Rebecca (Becky) Reid, Founder and Head Occupational Therapist

Rebecca is the Head Occupational Therapist at Willow. She works primarily with school-aged children who have mental and physical disabilities such as autism, global developmental delay, hearing loss and visual impairments. Focussing on both home- and school-based intervention, Rebecca is responsible for both program development and implementation. She has over ten years of experience working with children with disabilities and she has a passion for enhancing the wellbeing of her clients. Fostering greater independence and heightened self-esteem are two core elements of her practice and she approaches every therapy session as an opportunity to help the client grow to their full potential.     

Born and raised in Kingston, Ontario, Rebecca began working with children at an early age. In high school, she volunteered at the local Boys and Girls Club where she devoted two mornings per week playing sports and working on school skills with students with behaviour problems. Following high school, Rebecca studied Physical and Health Education with a focus on children with disabilities at McGill University. During her time at McGill, she had the opportunity to work in numerous schools teaching children of all ages with varying mental and physical competencies. From spending time in the classroom, the gymnasium and on the playground, Rebecca came to understand the importance of occupational engagement in a child’s development. Whether it was tying their shoes, printing their name or playing tag with their friends, Rebecca noticed that a student’s inclusion and success at school was heavily influenced by their ability to engage with their everyday occupations. This understanding further developed when Rebecca worked as an occasional teacher and adapted swim instructor at the MAB-Mackay Rehabilitation Centre in Montreal, Quebec. It was here where her passion for Occupational Therapy began. She discovered how functional activities could be used as mediums to help disabled individuals participate in their community and she experienced first-hand how therapeutic interventions can improve quality of life.   

After obtaining her Bachelors of Education from McGill, Rebecca returned to Kingston to complete her Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy at Queen’s University. During her time at Queen’s, Rebecca worked as a Private Tutor for the Children's Aid Society of Kingston where she worked with children with unfortunate backgrounds. Through this experience, she came to see how beneficial the synergy of educator and a therapist could be when helping children. By understanding the structures and routines of school in combination with the theoretical knowledge of Occupational Therapy, she was able to develop interventions that not only assisted with academic performance, but targeted areas of concern in everyday life.  

In 2014, Rebecca moved to Toronto where she began working at Kohai Educational Centre, a Toronto-based private school for children with learning challenges such as autism and global developmental delay. Here she employed her unique skill set working as both an OT and an educator. She created programming that incorporated key academic content in unison with essential and functional life skills and she provided specialized therapy to students who ranged in age from 4 to 50.

Throughout her ten years as an educator and an occupational therapist, Rebecca has recognized the importance of collaboration with not only parents but teachers and the student’s community as well. She believes collaboration is a vital component in creating goals that are both attainable and meaningful for the client.  

Rebecca’s unique perspective as both an educator and a therapist has allowed her to gain a thorough understanding of the occupational challenges faced by children and young adults. Rebecca is dedicated to providing interventions that maximize occupational engagement in order to live meaningful lives and she looks forward to helping those in need.