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Occupational Therapists

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Nicole Moes OT

Nicole Moes, MS, OTR

Rehabilitation Director of Boca Raton

Nicole joined Progressive Pediatric Therapy in 2014 after transitioning from running her own practice in the Lake Worth Area. She graduated with Bachelors degree in OT from University of Florida in 1999, and obtained her Masters degree from Florida International University in 2002. She is certified in sensory integration, therapeutic listening, kinesiotaping, Beckman oral Motor intervention, electrical stimulation, and ultrasound. She has worked with a variety of diagnoses including developmental delay, autism, neurological impairment, hypotonia, chromosomal disorders, cerebral palsy, disorders of sensory processing, and ADHD.

Cristina Rojo OT

Cristina Rojo-Sirico, OTR/L

Clinical Lead Occupational Therapist

Cristina Rojo-Sirico graduated with a Bachelor’s in Occupational Therapy in 2005, and worked as an occupational therapist while earning her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy in 2009 from Florida International University. She has worked with children in school and charter school settings as well as in the home and private clinical practice settings. She holds training and certification in Therapeutic Listening, Interactive Metronome, the Handwriting without Tears program, and the SOS feeding approach. Cristina has been a member of the Florida Occupational Therapy Association as well as the American Occupational Therapy Association.

Cristina is SIPT (Sensory Integration and Praxis Test) certified and enjoys treating sensory integration and processing disorders as well as working with children with autism spectrum disorders. Additionally, she has worked with children with a variety of other diagnoses including developmental delay, neurological impairment, visual motor delay, hypotonia, Down syndrome, and Cerebral Palsy.

Brittni Barnes OT

Brittini Barnes, OTR/L

Staff Occupational Therapist

Brittini graduated with her Masters Degree in May of 2016. Since graduating, Brittini has worked primarily in pediatrics with experience as a school based occupational therapist and in a private practice. Her clinical experiences include working with children with severe developmental delays, visual processing deficits, ASD, sensory processing disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, fine/gross motor delays and handwriting challenges. Brittini has worked closely with multi-disciplinary teams to foster independence in play and education. Brittini has experience with Handwriting Without Tears program. She has attended continuing education courses for NDT and therapeutic handling, Creative Relaxation for Autism and Special Needs. Brittini continues to expand her clinical knowledge and has enjoyed growing within the Progressive Pediatric Therapy family.

Calley Rock OT

Calley Rock, OTR/L

Staff Occupational Therapist

Calley graduated with her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of New England in 2017, where she previously earned her Bachelor of Science in Health, Wellness, and Occupational Studies with a Minor in Psychology. Her experience working at a summer camp and in social skills groups for children with autism prompted her to pursue a career in occupational therapy. Calley’s OT experience has predominantly been in pediatric private practice and she has also worked with adults in psychiatric, physical rehabilitative, and home health settings. Calley holds certifications in DIR Floortime and Interactive Metronome and has special training in reflex integration. She believes that a strong therapeutic relationship is essential to facilitate positive outcomes and she is passionate about connecting with children of all abilities and their families to help promote age appropriate development.

Dana Schooley OT

Dana Schooley, OTR/L

Staff Occupational Therapist

Dana graduated from Stony Brook University in New York in June of 2001. She has 15 years of experience working as a pediatric Occupational Therapist in New York and has recently moved to sunny South Florida, joining the PPT team. Dana loves working with children and always knew she would be a pediatric therapist. She has worked with a variety of patients with Autism, CP, fragile X, IDD, Downs’s syndrome, and developmental delays in outpatient, school, home, and residential school settings. Dana has attended numerous continuing education courses ranging from Neuro reflex integration & NDT to Beckman Oral Motor Assessment and Intervention and sensory integration.

Eva Patel OT

Eva Patel, OTR/L

Staff Occupational Therapist

Eva Patel graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree from The Ohio State University in 2012 and a Master of Occupational Degree from Nova Southeastern University in 2014. Since graduating, she began her career in geriatrics realizing quickly her passion resided in pediatrics. Fortunately, she has been exposed to numerous settings. Prior to moving to sunny Florida in September 2016, she worked for Ohio’s Early Intervention Services, schools involving students with mild-moderate-severe disabilities, and a hospital based outpatient pediatric clinic in Ohio for several years. Her experience includes working with children with ASD, developmental delays, Sensory Processing disorder, Cerebral Palsy, fine/gross motor delays, handwriting difficulties. She is excited to continue growing with Progressive Pediatric Therapy and serves children and families with a client centered and creative approach.

Gabriela Alvarez OT

Gabriela Alvarez, OTR/L

Staff Occupational Therapist

Gaby graduated with her Masters in Occupational Therapy from the University of Florida in December 2016. Through her undergraduate and graduate career she gained valuable experience as caregiver to a special needs individual and volunteer for several Gainesville organizations. Helping in the community fostered a passion for helping children and their families. She enjoys working in a multidisciplinary team, helping children develop skills for the present and future. She has developed skills in treating a variety of diagnosis including developmental delays, autism, Down’s syndrome, and handwriting delays. Her professional goal is to gain experience and expand her treatment interventions to best fit the needs of her patients.

Janis van Vuuren OT

Janis VanVuuren, OTR/L

Staff Occupational Therapist

Janis van Vuuren has worked within Palm Beach County as a pediatric occupational therapist since 2013. She earned her masters of occupational therapy from Nova Southeastern University in 2012, and is also a proud alumni of Palm Beach Atlantic University.

Janis has had the privilege of working with children with a variety of diagnoses and functional impairments including, but not limited to, feeding and eating difficulties, Sensory Processing Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Torticollis, Autism, ADD/ADHD, Down’s Syndrome, developmental delay, and fine motor delay/handwriting difficulties. She also has experience providing therapeutic services within the aquatic setting. Janis is well loved by her clientele, and absolutely adores her work as an occupational therapist.

Jean Kenny OT

Jean Kenny, OTR/L

Staff Occupational Therapist

Jean has over 40 years’ experience in pediatric Occupational Therapy.  She is a neurodevelopmental and sensory integration trained clinician.   She is also Certified in Yoga for Children with Special Needs and the Interactive Metronome.  Additional training in Hand Writing Without Tears, Neuro Net Treatment, Mobilization and Myofascial Release for Cerebral Palsy and Neurologically Involved Children, Astronaut Program: A Sound Activated Vestibular-Visual Protocol, Integrated Listening System, Therapeutic Listen with the Whole body and reflex integration.
Karla Pierre-Louis OT

Karla Pierre-Louis, OTR/L

Staff Occupational Therapist

Karla graduated from the Master of Occupational Therapy Program at the University of Florida in December 2010. Since then, she has worked as a pediatric occupational therapist in various settings, performing evaluation and treatment of children from birth to age 21 in the home, school, and clinical environment. She has treated children with varying diagnoses and conditions including Attention-Deficit /Hyperactivity Disorder, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Brachial Plexus Injury, Cerebral Palsy, Down’s Syndrome, developmental delay, feeding difficulties, and seizures. Karla has a special interest in sensory processing difficulties and pursues ongoing continuing education addressing children with these difficulties. She is also currently an Early Steps provider. Her professional goal is to communicate and work closely with families and other disciplines in order to ensure carryover and improve functional outcomes for the involved child. She recognizes the uniqueness of each child and strives to identify the priorities and strengths of each family unit in order to develop and achieve desired outcomes.

Kathryn Ring OT

Kathryn Ring OTR/L

Staff Occupational Therapist

Kathryn Ring graduated with her Elementary Education degree from Depaul University in 2010 and taught Exceptional Student Education inclusion classes, working with students with various needs, IEPs, and 504s. As a three time awarded State of Florida High Impact Teacher, Kathryn ensured all her students felt heard by tapping into each child’s strengths and intrinsic motivators to build self-efficacy and support student’s learning and social emotional needs. After working as an educator for nearly a decade, she was inspired by the direct impact that occupational therapy services have on children’s lives. Her passion and drive to make the most impact on as many children as possible took her back to school to further enhance her education to join the occupational therapy community. As an occupational therapist, Kathryn has extensive training in the treatment of sensory processing disorders using multiple sensory integration approaches. She has experience working with a variety of diagnoses and conditions including autism spectrum disorder, sensory processing disorder, sensory based motor disorders, developmental delay, prematurity, cerebral palsy, attention deficit disorder, behavioral conduct disorders, brachial plexus injuries, vision impairments, learning disabilities, and various medically fragile children. Kathryn is thrilled to build therapeutic relationships with all children at Progressive Pediatric Therapy and help promote child development and occupational success for all.

Laura Dart OT

Laura Dart OTR/L

Staff Occupational Therapist

Laura developed a passion for working with children at a very young age, after growing up with a cardiac condition and experiencing a childhood that was often interrupted to attend doctor’s appointments and hospital visits, or spent watching peers from the sidelines. Recognizing the importance of quality of life in childhood, she found joy in volunteering in her community to serve children with differing levels of ability and special needs. Eventually, Laura set out to become an occupational therapist to grow in this passion as a professional, in order to broaden her reach and provide quality care. After graduating from the University of Georgia with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology and concentration in Neuroscience, Laura moved to south Florida to earn a Masters of Occupational Therapy from Nova Southeastern University. She has extensive training in Comprehensive Behavioral Therapy for Tics (CBIT) and is a specialized provider for treatment of Tourette Syndrome and Tic Disorder. She also holds training in Nonviolent Crisis Intervention for therapeutic responses to individuals in crisis. Laura has a passion for mental health and currently shares her time as an occupational therapist in an inpatient mental health facility.

 

Her heart has led her to join the Progressive team as a pediatric occupational therapist with the mission of creating innovative, holistic, and individualized treatment plans to facilitate skill development and foster self-efficacy for her clients. Laura’s interests include promoting healthy neurological development, emotional and social wellbeing, and resilience in children who have experienced trauma, adversity, and differing levels of ability and health experiences. Her goal is to empower children to achieve their highest level of engagement in meaningful occupation, facilitate mental health and wellness, and support families and communities in their role within each child’s life. 

Sofia Perez OT

Sofia Perez, OTR/L

Staff Occupational Therapist

Sofia graduated with a Master of Occupational Therapy Degree from the University of Florida in 2019. She has 2 years of experience working as a Registered Behavior Technician in home, community, and clinic settings. Additionally, she has taken various courses in applied behavior analysis. She enjoys working in an multidisciplinary team to ensure client centered and holistic care. She has experience working with a variety of diagnosis including: Sensory Processing Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, Autism, ADD/ADHD, Down Syndrome, developmental delay, feeding/oral-motor delay, and fine motor delay/handwriting. Her professional goal is to work closely with each family to ensure their child reaches their maximum potential using various intervention approaches that best fit their needs.

Tara Ghorbani OT

Tara Ghorbani, OTR/L

Staff Occupational Therapist

Tara graduated Florida State University in 2017 with a B.S. in Family and Child Sciences and an Interdisciplinary Certificate in Developmental Disabilities. She received her M.S. degree in Occupational Therapy at Barry University. Tara worked as a registered behavior technician for three years and has a background in applied behavior analysis. She also has been trained in neurological reflex integration and sensory integration. Tara is passionate about using creative and fun therapeutic approaches when working with children to develop the necessary skills in order to become functional in their everyday life.

Teresa Hans OT

Teresa Hans, OTR/L

Staff Occupational Therapist

Teresa graduated with her Masters degree in 2013 from Nova Southeastern University. Since graduating, she has worked in pediatrics primarily within the private practice setting. Her experience includes working with children with developmental delay, ASD, sensory processing disorder, fine/gross motor delays and handwriting difficulties. She uses a variety of treatment approaches including Sensory Integration, DIR/Floortime and Neurodevelopmental Treatment. She also has experience with the Handwriting Without Tears and the Size Matters handwriting programs.

Teresa seeks additional professional development opportunities to expand her clinical knowledge and enjoys working within a multi-disciplinary team for family centered care.

Tiffany Thomsen OT

Tiffany Thomsen, OTR/L

Staff Occupational Therapist

Tiffany learned about the role of occupational therapy with the developmentally disabled population when she coached a softball team for Special Olympics and knew it was time for a career switch. After a 10 year career in cardiovascular technology, she graduated from Barry University with a Masters in Science in Occupational Therapy in May of 2011. She started her career in pediatrics seeing her clients, aged birth to 22, in outpatient, home health, and private school settings. She has experience with a variety of childhood and developmental diagnoses including Autism Spectrum Disorders, ADHD/ADD, Sensory Processing Disorder, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Chromosomal anomalies, and other developmental delays. She served on the faculty in the Barry University department of Occupational Therapy as an adjunct professor/lab instructor, teaching Pediatric Evaluation and Assessment, Development in Early Adulthood/Transitioning, and Evaluation and Assessment in Late Life to Masters level graduate students. She enjoys the teamwork of collaborating with her colleagues in various disciplines and her clients’ families to provide the best possible services and outcomes for the young clients at Progressive Pediatric Therapy.
Danielle Olmstead, COTA

Danielle Olmstead, COTA

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant

Danielle graduated from Keiser University in 2014 as a COTA and then furthered her career by gaining her Bachelors in Health Science. She has a passion for working with children and making a positive impact on not only the child but their family. She has worked with a variety of diagnoses including ASD, Developmental Delay, Down Syndrome, Learning Disabilities, Sensory Processing, and children with feeding difficulties. She works with all ages from 3 months to 21 years. She enjoys working with a multi-disciplinary team to help integrate therapeutic skills with a holistic approach in each child’s everyday life routine. Her goal is to help children gain their maximum potential by exploring and implementing various approaches to best fit each child’s needs.

Lauren Merchant COTA

Lauren Merchant, COTA

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant

Lauren graduated from Keiser University in 2016 as a COTA . She later returned to further her career in Occupational Therapy receiving a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Occupational Heath and is now studying to obtain her Masters degree. She joined us bringing a wealth of experience and passion for children and has developed skills with a variety of diagnoses including ASD, Sensory Processing, Cerebral Palsy and developmental delay. Lauren enjoys working on a multi-disciplinary team and guiding families for skill development in their child.

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