My name is Mariah Pierson. I’m a wife to an incredibly supportive husband, mother of 3 beautiful girls and have found my passion and my calling to serve the Lord as an occupational Therapist.
My love for occupational therapy began in high school after learning about my mother’s experience with occupational therapy. When my mom was 19, she was in a car accident and sustained a C5/C6 spinal cord injury and spent months recovering and gaining function at a rehabilitation hospital in Colorado. After being told to expect never to walk again and 13 days of paralysis, she could move one of her toes, she was very fortunate to gain function of her arms and legs and returned home independently 3 months following her accident. My mom always spoke highly about her occupational therapist and talked about how much she loved her OT.
She spoke about how they would work on brushing her teeth and painting her nails as well as necessary skills needed to return to home independently. I felt inspired by my mom’s perseverance and her experience with an occupational therapist. I felt that this was a career that I needed to pursue.
I began my career as an occupational therapy assistant with a goal to continue my education to become an occupational therapist in the future. After graduation I began working at a pediatric outpatient clinic in Grand Island and quickly realized that I had found my passion. I had the opportunity to work with children of all ages with various conditions and felt inspired every day by these strong, courageous children. I became dedicated to each child and developed many strong connections with my patients and their families. I have experience treating complex cases which include various neurological disorders, developmental delays, sensory processing disorders, visual perceptual and oculomotor dysfunction, retained primitive reflexes, self-regulation and behavior management, focus and attention deficits, feeding aversions, picky eating and oral motor dysfunction as well as fine motor and gross motor deficits.
My husband and I are both from the McCook area and felt called to return to McCook to raise our family in this small yet opportunistic community. To my surprise, I found a love for working with older adults with a wide variety of conditions when I took a job at a critical access hospital. I gained experience in skilled nursing, inpatient, home health and pediatric outpatient services.
As my passion for helping others grew, I was called to further my education and graduated with my Bachelors of Rehabilitative Science in 2017 and Master of Occupational Therapy in 2019. Aside from evidence-based research and educational courses related to pediatrics I acquired a certification in a program called LSVT BIG which is an evidenced based program designed to help individuals with Parkinson’s Disease and other neurological conditions. This program addresses walking, balance, self-care and activities of daily living skills such as getting dressed, fine motor skills or getting up from a chair or bed.
I know that God has led me to the OT profession. I believe that I was meant to serve the Lord by helping others. I’m here to encourage, motivate and inspire my patients to achieve their goals of independence and success in everything that they want and need to do. I feel very grateful to work in such a rewarding profession and I’m thankful for the opportunity to serve our community and share my passion each day!