Mary Beth Kadlec, ScD, OTR/L

Profile photo of Mary Beth Kadlec
Assistant Professor
Occupational Therapy
(617) 724-7948

Dr. Mary Beth Kadlec, ScD, OTR/L, has been practicing occupational therapy for more than 30 years, primarily in the areas of pediatrics and neurodevelopmental disorders, intentionally working in all clinical settings where caregivers and youth receive services: neonatal intensive care units (NICU), pediatric intensive care units (PICU), early intervention programs (EIP), early childhood programs, elementary schools, outpatient clinics, summer programs and camps for youth with autism spectrum disorders, residential facilities for adults with developmental disabilities, consultations to emergency departments, inpatient psychiatric and mental health units, as well as private practice. Her focus has been on expanding occupational therapy’s impact through clinical practice, education and research demonstrating how occupational therapy is uniquely positioned to advance the human condition in any environment by applying our knowledge of the person to be successful within the context of the desired occupations.

Research Interests

Dr. Kadlec is very interested in better understanding how occupational therapists, caregivers and other providers use themselves as powerful agents of change within the context of activities. She is also interested in understanding the impact of stress and trauma on emotional regulation, social interactions, and engagement with activities and in life.


Doctor of Therapeutic Studies, Boston University

Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy, Boston University

Master of Science, Post-Professional Occupational Therapy, Boston University


Select Recent Publications

Hoyo, V., & Kadlec, M.B. From Syringe to Spoon Feeding: A Case Report of How Occupational Therapy Treatment Successfully Guided the Parents of a Child with Autism Spectrum Disorder and Prematurity in an Outpatient Clinic, Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders (2020).

James, L.W., Pizur-Barnekow, K., Copeland, D.T., Ponsolle-Mays, M., Kadlec, M.B., & Schefkind, S. Fostering Interprofessional Collaborative Practice Within Pediatric Settings, OT Practice, 25(3) 2020, 16-19.


Select Recent Presentations

Kadlec, M.B. & Johnston, S. (2020). Why are Caregivers in the Waiting Room? Massachusetts Occupational Therapy Association Conference.

Hoyo, V. & Kadlec, M.B. (2020). From Syringe to Spoon Feeding: A Case Report. Massachusetts Occupational Therapy Association Conference.

Kadlec, M.B. & Swanson, S. (2020). Understanding Challenging Behaviors: Using Support Strategies that Honor a Person’s Underlying Neurobiological Profile. Virtual 5-hour staff training to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, Massachusetts Department of Developmental Services.

Kadlec, M. B. (2019). Addressing Challenging Behaviors in Kids with ASD. Torchlight Podcast. Podcast retrieved from

Kadlec, M. B. (2019). Essential Elements for Successful Interactions with Children with Autism Spectrum Disorders and Complex Neurodevelopmental Disorders. Workshop at Massachusetts Early Intervention Consortium Conference, Marlborough, MA.

James, L. W., Kadlec, M. B., Pizur-Barnekow, K., Copeland, D. Schefkind, S., Ponsolle-Mays, M., & Idemoto, E. (2019). Navigating Pediatric Interprofessional Practice. Workshop at American Occupational Therapy Association Annual Conference, New Orleans, LA.

Cochran, D. M., Kadlec, M. B., & Swanson, S. (2019). Interdisciplinary Teams: Effective Service Delivery in Pediatric Practice. UMMS Course on Caring for Persons with Intellectual  Disorders and Disabilities, Worcester, MA.

Curriculum Vitae