Dr. Elaina DaLomba, PhD, OTR/L, MSW

Elaina is originally from the Boston, MA area, and has loved traveling and working overseas since she was 13. She has helped to build a playground in Costa Rica, a latrine in Kenya, painted buildings in northern Peru, drywalled a youth camp in Germany, and served as a nanny in the Greek Islands. Elaina received her Bachelor’s degree in Social Work from Providence College. She went on to earn her Master’s degree in Social Work from Tulane University and worked as a pediatric and adolescent psychotherapist for four years in the bayous of Louisiana before returning to school to become an OT. At Tufts University Boston School of Occupational Therapy. Determined to learn to research and show the value of OT, Elaina earned her Ph.D. in Occupational Therapy in 2015 from Texas Woman’s University. She is currently an Assistant Professor and researcher at Samuel Merritt University in Oakland, CA. She also maintains a small private practice caseload, seeing mainly military children in Early Childhood Intervention (0-3 year olds) and in cyber school settings. She has worked with individuals of all ages but her heart lies with children, youth, and young adults with Cerebral palsy, autism spectrum disorder, and developmental delays and their families. Her research interests lie in family occupational participation while raising a child with a disability, military family life, and student approaches to learning, positive mental health, and self-efficacy.