The Morris Center
Meet Mallory Higgins, a dedicated occupational therapist at The Morris Center in Ponte Vedra
Beach, Florida. Mallory's passion for her work shines through her personal and professional journey. After completing her undergraduate studies at Florida State University, Mallory pursued
her calling further by attaining a master's degree in occupational therapy (OT) from The
University of St. Augustine.
OT, as Mallory explains, holds the power to transform the lives of both children and adults who
grapple with learning and developmental delays. This holistic approach considers an individual's
functional abilities and daily challenges, focusing on empowering them to adapt and cultivate
essential skills for smoother and more efficient daily functioning. At The Morris Center, Mallory
and her team adopt a sensory integration approach, recognizing the pivotal role played by the
sensory system's foundations.
Most people know about vision, hearing and smell, but most people don't know about our
internal sensory systems which include the vestibular, proprioceptive and interoceptive systems
which lie at the core of how we understand our body's position, effectively use it, and even
respond to pain or other internal signals. In the context of a classroom, these sensory
foundations hold immense importance, enabling a child to sit, attend, and engage in their
Addressing the link between OT and behavior, Mallory sheds light on how the sensory approach
can profoundly impact behavioral patterns in children. By fine-tuning and regulating their
sensory systems, therapists can uncover the underlying causes of behaviors. Mallory explains,
"Imagine a scenario where a child grapples with proprioception, lacking a clear sense of their
body's position in space. Consequently, they might unintentionally collide with peers,
inadvertently topple objects, or exhibit disruptive behavior. In essence, their actions are an
expression of their body's quest to comprehend its spatial orientation."
OT is far from a mundane routine; instead, it's a realm of creative and exciting activities. The
Morris Center tailors activities to each person’s interests through gamifying tasks, imaginative
exercises, and incorporating swings. This strategy not only maximizes progress but also
ensures that children are fully invested in their therapy journey.
Does your child:
● Frequently Hit or Climb on Others?
● Struggle with Personal Space?
● Experience Challenges with Clothing?
● Frequently Spin, Crash or Struggle to Sit Still?
There are many reasons why a child would benefit from OT beyond this list; however, if you are
noticing that some of these sounds familiar to you and your family, your child might benefit from a
skilled occupational therapy evaluation.