Barbara Sher Curriculum Vitae

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As an occupational therapist with many years of experience, my strengths are my ability to create fun and effective activities that meet individual or group needs and to put technical information in easy-to-understand terms. With these skills, I have created ten books full of games and information, and given numerous national and international workshops.

Embedded into my games are evidence-based practices such as sensory integration, floortime and pivotal response techniques to make my games comprehensive, collaborative and eclectic.

M.A. in Occupational Therapy. University of Southern California, Los Angeles, CA.
B.A. in Psychology. Boston University, Boston. MA.

Fellowship award: World Rehabilitation Fund’s International Exchange of Experts and Information in Rehabilitation, 1995
Award for CD: 28 Instant Song Games: Winner of the 2000 Oppenheim Toy Portfolio SNAP Award and Dr. Toy's Best Vacation Children's Products

Early Intervention Games, Fun, Joyful Ways to Develop Social and Motor Skills in Children with Autism Spectrum or Sensory Processing Disorders, John Wiley & Sons, publisher 2009

Attention Games, 101 Fun, Easy Games That Help Kids Learn To Focus, John Wiley & Sons, publisher, 2006

Smart Play, 101 Fun, Easy Games That Enhance Intelligence, John Wiley & Sons, publisher, 2004

Spirit Games, 300 Fun Activities That Bring Children Comfort and Joy, John Wiley & Sons, publisher, 2002

Self-esteem Games, 300 Fun Activities That Make Children Feel Good about Themselves John Wiley & Sons, publisher, 1998

Extraordinary Play with Ordinary Things, Bright Baby Books, publisher, 2001
Homegrown Baby, Bright Baby Books, publisher, 2009

Playful Moments, Spontaneous games to play with your young, Bright Baby Books, publisher, 2009

CD/ Cassette: 28 Instant Songames, Future Horizons/Sensory World, 2001

Articles in:  OT Week, Advance for Occupational Therapist, Mothering, Nurturing, OT Forum, World Federation of OT, Kindred Spirit, Parenting for Special Needs and others.


Schools and clinics in rural Jinotepe, San Marcos and Diriamba
Sponsor:  Colorado University

Nhi Dong Pediatric Hospital #1, Special Needs Daycare Center, Ho Chi Minh City
General Hospital, Hue
Sponsor: NGO Friendship Bridge, Denver, CO

Orphanage, Battambang
Spinal Chord Injury Center, Sihanoukville
Rehab Center, Phnom Pen
Sponsor: Handicap International, Belgium

National Center for Rehabilitation, Vientiane
Sponsor: Ministry of Health

Sponsor: University of South Pacific

Rarotonga, Cook Island:
Sponsor: University of South Pacific

Hong Kong:
Refugee camp
Sponsor: Save our Children
Hong Kong Polytechnic
Sponsor: Hong Kong Polytechnic

New Zealand:
15 workshops on North and South island
Otago Polytechnic
Christchurch Hospital
New Zealand Association of Occupational therapist

Federal States of Micronesia:
Chuk and Kosrae
Sponsor: university of Hawaii

Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands:
Saipan, Tinian and Rota
Northern Marianas College
CNMI public school system/ special education

Los Pequenos Hermanos orphanage
Sponsor: same

United Kingdom
Halifax, England
Sponsor: National Autistic Society

Bode, Norway
Sponsor: Physical Therapy clinic

Edmonton, Canada
Autism Awareness Centre


Portland, Oregon
Providence Childcare
Sponsor: Swindell Center

Minneapolis, Minn
Professional Development Program, 14th and 16th Symposium

Albuquerque, New Mexico (2 workshops)
University of New Mexico, Network for Effective Training and Technical Assistance (NET)
Bureau of Indian Affairs, Family and Child Education (F.A.C.E)

San Diego, San Francisco, Sacramento, South Carolina
Sponsor: Busy Body Seminar

Northern California
Specialized workshops tailored and presented to public school systems, community and local colleges, Head Start Programs and Parent groups

Charlottesville, North Carolina
Future Horizons Seminar


2000-2014:Commonwealth Northern Marianas Public School System/ special education dept of related services
Duties: Provide occupational therapy services to identified children in Head Start Centers and Elementary schools on island of Saipan, Tinian and Rota.
Provide evaluations for referred children
Provide workshopson professional development days and for associated associations such as the Autism Society

1970-2000: Self-Employed
Contracts with North Coast Regional Center and a large variety of sponsors (see international and national lists above)

1965-1969: Mt. Sinai Psychiatric Hospital/ In-patient occupational therapy dept.


“Barbara’s style of presentation was very clear and at a level where everyone understood what she was saying. We appreciated the way she involved herself with the participants while doing the various activities. The information she brought to the teachers was very new and many of them have already put into practice some of the skills and ideas they learned at the workshop. Because of the tremendous expertise she has, Barbara is a very valuable resource person and would be a great asset to any future workshops”
-- Jean Crane, Pacific Preschool coordinator, The University of the South Pacific, Suva, Fiji

“We were delighted to attend a workshop run by Barbara Sher on the theme of play with recyclables. The session proved informative, totally participative and moreover great fun—all the ingredient for a good learning experience”
-- Margaret Webb, Executive Director, Play Right, Chai Wan, Hong Kong

“I've seen Barbara's work first hand, in Nicaragua.  She went with us to Nicaragua several years ago, as part of our therapy team, working with the children and consulting with their parents and teachers.  She gave a great workshop on "Making Toys from Trash", and it was terrific.  The teachers and parents (and the team as well) thoroughly enjoyed her presentation.  There was a lot of creativity on the part of participants, and a lot of laughter!  Her information was pertinent and worthwhile for everyone, including the children who would benefit from the resulting toys”
-- Lois Hickman OTR

“I met Ms. Sher in Albuquerque, New Mexico where she was making a presentation to the Bureau of Indian Affair’s Family and Child Education Conference….It is putting it lightly to say that I have been touched by Barbara Sher. As an educator for thirty years, I am enthused by her inward enthusiasm; it comes out and grabs you. Her evident joy of and for life makes you move. Finally I am blessed because I know that as long as there are educators around the caliber of Barbara, many people will have the opportunity to be all that they can be and enjoy the journey.”
-- Patricia Kindles-Ford, Choctaw Indians Family and Education Center, Conehatta, Mississippi

"Barbara Sher’s workshop, Power of Play, Sensory games for ALL children is a total full body immersion of fun and discovery. You won’t just learn about child developmental stages – you will become a child and learn what it is to grow and play. And learn you will – by doing! Picture a room full of adults sitting on the floor making games out of household items. Picture dozens of paper balls flying in the air, through the air and above the crowd. Now, picture yourself having the time of your life and learning what it is to be a child again. How does it feel? Joyous and delightful!"
-- Mary Halvorson, Family Education Coordinator Swindells Center/

I attended the conference in Halifax, England on the 22nd July and i would just like to say how truly brilliant I found it. You were amazing and such an inspiration and now i have so many ideas that I didn't have before + the ability to expand on them even further!! Thank you so much for sharing your work with us.
-- Louise Edwards

Invaluable resources to help your child reach his or her full potential
Commentary from around the globe.
4 Different Workshops; Interactive, fun and educational