Varleisha D. Gibbs, PhD, OTD, OTR/L, is an occupational therapist and author with 18 years of experience working with children and adolescents diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Processing disorders and Neurological disorders. In 2003, Dr. Gibbs founded Universal Progressive Therapy, Inc., a company that provides interdisciplinary and quality therapeutic services to families. As founding president, she provided treatment interventions and education in the areas of sensory integration, autism as well as family-centered care. This venture ignited her passion for providing family-centered care. Dr. Gibbs received her PhD at Seton Hall University with a dissertation focusing on racial health disparities of the Autism Spectrum diagnostic process. Dr. Gibbs also earned her doctorate in occupational therapy at Thomas Jefferson University and her master's training in occupational therapy from Columbia University. Dr. Gibbs is currently the Vice President of Practice Engagement and Capacity Building at the American Occupational Therapy Association. She is the former Scientific Programs officer at the American Occupational Therapy Foundation. Dr. also served as the inaugural chair and director of the master’s programs in occupational therapy at Wesley College in Dover, DE where she was a tenured associate professor. Prior to joining Wesley, she worked at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia, PA, where she served as the director of the doctoral programs in occupational therapy.
Dr. Gibbs is steadfast and an expert in the field of neurology, cognition, and pediatric therapeutic intervention. She continues to lecture, and provide training, on sensory processing strategies and self-regulation to practitioners, parents, and teachers throughout the country and internationally. Dr. Gibbs is the developer of the Self-Regulation and Mindfulness program, and her book, Self-Regulation and Mindfulness: Exercises and Worksheets for Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD, and Autism Spectrum Disorder, was published in 2017 (PESI Publishing & Media). As co-author of Raising Kids with Sensory Processing Disorders, she has provided families with strategies to understand and care for their children.
Financial: Dr. Varleisha Gibbs is the founder/ president of Universal Progressive Therapy, Inc. She is a faculty member at the University of the Sciences Philadelphia and receives compensation. She is a speaker who receives an honorarium for PESI, Inc.
Nonfinancial: Dr. Varleisha Gibbs has been published in a peer-reviewed journal Occupational Therapy and Healthcare.