Pediatric Pelvic Health
An Interview with Kayla Bryant MOT, OTR/L
Kayla Bryant, MOT, OTR/L merged into private practice, The Family OT, in January of 2020. She has developed her home-based practice specialty around pediatric pelvic health with an emphasis on sensory processing and complementary health. She incorporates all aspects of the individual -- mind, body, and spirit.
Kayla’s specialized training and mentorship include Herman and Wallace Pelvic Rehabilitation Institute; Biofeedback Certification International Alliance; Dawn Sandalcidi, PT; and the STAR Institute for Sensory Processing Disorders.
Kayla is a life-long learner with a passion for helping her clients reach their highest level of independence and enhancing their quality of life. She believes bringing sensory awareness to the body as well as providing children and families with the needed tools to treat themselves and enhance their lifestyle results in resilient families and children.
In this interview, Kayla shares some personal insight into how she found her inspiration, motivation, and confidence in pursing this path of a family integrated pelvic health specialization.
What inspired you to begin your work in pediatric pelvic health?
I began my work in pediatrics over five years ago after completing fieldwork at a private practice clinic in Charleston, South Carolina. I became fascinated with sensory integration and how a child’s early sensory experiences and awareness play a huge role in their overall health and wellness (including family dynamic). In 2018, after the birth of my daughter, I experienced women’s health issues related to pelvic floor dysfunction. After successful treatment by a pelvic floor therapist and myself, I developed a new passion for the pelvic floor, and I realized the importance of addressing these issues in children.
How did you begin to take those first steps to differentiate yourself as an emerging professional in this area?
I feel occupational therapists, in general, fit exceptionally well into pediatric pelvic health. Still, most of the therapists treating these issues are not OTs. I was finding that most (if not all) of my pediatric pelvic floor clients required a holistic approach with a heavy emphasis on sensory processing -- particularly with interoception and psychosocial skills. Their pelvic floor dysfunctions significantly impacted their ability to play (a child’s primary occupation) and their family dynamic. After putting these pieces together, I decided to compile ideas based on research and experience to offer a comprehensive evaluation and treatment approach targeting “the root” of the concern. To get to this root, I find great importance in having integrative/complementary health and wellness practitioners on my team (functional nutrition, acupuncture, yoga therapists, chiropractors, etc.) Having my own practice allows me the freedom to rise above the status quo and follow what’s truly in my heart.
What has been the most rewarding aspect of working with these children and families in need of your specialty?
The most rewarding aspect of working with this population is watching a child gain confidence and increased control of their body. I get to hear the success stories such as an 11-year-old child attending their first sleepover (something they avoided due to bedwetting); or see the tears of a mom whose five-year-old boy is no longer crying every time he goes to sit on the potty to have a bowel movement; and the teenage girl who now listens to her body and is no longer having embarrassing accidents during soccer games.
How would you encourage other occupational therapists to pursue a similar career in pediatric pelvic health?
I would encourage other occupational therapists to seek out a community of life-long learners, mentors, and coaches in this area of practice. Shadow other therapists (if you can), take courses and ask questions. There is so much out there! Don’t be afraid to jump right in! You can make a difference in your current clients' lives just through patient education and basic treatment strategies. You do not need to be an expert to get started.
Kayla Bryant, MOT, OTR/L
Master of Occupational Therapy: West Virginia University (2015)
Kayla currently resides in Asheville, North Carolina, where she operates her in-home practice The Family OT. If you want to learn more about her practice style, approach, and method, or have questions specifically about pursuing this area of practice, you can connect with her at: thefamilyOT@gmail.com or visit her professional website www.TheFamilyOT.com