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Heather Simpson, OTR/L

Heather Simpson graduated with a B.S. in Exercise and Sport Science with a minor in Early Education from the University of Florida in 2007. Following her Bachelor’s degree, Heather received a Master’s in Occupational Therapy, in 2009, from the University of Florida. Since completion of graduate school, she has worked in a variety of settings including outpatient neurology, inpatient physical rehabilitation and pediatric rehab. Currently, Heather splits her time between Shands Rehab at UF Center for Movement Disorders and Neurorestoration and Shands Rehab for Kids at Magnolia Parke.
Heather provides occupational therapy evaluations and treatment for patients seen in the Ataxia clinic and Muscular Dystrophy clinics. She also evaluates and treats a variety of other movement disorders diagnoses including Parkinson’s, Parkinsonisms, Dystonia, Essential Tremor and Tics/Tourette’s Syndrome.
Heather has received specialized training for LSVT BIG ® and Comprehensive Behavioral Intervention for Tics (CBIT).

Managing Visual Contrast Changes

People living with Parkinson’s Disease (PD) can have functional impacts in many facets of their day, ranging from mobility, self-care, sleep and many more.  PD affects many parts of an individual in both motor and non-motor capacities. Recently, researchers have begun to study in the impact that PD has…

Caregiver Digest October 2020

Contributed by Kathleen Mason In the wake of COVID -19, life over the past six months has drastically changed. Many aspects of everyday activities are on hold for the foreseeable future. A physically distanced world is the recommended indefinite “new normal” for those in the PD community to stay…

Caregiver Digest September 2020

Contributed by Kathy Mason The Parkinson’ Disease (PD) journey has many twists and turns for persons with PD and caregivers alike. Knowledge is power. In order to live well with the disease, there is a need for both to understand it and what to expect with progression. The more…

Managing Freezing of Gait

Written by : Ali Kraus, PT, DPT, NCS and Kim Patton, PT, DPT, modified from original post of Meredith Defranco, PT, DPT What is Freezing of Gait Freezing occurs when…

The Mediterranean Diet and Parkinson’s Disease

Written by: Elena Smith, UF Dietetic Intern, Carley Rusch, MS, RDN, LDN & Matthew Beke, MS, RDN, LDN If you or someone you know has Parkinson’s disease (PD), you may have wondered what the best diet is for a person with PD. The 2015-2020 USDA Dietary Guidelines for…

Caregiver Digest July-August 2020

Contributed by Kathy Mason Coffee Break: The emotional Roller coaster of Caregiving According to AARP, six in 10 caregivers provide care for adults with a long term physical condition such…

Returning to School with TS during COVID

It can be difficult for children with Tourette Syndrome (TS) and the co-occurring conditions to handle transitions and changes in their daily life, and transitioning back to school can be particularly hard.  Historically, the start of the school year can lead to an increase in tics, anxiety or other TS-related…

Caregiver Digest June 2020

Contributed by Arlene D’Alli, MSW, LCSW and Kathy Mason It’s been said that PD is a “snowflake disease” as no two patients present the same. However, there are many similarities in the caregiver’s journey of how to most successfully deal with it. Caregivers of PD patients are resilient. They…