“Move Play Grow” founder talks importance of self care for moms
Wendi McKenna, Founder of Move Play Grow, dropped by the studio to talk about how giving yourself the self care and love you need will help you thrive in life and inspire your kids follow your positive example.
Wendi McKenna is a pediatric physical therapist who is passionate about helping parents understand, marvel at, and support their babies’ and children’s motor and sensory development. She guides parents and their little ones in hands-on workshops for individuals and small groups where she tailors personalized approaches for more proactive and thoughtful engagement in age-appropriate activities. Whether helping babies to achieve happy tummy and floor time play, adding insightful ideas to enhance babies’ experiences during daily tasks, or painting a picture of the intricate link between brain and body development throughout infancy, childhood and adolescence, parents attest that the few hours spent in her classes truly help the text of any book or blog come to life.
Wendi is the owner/founder of Strides Physical Therapy, Inc., a pediatric physical therapy clinic in Solana Beach, CA. In her more than 15 years of practice as a pediatric physical therapist, Wendi has witnessed an unprecedented increase in preventable medical diagnoses in infants and young children and movement dysfunction in older preschool and school-aged children. In otherwise healthy babies, she often receives referrals for flat head syndrome, preference for looking one way or another (plagiocephaly/brachycephaly and torticollis), and general developmental delay. Older children have greater difficulty navigating their environments or picking up new skills when enrolled in community sports and movement-based classes. With approximately 1 in 2 to 6 babies being diagnosed with plagiocephaly and research showing that 5-year-olds in this generation do not have the movement skills they did in generations past, Wendi feels it is imperative to guide parents to more comprehensive understanding of movement development and ways to naturally support it.
Wendi’s expertise and understanding of movement development as well as her clinical experience treating babies and children with developmental challenges gives her a unique perspective and knowledge base. Simple daily activities can easily be taken for granted as necessary tasks. However every encounter you have with your baby can be used as a positive, meaningful interaction to enhance learning, bonding, attachment and sensory/motor development. Wendi wants to help parents truly see all the amazing “baby steps” that happen between the big “milestones” and provide practical tips on how to support all aspects of your baby’s development.
Wendi is a professional dedicated to her practice and passionate about sharing her knowledge to enhance the development of all babies and children. She received her undergraduate degree from Dartmouth College, Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from USC in 2000, is ABPTS Board Certified in Pediatrics (just re-certified in 2015!), and certified in Neuro-Developmental Treatment (NDT). She places a high priority on continuing education, self-reflection and advancement, and learning from every encounter with colleagues, clients, families and of course, babies. Outside her work life, Wendi has an incredible, loving and supportive husband and three beautiful children! Wendi loves to spend time with her family, and places a high priority on good nutrition, outdoor fun, and lots of moving, playing, and growing.