Meet the Team

The team at Kids First was hand-picked to ensure that no matter which OT your child is working with, they will receive consistent and effective treatment and parent education. The OT’s at Kids First share the same values and provide a holistic approach to function, assessing each child’s gross and fine motor skills, sensory processing, and social emotional regulation. We pride ourselves on our ability to educate families on understanding their child’s individual needs, and in providing therapeutic resources and strategies to assist with carryover into home and community environments.


Deb has a Bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from the University of Victoria and a Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Queen’s University. She is a Registered Autism Service Provider (RASP).

Prior to entering private practice in pediatric occupational therapy clinics, Deb gained experience working at various occupational therapy places, including the Children’s Inpatient Mental Health Unit in Victoria, BC as well as the school health programs in Ontario. During her university education, she spent her summers gaining pediatric therapy experience working as an Inclusion Facilitator, assisting the integration of kids with disabilities in summer camp programs.

After many positive client reviews, hard work, and a dream to create a unique therapy space, Deb opened the doors to Kids First Pediatric therapy in June 2015.

Her current work experience continues to focus on direct client care, working within a family-centered approach. Her practice is guided by sensory-processing and neurodevelopmental frameworks. Deb has been providing occupational therapy services for children primarily between the ages of 8 months to 15 years, diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder, Developmental Coordination Disorder, Learning Disabilities, Anxiety disorders, ADHD, and PTSD.

Working with children has always been the focus of her professional and educational development. Inspired by the holistic and family-centered values of the profession, Deb pursued occupational therapy and has since completed a number of continuing education courses, including the following:

  • Masgutova Dynamic and Postural Reflex Method
  • Handwriting Without Tears®
  • The Alert Program ®
  • Integrated Listening Systems ®
  • Rhythmic Movement Training Levels 1 & 2
  • Brain Gym ® 101
  • DIR/Floortime ® 101
  • Reframing Challenging Behaviour, by Kim Barthel
  • Seeing, Moving, Learning: Visual-Vestibular Integration, by Kim Barthel
  • The Incredible Flexible You Social Thinking program for Preschool & Early Elementary children
  • Executive Functioning Skills for Preschool and School-Aged Children, by Sarah Ward
  • Decoding the Autistic Brain, by Kim Barthel
  • RDI Connnect: Redefining Autism (2-day Webinar)
  • Astronaut Training: A Sound Activated Visual-Vestibular Protocol, VitalLinks
  • Posture and Movement, VitalLinks
  • Fundamentals of Anxiety Interventions: Relaxation Skills Training & Exposure Therapy, by Randy Paterson, Changeways Clinic


Marie received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Child and Youth Care from the University of Victoria, and a Master of Occupational Therapy Degree from the University of British Columbia. Marie is a Supervised Registered Autism Service Provider (RASP).

Marie has over 13 years of experience working with families, and children and youth of all ages and abilities, enabling her to have extensive knowledge regarding child development from infancy through adolescence, and in relation to classroom and community success. Marie also has mental health experience associated with harm reduction, young offenders, trauma, self-regulation, attachment, and healthy relationships.

Marie is passionate about working with families and clients to achieve their identified goals by using a family-centred approach. She enjoys facilitating groups and providing parent education. Marie has experience using a variety of standardized occupational therapy assessments and interventions to enable clients to achieve independence and success in their everyday lives.

In her spare time, Marie enjoys spending time outside with her family and friends. Marie is interested in many activities including bicycling, canoeing, hiking, playing squash and cooking.

Marie values evidence-based practice and is passionate about professional development. Marie has taken the following continuing education courses:

  • Building Blocks for Sensory Integration, VitalLinks
  • Astronaut Training: A Sound Activated Visual-Vestibular Protocol, VitalLinks
  • Posture and Movement, VitalLinks
  • Concussion Management Training– with a focus on Vision, Vestibular & Balance Assessment and Treatment
  • Bruce Perry – Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics
  • Dr. Gordon Neufeld Intensive Level 1: Making Sense of Kids
  • Gordon Neufeld: Power to Parent Training
  • Gabor Mate: The Biology of Loss; What Happens When Attachments are Impaired
  • SNAP™ – Stop Now and Plan Under 12 Program: Early Intervention, Assessment and Treatment
  • Being an Approachable Youth Worker – Sexual Health Education

SAM WADE  B.A. Psych., M.Sc. OT

Sam received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Victoria, and graduated from Queen’s University with a Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy. He is a Registered Autism Service Provider (RASP).

His passion for OT began with working at BC Easter Seals Camps for multiple years, where he worked with a diverse population of individuals ages 5-18. Since then he has provided occupational therapy services in hospitals, homes, schools, and private clinic settings.

Sam was involved in numerous councils during his Master’s and was the chosen recipient for the award of Outstanding Communication in Practice.

Sam is devoted to directed client care using a family-centred approach. He is passionate about using play and emotion to promote strategies for success in everyday life. He has experience using a variety of assessments and intervention tools and is diligent in pursuing professional development.

Sam has completed the following courses as he continues to seek continuing education:

  • DIR Floortime ® 101 & 201
  • Level 1 Dyadic Developmental Psychotherapy
  • Mandt system training
  • Handwriting Without Tears ®
  • Becoming a Behavioural Detective, by Kim Barthel
  • RDI Connect: Redefining Autism (2-day Webinar)
  • Astronaut Training: A Sound Activated Visual-Vestibular Protocol, VitalLinks
  • Posture and Movement, VitalLinks