My name is Dr. Aleek Karkazian, OTD.
I have been an occupational therapist since 2015.
I use my personal lived experiences with managing multiple chronic health conditions, my education, and my experience as an occupational therapist, along with the latest evidence-based interventions, to support you in your wellness journey.
I'm so glad you are here!
To empower clients to live a life of wellness, which is the inspiration for the name of this practice.
I am passionate about providing high-quality, personalized health and wellness support to clients across the lifespan with various diagnoses.
Doctorate of Occupational Therapy
After gaining a few years of work experience, I decided to pursue a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy. The focus of my doctoral project was health management/ self-management. The title is "Thriving with Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA): A Self-Management Program for Young and Middle-Aged Adults with RA"
Master of Arts
University of Southern California
I obtained my Master's degree in Occupational Therapy from USC, one of the top occupational therapy graduate programs in the country. I passed my board exams and became a licensed occupational therapist in December 2015.
Bachelor of Arts
University of California Berkeley
I obtained my Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology.
Specialized Education & Training
I prioritize staying up to date on the latest evidence-based interventions to ensure that my clients get high-quality, effective services and treatments when they come to me.
I take courses in multiple areas related to health and wellness because I believe in a holistic approach to health promotion. In addition to my master's and doctorate degrees, I have taken courses in the following areas.
Health Promotion & Health Management
Over the past 2 years, I have taken courses in the following topics:
Pain Management: 41 hours of continuing education (CE)
Women's Health: 10.5 hours of CE
Stress Management: 6 hours of CE
Physical Activity: 6 hours of CE
Lifestyle Modification: 16 hours of CE.
Additionally, I have taken a semester-long Lifestyle Redesign® course during my Master's program at USC.
Neurodivergence & Self-Regulation
-Differentiating Sensory from Behavior -Pediatric Yoga And Mindfulness -Life Management Series: Lifestyle Redesign® for Individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorders -Autism Across the Spectrum -Life -Complementary Interventions for Autism, Asperger’s, Sensory & ADHD in Children & Adolescents -Dyslexia, Dyscalculia, & Dysgraphia- An Integrated Approach -Executive Function and Self-Regulation -Meeting Sensory Needs in the General Education Classroom: A Researched-Based Approach -Developing and Implementing Effective Sensory Diets for Children and Teens -Sensory Processing Disorder in Adults -Sensory Integration theory: I took a semester-long Sensory Integration course during my Master's program at USC.
I have 6 years of experience working with kids and teens with a variety of diagnoses on self-regulation and developing sensory diets.
I have taken the following courses related to those needs and related diagnoses:
March 2022- Present
Community-based Adult Services: ADHC of Fresno & Clovis
-Conduct initial/ reassessments and create individualized treatment plans for participants -Supervise the provision of occupational therapy care provided to participants -Train and supervise program aides who are providing the maintenance program -Documentation, such as progress notes and quarterly notes -Work collaboratively with other members of the multi-disciplinary team and make referrals to other disciplines as needed -Provide education to participants and their families in skills and functions essential for promoting patient independence and improved quality of life.
January 2016- September 2021
School-based Pediatrics: Fresno Unified School District
-Managed caseload of 35-70 students, ages 3-18 -Administered standardized and non-standardized assessments, wrote evaluation reports, and determined the need for services -Created and implemented treatment plans for meeting student goals -Attended and presented at IEP and IEE meetings -Worked collaboratively as part of a multi-disciplinary team to support student growth and goal achievement -Created handouts, home programs, and “home kits” to assist parents with understanding and applying OT recommendations -Collaborated with and provided education for teachers/ staff to improve the implementation of strategies/ recommendations -Facilitated evidence-based practice for district-wide autism program by conducting a literature review of current research and preparing a presentation of findings for review by the Autism Team.
My passion for health management and lifestyle medicine started in 2019 when I suddenly developed multiple chronic health conditions. l felt extremely overwhelmed with this new information and the lifestyle changes I needed to make. I had just started a doctorate program and didn't want to give up on that dream, but I also didn't want to neglect my health and make things worse.
I could not find adequate information or sources of support in the existing medical system. The information and resources I found were not realistic for my current lifestyle, roles, responsibilities, and goals I had for myself. I was fortunate to have a support system that was able to help me through this journey.
I knew I was not the only one feeling this way. I had a support system, and managing all of these things was still challenging. This realization motivated me to change the topic of my doctorate project to "self-management of rheumatoid arthritis in young and middle-aged adults" to fill a gap that I noticed in the current medical system.
I am also passionate about sensory processing, especially the adolescent and adult populations. I know from first-hand and professional experiences what it means to have sensory needs that differ from the general population. I have seen what a significant positive impact learning about your (or your child's) sensory needs can have on day-to-day happiness and functioning.