Areas of Expertise:
Autism Spectrum Disorders, Sensory Processing Disorders, Telehealth, Neurological Disorders, Leadership, and Family-Centered Care.
Chair and Director of the inaugural Masters of Occupational Therapy program and associate professor of occupational therapy at Wesley College
Varleisha D. Gibbs, PhD, OTD, OTR/L, is currently the chair and director of the inaugural masters of occupational therapy program at Wesley College, which is also the first ever in the state of Delaware. She is also an associate professor there. She is co-author of Raising Kids with Sensory Processing Disorders, she has provided families with strategies to understand and care for their children. She previously was a full-time assistant professor in the Department of Occupational Therapy at the University of the Sciences in Philadelphia.
Dr. Gibbs began her career after receiving her baccalaureate degree in psychology from the University of Delaware. She continued her studies in the field of occupational therapy and received her professional degrees from Columbia University and Thomas Jefferson University. She has specific interest in to children with autism spectrum disorders, sensory processing disorders, and cultural competency in treatment interventions.
In 2003, Dr. Gibbs founded Universal Progressive Therapy, Inc. in New Jersey. The company was established with the focus of providing interdisciplinary and quality therapeutic services to families. As founding president of the company, she provides education and treatment, and has had many opportunities to study the areas of sensory integration, autism spectrum disorders, as well as family-centered care. Dr. Gibbs has a doctoral degree in occupational therapy. She focused her doctoral studies on family-centered care, autism spectrum disorders, and the use of telerehabilitation. This innovative topic led to a publication, “Family-Centered Occupational Therapy and Telerehabilitation for Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders,” found in the journal Occupational Therapy in Healthcare.
Dr. Gibbs continues to lecture, and provided training throughout the country on sensory processing strategies and self-regulation. Her passions are to provide individuals with the tools that assist both the individual and the family system.