Interviewing Author Miss Farrah Movement and Fun
Q1. Tell me about yourself
A. Some people may not know that I am a Wonder Woman enthusiast with quite a collection of memorabilia. Wonder Woman is more than a fictional character to me. Wonder Woman is a mindset! With having many barriers in life to overcome I have found her strength to be symbolic and encouraging to strive to be the best version of me! I also just completed a Wonder Woman 5k this summer in honor of all the strong women who have influenced my life.
I also enjoy spending time with my husband Todd whether it be cruising in our Ford Mustang, enjoying a movie together, or finding new restaurants to enjoy. We reside in Uhrichsville, Ohio where we have the honor of being involved with the local high school marching band. This is my 13th year working with the Claymont Marching Band as the Color guard instructor and dance specialist. Color guard is another passion of mine. I enjoy choreographing fun flag routines and band dances to teach the high school band members for band shows.
I am starting my 17th year of providing occupational therapy to children in the school setting. I am employed through the East Central Ohio Educational Service Center in New Philadelphia. Then contracted to provide therapy services to Starlight School (Tuscbdd) in New Philadelphia. At Starlight School I am a team member of their Gold Level Positive Behavior Intervention Strategies Program. Along with being the OT consultant of their Outreach Behavior Program. This is a service provided to the public schools in our county where I work alongside our behavior specialist, and speech therapist to assist in adapting students' environments, recommending sensory strategies, and adaptive equipment. I am certified in the SOS Feeding Program allowing me to cotreat with the speech therapist at Starlight School to provide feeding therapy for students who may have sensory issues or oral motor issues with food.
I also have 19 years’ experience as a licensed massage therapist which has helped in providing calming strategies for our students. Along with massage techniques I also provide kids yoga and mindfulness to our students to help teach self-regulation skills.
I have had the honor to present at two of the largest Autism Conferences in Ohio. Ocalicon in Columbus Ohio, and Milestones in Cleveland Ohio. Where my colleague and I have presented on our feeding therapy, PBIS Tier II strategies, and Therapy Collaboration. These conferences are geared toward continuing education and resources for educators, administrators, parents, and health care professionals who work with individuals with Autism.
I am also a board member with Steam Centers Children's Pop Up Museum where I get to help brainstorm ideas for new children's exhibits, and volunteer at pop-up museum events all over Tuscarawas County.
Q2. What are your favorite books to read?
A. Honestly, I love reading children’s books to my students. Some of my favorites to read is Pete the Cat, Color Monster, The Monster At The End Of The Book, and Pigeon Needs a Bath.
When I am at home, I like to get lost in a Romantic Mystery by my favorite author Janet Evanovich.
Q3. When did you decide you were going to write a book?
A. I started to brainstorm ideas for a book when the school I work at shut down in the spring and went to full remote learning. However, I did not start to actually work on writing and illustrating until school was done for the summer. Once the summer break started in June, I had more time to dedicate to completing my book.
Q4. How did you come up with the name of your book?
A. Thinking about how nervous I would get as a child made me think of all the students I work with, and the different behaviors they exhibit. Sympathizing with the students who have a difficult time communicating how they are feeling made me start thinking of how best to help these children. A few years ago, I developed a sensory toolbox for each of the classrooms that I provide therapy in to display. Every week I teach a new sensory tool to the students, and then the teacher carry's out the tool throughout the week. This gives the students multiple opportunities to practice different tools. Seeing this process be effective with our students made me think it would be a great topic to share through a children’s book. I wanted to develop a book that would be simplistic enough for a young child to understand, however, the tools were practical enough for anyone to use.
I think back to when I was a little girl and think of how valuable calming tools would have been to help me cope with my anxiety. This is what inspired me to write my children's book 'Tons Of Tools To Help Me Be Me!' My book is built around three animal friends: Ollie the owl, Nervous Nelly the ostrich, and Seymour the snail. Nervous Nelly can be found hiding her head in the ground because she is always so anxious. Seymour has a terrible time staying awake as his body is always running slow. Both friends miss out on playing with their friend Ollie the owl, and he suggests that his two friends seek out help in learning some tools to help them feel better. That's when the two friends set out to meet Tyson the turtle and Robo rabbit.
Q5. What are you working on for 2021
A. I have started brainstorming ideas for another children’s book. This book will have aquatic animals with the setting being in the ocean. The goal of this book would be to teach children about the different sensory systems, and how each system impacts how our body and mind feels. It is really important to teach children at a young age to identify how they are feeling. Once this skill is practiced it can then be paired with their sensory tools from my first book to strengthen a child’s emotional/sensory regulation. The key is to bring balance to their little bodies and minds.
Q6. How long have you been writing?
A. I started writing when I was in high school by journaling about my life experiences. However, writing children’s books started last spring whenever I was forced to slow down due to the pandemic and try new approaches with delivering therapy to my students.
Q7.What advice would you give other authors?
A. Do not be afraid to think outside of the box and try something new. I believe everyone has a superpower (something they are passionate about, something that makes them unique from others) to share with the world. The biggest challenge is discovering it. When you find what your passionate about or those god-given skills that can change a person’s life then take the leap to make a difference. Do not let the fear of failure hold you back from your dreams.
Q8. Where can people find you online?
A. Since the pandemic started in March, I have been creating more opportunities to share ideas with a larger audience. You can check out my videos on Miss Farrah's Movement and Fun YouTube Channel where you will find videos geared toward kids’ themes. Videos include stories, yoga poses, movement activities, and fine motor crafts. You can also find a link on my YouTube channel to other social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram.
YouTube Channel Link:
I also started a blog that has helpful information and ideas for parents to use with their children on different topics such as:
Picky Eating, Emotional Regulation, Calming Tools, and Alerting Tools. I am so excited about offering these resources to the public in hopes of helping more children.
Q9. What is your favorite coffee drink?
A. I love drinking Madhatter’s from my favorite coffee shop.
Q10. What is your favorite coffee shop?
A. Hands down my favorite coffee shop is the Daily Grind in New Philadelphia, Ohio. Not only is the atmosphere amazing, but they have been extremely supportive by allowing me to have book signings at their establishment. I highly recommend if you are in Tuscarawas County make the trip to the Daily Grind coffee shop as you will not be disappointed!!!
Q11. Do you plan on making a new book in the future?
A. Yes, I would love to continue writing children’s books especially if they can help make someone else’s life better.
Q12. How many books have you written?
A. This is my first book; however, I am hopeful in writing more.
Q13. Did you go to college to be a writer?
A. I did not go to college to be a writer. I graduated from college with a Massage Therapy, and an Occupational Therapy Assisting Degree. Both of these disciplines have shaped the topic of my book. I am very thankful to have the opportunity to pull from my professional experiences to help other people.