  Michaela’s passion and her ability to relate to children is especially unique!.  Our children’s challenges were multi-faceted and not a one size fits all solution.  Michaela had a ‘big’ bag of tools, techniques and toys and knew how and which ones to use. She tuned into both our children’s needs with her intuitive expertise and wealth of knowledge to help our kids. We are forever grateful for the support and the difference Michaela made in our children’s wellbeing!

R. & G. L., Parents

Ojai, CA

Our son experienced extreme anxiety combined with dyslexia, dysgraphia and level 1 Asperger’s Syndrome. This was a bright sweet child that worked hard to do well, but he was losing control, feeling nutty, and miserable in his own skin. Not to mention how it was affecting the classroom environment and our home life. For some reason the middle school years were the worst and if he was tired and stressed. It seemed to turn up the commotion and he’d revert to childlike behaviors such as crawling on the floor, screaming, and uncontrollable melt downs. He developed impressive fears of spiders, closets and being left at school.

We already had extra appointments to juggle and the extra support at school, so it was a nice change of pace to have appointments at home with Michaela.  We knew occupational therapy was going to be a great benefit because our older child benefitted from it as well. Though that was education focused, he still uses those skills to this day as an adult. Again, it was so nice to not have to go out for another appointment, we loved that Michaela came to the house with all her fun stuff. It was always educational and they just had a good time instilling important skills and practicing techniques that have stuck. The cranial work was a relaxing way to end the appointments and to settle down for the evening.

We’ve started 2nd year of high school and our child knows how to self-manage and stave off the stress. He still goes back to Michaela’s menu of tools he learned. My suggestion to parents is to let the child have the experience, don’t micro manage or hover to the point of distraction. Stay close and observe, ask questions after Michaela leaves, and be dedicated to the exercises that work without a fight. Not everything stuck for us, such as logging behaviors, but we somehow slipped all we could into the routine and it was a huge benefit. Michaela is just fun and the kids love her. She’s up on the latest and greatest, makes great recommendations, and has the patience of a saint.

By the way, occupational therapy support isn’t just for children. There’s a need for adults and patient recovery or just a touch up in life from time to time. If you have insurance and a professional diagnosis, ask your doctor for a written referral for the therapy. For us, we didn’t have to go the busy clinic on our provider list. Michaela is very professional and provided us with coded Superbills that I was able to submit for claims.


Thousand Oaks – CA (former Crane School family, Montecito)

As a director of programming for children with learning challenges, I often refer families to Michaela for occupational therapy evaluation and treatment. Michaela has all of the qualities I look for in a therapy provider. She is professional, knowledgeable, enthusiastic, and treats her young clients with respect. Furthermore, as a parent of a child who experiences many sensory and behavioral challenges, I can honestly say that Michaela is one of the best providers my family has had the privilege of working with. The results we have experienced since my daughter began treatment with Michaela, four months ago, have been thrilling to all of us. My daughter loves working with her, my husband is amazed by her knowledge and intuition, and I am simply ecstatic to have my six-year-old now able to sit quietly with me for cuddles and conversation!

Gloria Ellis, M.A.
Educational Therapist and Parent of a child with Autism

After seeing three different OTs for my 3 year-old son, I finally found a knowledgable, creative, and personable OT. Michaela puts her expertise to good use by problem-solving to help our son with his sensory and fine motor needs. What makes Michaela different from other OTs is her ability to work with and educate parents about their child’s needs. Because of Michaela’s expert advice, I’ve learned proactive strategies to keep my son healthy, happy, and safe in our home and in the community. It’s made such a difference in our lives!

Edlyn Vallejo Peña, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
Higher Education Leadership
California Lutheran University

There are no words to describe the importance of Michaela Gordon, OT to our family. My son was diagnosed with ADD in November of 2010, and for this entire year of 2011, Michaela has been an integral part of his rehabilitation. He has become mentally organized. His grades are much improved. He listens to and follows directions of both his teacher and parents. He can write sentences and paragraphs easily now, a task which would take hours previously. I highly recommend her!

Bob and Dianna Burdick
Ventura, CA

My nephew has been working with Michaela for over a year now. When he started he couldn’t do one jumping jack or catch a ball, now he does 10 jumping jacks in a row and is able to catch a ball!! These are just a couple examples. He has made tremendous progress, and is more confident in his abilities. Michaela is always upbeat and positive, very good at what she does. We feel our nephew has a bright future, thanks in part to Michaela.

Toni Dart  and Tina Rowe

Ventura, CA

My daughter has sensory modulation disorder and she has a multitude of minor sensory issues but with the accumulation of all these things, it was a difficult task to find the right occupational therapist who offered this type of service and skill. Sure enough, Michaela has a program for each and every one of those issues- from fine motor skills, emotional behavior, vestibular, to picky eating issues and also a listening program that helped tremendously. I truly felt that I found the right therapist when I used Michaela Gordon’s services because she knew exactly what daughter needed and when she needed a program. There’s no one like Michaela in this area that offers as many solid programs as she does. For us, it was the best thing because we didn’t have to go to several specialists when she was the answer to all of our sensory issues needs.

Mary K.
Thousand Oaks, Ca.

Michaela is not your average OT, she thinks out of the box and gives families a clear direction to take their children to the next level. Her background in sensory integration is exceptional and she attends conferences to improve her skills often. You will always be greeted by Michaela’s sunny disposition and she will give you feedback with a positive outlook and hope for the future: a special skill that’s often missing in the special needs community!

Heather Logan
Mom to Ruby age 6 (Autism)

On a summer afternoon, armed with a board, an enormous rubber ball and a contagious smile Michaela knocked on our door. A friend of mine recommended her as the right person to help our eleven years old son who was at that time losing his interest in school, especially hating anything which would involve reading and writing. Frustrated by a passive attitude of my son’s school, I decided to give Michaela a try, not quite believing that she would be able to help my son. Little did we know that Michaela not only was the right person for the job but she also to become our trusted friend and ally! My son, reluctant at the beginning, grew to like and respect her. Personally, I found her advice and guidance extremely valuable and helpful. She was always on time, prepared, focused, extremely patient, and ready to answer our questions. As a result of her hard work, our son’s school performance improved dramatically, so did his self-confidence and social skills. I would wholeheartedly recommend Michaela to anybody looking for help for his or her child. There are many good occupational therapists out there, but if you are looking for somebody you could actually develop a working relationship with, Michaela is the one.

Kasia Lisowska

Ventura, CA