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Kay de Veer '17 publishes research about the vestibular system and education

Kay de Veer headshot

Kay de Veer ‘17 will have her article, “Balancing Act: The Vestibular System in the Classroom,” published in the Spring edition of The Educational Therapist journal.

De Veer graduated with a master’s degree in education and an educational therapy certificate from Holy Names University in 2017. She worked as an elementary teacher in San Francisco before starting graduate school. To better support her students, she started researching different learning paths and stumbled upon the educational therapy program at HNU. She was immediately intrigued by the program’s emphasis on the neurodevelopment of children and adolescents, and the diverse cohort of students at various stages in their educational careers.

“The program’s flexibility allowed me to keep working as a teacher,” said de Veer. “I saw the benefits of being in the program immediately as I applied my learnings to more effectively reach my students.”

De Veer learned about sensory systems and sensory integration in her graduate program and was surprised that such a foundational, complex, part of a student’s neurological system was not widely introduced to general education teachers. She focused her thesis on the vestibular system–a foundational neurological system in our body that supports balance and spatial orientation, and is closely tied to academic and emotional success.

“Balancing Act: The Vestibular System in the Classroom,” details the research de Veer conducted and the finding that a light-weight, 20-minute training on the vestibular system enhanced educators’ language, understanding, and awareness of the vestibular system and its important role in the early elementary classroom.

De Veer is excited to be a part of something new in education. She has contributed to building educational tools and a new learning platform at AltSchool, where she currently works as an educational therapist and will continue innovating when she opens her own private educational therapy practice in Santa Barbara this summer.