1102 Winkler Ave. Killeen TX, 76542 (254)634-8505

     
     

 

 


 

 

 
 

Staff

Dr. Kelly Barr, PT, DPT, PCS, C/NDT Owner and Director of KidZ TherapEZE

Kelly began working with special needs children in high school with American Red Cross Adapted Aquatics and Easter Seals, teaching swimming skills. Twenty eight years later (24 years as a PT), she is the owner and director of KidZ TherapEZE. She is a physical therapist trained in pediatric NDT with the 8-week course as well as over 30 other pediatric continuing education courses. She constantly strives to add more "tools" to her available treatment skills.

Her experience in many settings and her deep roots in the community have improved her ability to provide support for families and children with special needs beyond the immediate physical therapy treatment. She also leads a project with 2 international organizations, Rotary International and Goodwill International, in an effort to provide medical equipment for children in Mexico. She works with several of the Physical Therapy University programs as the Clinical Instructor for students providing the neurological or the pediatric specific internship. She was awarded the Dorn Long Clinical Instructor of the Year for 2008 in the State of Texas.

Her greatest memories are the celebrations when children reach unimaginable goals and parents call with great stories, proud of their child's achievements. She is the mother of two girls who are grown and attending universities and a 7 year old boy, which could be a lot more worrisome if they weren't so wonderful and a lot less worrisome is they weren't so beautiful. Her daughters are UMHB Crusaders. Her little man, Travis, keeps the whole family busy and entertained. When she is not at work she enjoys swimming and running after "the 2 wheeled bike with training wheels" around the block and the Killeen Evening Rotary Club.

Kim Barr, Financial Officer

Kelly's husband, Kim, is the greatest asset of the business because of his support both in the financial management of the company and his support at home as a loving, protective father of the girls and Travis, and loving supportive husband to Kelly. He keeps the family and business balanced so that all can continue to thrive and even has multiple volunteer ventures of his own. He has a finance degree from Southwest Texas State University. His community service includes years of service on the Killeen Evening Rotary Club Board, and the Executive Board for Heart of Texas Goodwill, and a founding board member and past board chair of the Greater Killeen Free Clinic. He is currently serving as an area Rotary Foundation coordinator for Rotary District 5870.  He also serves as Chairman of the Killeen Community Development Advisory Committee, which is tasked with allocating over $1,000,000 annually in Federal Block grants to various social service organizations and city projects.

Kim loves knowing the children in the clinic and playing with them as he passes through the treatment areas during his daily routine.  He has coached Travis’ baseball team thru T-ball, coach pitch, and machine pitch.  His favorite time is weekends at the lake where he enjoys skiing, kayaking and riding his bicycle through the hill country.

Erin Harris, Director of Activities and PRO, Kelly's Right Hand

I was born and raised in Killeen, Texas, and so is my husband. I originally went to school to pursue Music Therapy and found that the music department wasn't for me. I found my way to SWT and fell in love with the communication dept. I've had a number of jobs between Austin and Dallas from Target, Whole Foods & Nannying but kids are my love. I came back to Killeen to teach private preschool and then I saw Kelly out & about in town and then it was all over! I was 5 months pregnant and she offered that the upcoming aquatic therapy/pool house needed heading up and I jumped on it. I've been here ever since and don't plan on leaving until they kick me out!

Lenna Barr, Billing Manager

Lenna is Kelly's oldest daughter, and while she has been involved with Kidz Therapeze since the beginning, she officially started working here in 2007. She holds an MBA in Accounting from Mary Hardin-Baylor, and has graduated from the Rotary Leadership Institute, and Leadership Killeen.

She served as the president of the Killeen Evening Rotary club for the year 2011-12, and has continued to support Rotary through membership, professional development, and Early Act First Knight. In addition to her service through Rotary, she serves on the board for the Greater Killeen Free Clinic, the Bell County Habitat for Humanity, and the Greater Killeen Young Professionals. Her greatest love, however, is the work she does at Kidz.

 

Autumn Tatro, Billing Specialist

Autumn grew up in Las Vegas, NV, and moved to Killeen in 1995 when her husband was stationed at Fort Hood.  She is a proud parent of three children, and her daughter has been coming to Kidz since 2001 for therapy.  She loves seeing the difference therapy can make in a child’s life. 

For over 16 years she has been a military spouse and understands the hardships that are associated with military life and deployments.  Three years ago she became a member of the staff and is more than happy to answer any questions parents may have.

 

Shant'e Jones, Superior Specialist

Hello! My name is Shante Jones, I was born in Texas and raised in Kansas. I have two daughters, who are my world. I worked as a C.N.A for about two and a half years, I loved working and being around patients. I decided after the birth of my daughter that I wanted to do something a little different.

So I went back to school, and graduated from Everest College in Medical Administration, and medical billing and coding. After finishing the medical billing program I started an internship at Kidz Therapeze, where later I was hired. The perfect Job if you ask me, I am around patients and I am also doing what I love to do as far as billing is concerned.

Mercy Polinati, IT Specialist

Mercy was born in India and was raised in India and Botswana. She came to the United States for college. She has a BBA and an MBA from the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor, and is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Information Systems.

She started working at Kidz TherapEZE in May 2012 and is excited about the hands on experience, to be able to apply the knowledge from class into practice in day to day activities. She loves seeing the Kidz smiles and is encouraged by their perseverance.

 

Christine Cortez, Auth Specialist

Hi! I am Christine Cortez. I joined Kidz Therapeze earlier this year and it has been a joy to be part of their team! I am happy to help you, your children and your family in any way I can so that your experience at Kidz Therapeze is the best it can be.  My passion is helping others and I spent 7 years in the hospitality industry doing that
professionally. The children here at Kidz Therapeze are a joy to work
with and allow me to pursue helping others even more in my day to day
work! I have volunteered with kids for over 10 years and I am
excited I can continue working with this establishment.

I am a true Texan at heart! I love country music, BBQ, and being outdoors. I enjoy jogging, spending time with loved ones, traveling, meeting new people and getting into new adventures. If I'm not at work I am usually involved in something at my church, Faith Point, which actively serves in our local community. Currently I am active in ministries that work with our children and young adults as well as the women in our local area. KidZ  are our top priority here and I love showing that to our patients!

Susan Smith, Front Desk (Afternoons)

My name is Susan Smith. I have a bachelor's degree in Broadcast Journalism with English as a minor. I have been married for 21 years and have three beautiful children and live in Harker Heights.

My family loves Texas, so we retired from the Army and stayed! We are a homeschooling family and enjoy the outdoors. We love the state parks in Texas, so most of the time you will find us outside – hiking, biking, kayaking, camping, etc. Some of my other hobbies include cooking, antiques and reading.

Monique Williams, Auth Specialist

My name Is Monique Williams, I was born In Seaside, CA. Growing up, I always had a passion for children but had a special place in my heart for children with special needs. My dad was military so we moved a couple of times around the country. After graduating from Ft Polk, Louisanna, I went to work in childcare for 9yrs. I have been married for 16 years and have 3 boys who are my world.

A few years ago, I was presented with a job in a pediatric office where I was able to meet so many beautiful children and worked there for three and half years. God moved me to Kidz Therapeze this year, I am humbled and overjoyed to be a part of this organization. I couldn't have been blessed with a better employment opportunity.

Pearl Shelby, Billing Specialist

 

 

Jillian Ramirez, Office Assistant

Jillian has been working for KidZ TherapEZE since 2006 and has taken on a variety of tasks. She works hard and keeps the toys clean and running as well as helping with many of the tasks that keep the therapists available for treatment. Jillian was also awarded Athlete of the Year by the bell county judge and commissioners' committee on people with disabilities.

Valerie Nogle, Lifeguard

I grew up as an army brat and traveled the world. I attended Killeen High School and swam on the AquaRoo swim team. I was very excited when I had the opportunity to come back and work there to teach and coach. I have been coaching and teaching swim lessons for the past 10 years. My son turned 8 this year and keeps me very busy with his bowling team, boy scouts, and summer swim team. I enjoy working with children and can't wait for next summer!

Juan Villarreal, Lifeguard & Medical Information

Juan is a very athletic and intelligent young adult. He is part of the Texas A&M Corps of Cadets. He dedicates himself to school, work, and friends. He is very handy and can assist you with any problem you may have.

 

Physical Therapists

Carrie Williamson, PT, DPT, C/NDT

Carrie is a physical therapist who received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy at Simmons College in Boston. She has worked at KidZTherapEZE for one year. Carrie lives in Austin and is involved with the local farmers there. She enjoys cooking, gardening, yoga, reading, and hiking.

Jennifer Reimels, MPT

Hi, I’m Jen! I graduated with my master's degree in Physical Therapy from Quinnipiac University in Hamden, Connecticut. I was born and raised in NY, where my family still lives. I recently moved to Round Rock, Texas and love it so far! Working at Kidz Therapeze has been such an amazing experience and I could not have imagined a better job!

On the weekends I work in an acute rehab hospital in Austin, Texas specializing in the rehabilitation of patients suffering from stroke, spinal cord injury, multiple trauma, orthopedic injury, neurological conditions, brain injury and other conditions. During my free time, I enjoy learning and exploring all the fun activities Texas has to offer!

Aileen Tabobo, PT, DPT, C/NDT

Aileen began working with Kidz Therapeze in 2005 as a volunteer. After receiving her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center, she decided to come back to the clinic that inspired her to become a pediatric physical therapist. She was raised in Killeen as a military child and has traveled all over Texas throughout her college years. She enjoys reading, singing and cooking.

Isabel Northington, PT, DPT, C/NDT

Isabel relocated to Texas from Southern California in June 2007 to work at KidZ TherapEZE. She is originally from Sugar Land, Texas. She first acquired a Bachelor of Science degree (with emphasis in Pre-medical) with a double major in Biology and Psychology from Houston Baptist University (HBU) and worked part-time as a Physical Therapist technician in the Houston medical center. She originally planned to become a Medical Doctor and attended school at UCLA. She quickly decided that she missed the more personal interaction in Physical Therapy and applied for the Doctorate of Physical Therapy Program at Loma Linda University in Southern CA.

She graduated with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2007 with her research focused in Neuroscience and more specifically Cerebral Palsy. She focused many of her affiliations and internships in Pediatrics. She loves kids, animals, and has a special place in her heart for soldiers. "My dad was stationed here at Fort Hood many years ago and he is a Vietnam veteran and someone I admire very much, so it is a blessing to be able to occasionally help and serve injured soldiers." She is definitely someoe who loves learning and continues to study and research to expand her knowledge base.

In March 2012. she received her C/NDT and is currently studying for her Orthopedic Clinical Specialty (OCS). She is also working on completing her continuing education in Myofascial Release by John F. Barnes. She also serves as a clinical instructor for the facility and has hopes of one day teaching part-time as a University Neuro-Science or Gross Anatomy Professor.

She incorporated her own company in 2010; Bellah Therapies, LLC; and works with two amazing Physical Therapist Assistants (Valerie and Calli). We are a team and we work together to problem solve and brain storm ways we can help our patients more.

In her spare time, she loves high impact sports, participating in the Tough Mudder Challenges to help support the Wounded Warrior Project, attending church/bible study, photography and running with her dog, Noah.

Valerie Fusilier, PTA

My name is Valerie and I have lived and grown up in the Austin area for most of my life. I began my college career at Concordia University Texas and transferred to Blinn College to pursue their Physical Therapist Assistant program. I very much enjoyed my final clinical rotation while in school, where I had the opportunity to work with a variety of pediatric patients. I have always enjoyed being around kids and appreciate the unique qualities they each have. Growing up, aquatics played a big part of my life. I was a competitive swimmer, lifeguard, swim instructor, swim coach, and lifeguard instructor. This is where my passion has come for aquatic therapy and my love for the water.

I recently moved from College Station to Austin. I am enjoying being closer to family and friends as well as the wide variety of activities Austin has to offer. I enjoy being active and staying busy. Some of my favorite hobbies include swimming, running, biking, yoga, cooking, nutrition, reading, and competing in triathlons. I am very excited to be a part of Kidz!

Calli Blaschke, PTA

I am 24 years old and recently moved to Georgetown, TX. I work part-time at R.O.C.K. where I pursue my three passions: children with special needs, veterans, and horses. I love spending time with my family and stay busy traveling to visit them. I love all sports especially football and spend most of my free time watching it, exercises, baking, reading, crafting, horse back riding, and play with my puppy Siah. I love to be involved in church groups and meeting new people to share my passion of physical therapy with them.

Jennifer Alcon, PT, DPT

 

Jennifer earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. She continued her education by earning her Doctoral Degree in Physical Therapy from Elon University located in Elon, North Carolina. Jennifer recently moved to Texas and joined the team at Kidz Therapeze after living in North Carolina her entire life. Thankfully everyone at Kidz has been very welcoming and eager to do everything they can to help her adjust. At Kidz, Jennifer is surrounded by a large group of multidisciplinary healthcare professionals who exhibit a cooperative team approach, collaborating together to provide the best services for children and their families. Jennifer enjoys spending time outdoors, reading, and exploring all of the exciting activities in Texas!

Doris Fong-Potts, MSPT, C/NDT

Doris graduated from the University of Central Arkansas in December 1999 with a Master's Degree in Physical Therapy. She lived in Hawaii for 3 years where she worked in the areas of acute care, rehab, skilled nursing, and outpatient therapy with her primary focus in geriatrics. She moved to Clarksville, TN and lived there 2 years where she worked in outpatient orthopedics and pediatrics.

Following her husband's military career, she moved to Little Rock, Arkansas where she continued working as a pediatric physical therapist for 6 1/2 years at Easter Seals Arkansas and as the Physical Therapy Department Head for 4 years. She received her Neurodevelopmental Treatment Certification in Pediatrics in 2008 which specializes in the evaluation and treatment of children with cerebral palsy and movement disorders.

In September 2011, she moved to Temple, Texas and joined Kidz Therapeze. In addition to her career in pediatrics, she has been married for almost 12 years to her wonderful husband, Alex and they have a handsome 2 year old boy, Wyatt.

Leslie Sitton, DPT

Leslie graduated with her Master's Degree in Physical Therapy in 2005 from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. She worked in home health in Galveston until moving to Harker Heights. After working at KidZ for 7 years, she earned her Doctorate Degree in Physical Therapy with a post-professional certificate in Pediatric Physical Therapy. Her and her husband of seven years have a 4 year old son, Jackson. They enjoy traveling and family time.

Bethany Licht, PT, DPT, C/NDT

I am Bethany Licht, and I am a physical therapist at Kidz. I first came here as a student for a clinical rotation, and I loved it so much that I began working here in April 2009 after I graduated with a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch (UTMB) in Galveston, TX.

I love working in a pediatric setting, and I am passionate about helping children reach their highest potential. I feel very blessed to have a job that more often feels like I’m playing than working, that makes me smile and laugh every day, and that most importantly allows me to make a difference in the lives of many children and their families.

I currently live in Austin, and I love living in such a vibrant city! In my spare time, I enjoy hanging out with my friends and exploring all that Austin has to offer (especially all of the good food and live music!). I am also a volunteer advocate with the Travis County CASA program. To keep active I like hiking, jogging, and rowing on Town Lake. In addition, I love to travel, both around the country and around the world.

Ehren Howard, PT, DPT, C/NDT

Children are the first priority at KidZ TherapEZE, whether it is an infant with torticollis, a preschooler with cerebral palsy, or a high school student with a joint injury.  I enjoy seeing children respond to treatment, gaining greater independence, safety, and reducing pain.  It is especially comical when a mother says rhetorically, “Why did you have to help my kid learn to walk? Now they’re getting into everything!”  

As a certified clinical instructor, I often have a student physical therapist training with me from a variety of Texas schools and beyond.  I graduated with a doctorate in physical therapy from Loma Linda University in California.  And I am certified in neuro-developmental techniques for children.  I am a member of the American Physical Therapy Association Pediatrics Section and the Neuro-Developmental Treatment Association.  On the side, I take care of the clinic’s herb and vegetable garden used to enrich therapy with new sights, smells, and even tastes. I look forward to working with your child!

Jane Levine, PT

Hi, my name is Jane. I received my physical therapy degree from Northeastern University in Boston. I have worked in a variety of pediatric settings including school systems (both public and private), outpatient clinics, birth to three early intervention, and homecare. I am very excited to join the team here at Kidz!

I have been married to my wonderful husband for 21 years, and together we have four children that keep us very busy. We are a military family and have lived in many places all over the country, and overseas.

In my spare time I enjoy spending time with my family and pets (two cats and a Labradoodle). I also enjoy exercising and running. I just completed my first full marathon last spring.

Ashleigh Stepp, PT, DPT

Ashleigh was born and raised in Killeen, Texas and first began working and volunteering for Kelly Barr at KidZ TherapEZE in 2004 while she was still in high school. She always knew she wanted to pursue a career that would allow her to help others, and after the death of her best friend and through Kelly's mentorship and example she decided to become a Physical Therapist.

Ashleigh graduated with her Bachelors of Science in Health Sciences in May of 2009 from Texas Tech University, and received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in May of 2011 from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center. Ashleigh also completed one of her clinical rotations during school at KidZ. It has always been a dream of Ashleigh's to be able to work in an amazing and supportive environment such as KidZ TherapEZE and she feels so blessed to finally be part of the team.

Ashleigh is truly passionate about helping others, especially children, and wants to help children with disabilities succeed and feel beautiful and proud of themselves. Ashleigh currently lives in Austin, Texas, and loves it. In her spare time Ashleigh likes to cook, run, shop, read, and spend time with her family and friends.

Tiffany Weiser, PT, DPT

I am Tiffany, and I received my doctorate of physical therapy from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh, PA.  I originally grew up just north of Pittsburgh in the small town of Franklin.  In 2010, I moved to Austin, Texas and am absolutely loving every moment of it! 

I have always loved working with the children whether it is volunteering with one of my favorite organizations, Make a Wish Foundation, or helping coach the sports that I love most.  It is my goal to use my passions to promote overall wellness in the kid’s lives while also helping them achieve each one of their dreams they wish to pursue.  I am excited to now be a part of the Kidz team and cannot wait to start working with the families here in Killeen!      

 

Amber Gluth, PTA

My Name is Amber and I am a Pitt and Steeler fan!  I graduated from The University of Pittsburgh with an associates of Science and PTA degree in 2011.  I grew up in Pennsylvania and am a new Texas resident.  My first job was in a nursing home but after a travel assignment in pediatrics I was hooked!!

In my free time I can be found running and exercising, especially if it is outdoors! I also call home to check on my family, which I am very close to! I am excited to see more of Texas and how many children's lives that I can make a difference in!!

Laura Nickel, MSPT works at Peaceable Kingdom Retreat for Children as a KidZ TherapEZE staff member

 

Laura is a physical therapist who received her Masters of Science in Physical Therapy from Texas Woman's University in 2007. She first came to KidZ as a PT student and now works at Peaceable Kingdom Retreat for Children in Killeen in partnership with KidZ TherapEZE. Her undergraduate degree was in Sociology from Texas A&M University. She loves her job and working with kids with special needs!

Occupational Therapists

Jessica Clickener, OTR/L, MA

I have been working with children all of my life. However I began my journey as an occupational therapist in 2007. I enjoy every minute of what I do. There is nothing better than when a child starts to get the hang of something or master it and then I get to watch their face as they get to share the great news with their parents. It brings tears to my eyes every time.

I obtained my master’s degree from The College of St. Catherine in St. Paul, Minnesota. My special interests in pediatrics include feeding and sensory integration treatment. I have been certified as an S.O.S. Feeding Approach provider as well as a Therapeutic Listening trained provider. I have been in Killeen since September 2009 and I have loved every moment of my being at Kidz.   

Kayla Reynolds, OTR

I am Kayla Reynolds, and I am an occupational therapist at Kidz Therapeze. I first came here as a student for a clinical rotation, and I decided to come work here in June 2012 because I loved it so much. I graduated with a Master of Occupational Therapy degree from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas.

I love working with people of all ages and helping them reach their dreams and desires. I especially enjoy the pediatric setting because my day is filled with watching children smile and laugh, as well as helping them learn new skills. I have so much fun throughout the day as we play and work hard together. Most importantly, I value the family dynamic and I enjoy helping and making a difference for the entire family.

In my free time, I enjoy spending time with my family and friends. Every Sunday, my entire extended family gets together and our day is filled with fun as we eat and play games. I also enjoy playing and attending sporting events. My favorite sports are volleyball, basketball, and track. I also love scrapbooking, which then gives me a fun book to look at and remember all the wonderful memories of my life.

Kaydene Soto, COTA

 

I graduated from Western New Mexico University with an Associates of Science in Occupational Therapy Assistant in December 2012. I have been affilated with Kidz Therapeze since October 2012 where I had the privilage of doing my internship and currently work under Kayla Reynolds Kelley.

Before deciding to get my degree I worked for two different public school districts in the Houston area for 13 years where I was a paraprofessional specializing in Deaf Education and Special Education. I am fluent in American Sign Language.

I have one daughther who is currently a senior at Sam Houston State University studing Animal Science with a minor in Ag Business. In my spare time spent time with my daughter and grand-dog. I also enjoy reading, cooking,baking and sewing.

Tamara Renaud, OTR

If there is a furry face four legged “therapist” in the clinic, you can bet Occupational Therapist, Tammy Renaud, is also nearby. Tammy is our Program Director for our newly established Animal Assisted Therapy program. With 12 years of experience incorporating animals into the healing process, she brings to KidzTherapeze a fresh and exciting idea, as well as a motivating therapeutic “tool” to use with our clients. Our goal is to have working therapy dogs and other small animals that can be incorporated into treatment with the children we see. From motor groups to motivating speech and language development, animals can often motivate children to participate in otherwise challenging tasks.

Tammy is also an instructor and evaluator for the Pet Partners Program through Delta Society, an internationally recognized leader in AAT. In her “spare time” Tammy provides consultation and educational outreach to other individuals and organizations interested in doing similar work. This work includes traveling to Barcelona, Spain; Lisbon, Porgtugal; Guayaquil, Ecuador; and Santiago, Chile where she has provided lectures for Fundacion Bocalan (http://www.bocalan.es/fundacion.html) and their AAT certification program. For more information on Tammy and her AAT program, please go to www.jumpstarttherapies.org.

Animal Assisted Therapy and OT are not the only forms of rehabilitation Tammy has practiced. After completing her degree in OT, Tammy took a short career detour to follow a dream of her own…to rescue, rehabilitate, and release sick and injured dolphins and small whales as State Coordinator for the Texas Marine Mammal Stranding Network. During several of the rehabilitations, Tammy utilized her knowledge of treatment techniques for humans on the dolphins, often seeing wonderful results. Combining this love with her love of working with children, Tammy also worked with a dolphin assisted therapy program in Clearwater, FL as part of her Master’s degree internship program.

Tammy is also currently working with Texas Hearing and Service Dogs as a foster trainer and consulting OT to facilitate matching recipients with service dogs. Seen here is Tammy with her foster service dog in training, Onyx, who visited KidzTherapeze several times.

We’re excited to see what other tools Tammy has in her bag!!

Julie Henderson Schneider, AMOT, OTR, CKTP

 

I have been a pediatric occupational therapist for 13+ years.  I received a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy from Texas Woman’s University in 2000 and an Advanced Masters in Occupational Therapy from A.T. Still University in 2012.   As an occupational therapist, I enjoy working with all children!  I am a Certified Kinesio Taping Practitioner specializing in pediatrics, have completed requirements for certification in Handwriting Without Tears, taken numerous courses on sensory issues; and have extensive experience, as a business owner with program development and special needs advocacy.

I enjoy educating others and have presented at conferences throughout the United States on occupational therapy techniques used when treating children with sensory integration disorder and on inter-disciplinary sensory integration techniques.  I was honored to present at the World Federation of Occupational Therapy Conference in Stockholm, Sweden with regard to cultural competency in therapeutic environments.  I truly believe in family centered approaches to child development.

My husband and I have a large extended family with 4 children and 3 grandchildren. 

Susan Provost-Danner, OTR/L, OTD, C/NDT

Susan Provost-Danner joined KidZ in January 2009. I work with children because they have so much to teach us and they are always willing to learn. I started my career as an Army OT in Germany, providing therapy to students in the school system. I have also worked in home health, early childhood intervention and orthopedic hand injuries.

I received my Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy from Creighton University in Omaha Nebraska, a Masters in Early Childhood Education from Boston University in Frankfurt, Germany and a Doctor of Occupational Therapy from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions in Provo, Utah.

I enjoy being outdoors, gardening, swimming, and hiking. I also quilt, read, and spend time with my husband, two daughters, and our ball-fetching dog.

Melissa Shiramizu, OTR

In 1998, I decided to pursue a degree in Occupational Therapy at the University of Puget Sound in Washington State.  I saw the profession as an opportunity to dedicate myself to improving the quality of life for disabled children and their families.  Throughout my career I have worked in the public school system, an acute care hospital, a rehabilitation hospital, and pediatric clinics.  My heart has always led me back to pediatrics. 

I began working at Kidz Therapeze in March of 2009.  I have found that the supportive staff and well equipped clinic make it easy to enjoy my work.  The diversity of the children I serve and their families makes my job interesting, challenging and rewarding.  I consider it a tremendous blessing to be able to do what I do. 

My husband and three children are the joy of my life.  We are very involved in our church and I am a vocalist on the worship team and coordinator for the special needs ministry.  I recently joined a jazz band called Cactus Groove and am looking forward to performing in various venues in and around Central Texas.  I also love to cook - and eat!

Sue Ann Mason, COTA

Sue Ann has been practicing occupational therapy for 17 years.  She graduated in Dec. 1995 from Denver Institute of Technology with honors.  She is the mother of two children.   She is from Killeen although lived in Denver for 10 years at one time.  She enjoys the outdoors...camping, swimming and softball/baseball all with her children and husband.   She has been with Kidz Therapeze since March 2013 and enjoys working with and spending time with the kiddos here as well.

Jenna Coe, OTR, MOT, C/NDT

Jenna is an Occupational Therapist who has been with Kidz Therapeze since May 2010. Jenna received her Bachelor of Science in Health Care Sciences and Masters of Occupational Therapy from the University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio in 2010. In March of 2012, Jenna will be an NDT certified therapist. Jenna has always had a passion for working with children, wants to help all children become as independent as possible, and is loving her time here at Kidz!

Jenna also has the pleasure of supervising three COTAs that you'll also see around our clinic, George Becerra, Darius Cox, and Betina Garcia. She believes that therapy is most successful with a team collaboration and believes that families should be part of that team as well!

Darius Cox, COTA

Darius Cox is a COTA who is a new member of the Kidz Therapeze team. Darius received his OTA training at the U.S Army Medical Department Center & School, Fort Sam Houston, TX in 1999. In 2000 he earned National Certification of Occupational Theray Assistants. Darius retired from the U.S Army in 2012 after 20 years of service as a combat medic.

From 1999 -2007 he served as the NonComissioned Officer in Charge (NCOIC) of three Occupational Therapy clinics, Fort Knox KY, Landstuhl Germany and Fort Riley KS where his focus was physical disabilities. His last five years of service he was a platoon sergeant and team chief in a Combat Stress Control unit where his focus changed to the mental health aspect of O.T where he taught life skills classes and suicide prevention. Darius proudly served in harms way completing two tours in Iraq and one tour in Afghanistan.

Darius enjoys being a member of such a productive team here at Kidz Therapeze. All though he has a deep passion for helping people of all ages he is truly excited to work with children because he is considered a "big kid" himself.

In his leisure time Darius likes to laugh, joke, play and spend time with his family. He is married to Crystal Cox and is the proud father of four kids. Darius loves to participate in fitness/physical training activities anything from walking his dog to MMA. He also enjoys riding his motorcycle. Last but not least he is a huge New York Giants fan.

George Becerra, COTA

My name is George Becerra. I have been an Occupational therapy assistant for 12 years, was Army trained and I may look familiar to some, I worked at Darnall Amy Community Hospital since 1999. My mission there was to rehabilitate soldiers and their family members.

I joined the Kidz Therapeze team officially full time in August 2011. I enjoy being involved with kids, I was apart of the mentor program at Ft. Sam Houston, coached little league football there from 1997-98 passing on my love of competition and good sportsmanship with the kids I had the pleasure of coaching. I look forward to the opportunity to continue to serve the community in my new capacity here at Kidz Therapeze.

Shea Amrhein, OTR

Hi, my name is Shea Amrhein. I received my Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology at Louisiana State University in Baton Rouge (Geaux Tigers!) and then moved to New Orleans to attend LSU Health Sciences Center where I received my Master's in Occupational Therapy. I knew that I wanted to work with children since my first day at an undergraduate internship in a children's hospital. I love seeing their smiling faces every day and helping the children and their families live more functional lives, in each and every aspect!

I am loving my time in Austin, Texas and am so grateful to have found Kidz Therapeze! I look forward to meeting you and working with your family!

Brandi Featherston, OTR

Brandi received a Bachelor of Business Administration in December 2003 from Abilene Christian University.  After working in accounting for 6 years, Brandi knew the business arena was not where she belonged.  She met an occupational therapist who opened her eyes to a whole new world.  The OT’s passion and love for her job and patients led Brandi to seek all of the information she could about this career.  Brandi quickly began the journey towards becoming an OT and graduated from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center in December 2012 with her Master’s in Occupational Therapy. 

Brandi began working with KidZ TherapEZE in July 2013.  She loves working with children and is so excited about her future at KidZ. She learns something new every single day from each of her patients and loves that she gets to be a part of leading them to more meaningful, independent lives.

 

Adrianne Scanlon, OTR/L, MOT

Adrianne is an Occupational Therapist who has been with Kidz Therapeze since October 2010. Before becoming an Occupational Therapist, she devoted her work and free time to helping children with a variety of abilities. She worked as a personal attendant under the C.L.A.S.S. program for 6 years and served as a camp counselor for the Muscular Dystrophy Association for three years.

Adrianne received her Bachelor's of Science in Biology from Texas Woman's University in Denton in 2006. In 2008, Adrianne graduated with a Master's of Occupational Therapy from Texas Woman's University Houston Campus. Before coming to Kidz Therapeze, she worked at an outpatient pediatric clinic in Austin.

Adrianne moved to Killeen in 2010 with her husband, Cory, who is currently stationed at Fort Hood. In her free time, Adrianne enjoys scrapbooking, kayaking, going to the movies, and visiting family in Austin.

Speech and Language Pathologists

Jennifer Pawling, M.S., CCC/SLP

Moved to Austin in 2007 for a better quality of life. Have worked at Kidz all of my days that I've been in TX and have loved the experience with the great staff, families, and most importantly, the kids. I feel blessed to have found my dream job. I have two SLP-Assistants that work under me - Brandie and Ascelina. Brandie has worked with me the past five years at the clinic and Ascelina works primarily at our partner school, Education Connection. Together, we make up a fun-filled, dynamic speech team.

Brandie Cameron, SLP Assistant

My name is Brandie! I am a Speech Language Pathologist Assistant working under the supervision of Jennifer Pawling, MA, CCC/SLP. I graduated from Lamar University in Beaumont, Texas with a Bachelor's of Science Degree in Communication Disorders in December of 2007. I joined the Kidz Therapeze team in August of 2008. I absolutely love my job. I am extremely blessed to have the opportunity to work alongside an amazing group of people and treat such wonderful children.

I am excited to share that I am newly engaged, and very eager for our upcoming August wedding to arrive. My fiance, Chuck, and I live in Cedar Park. In our spare time we enjoy attending Texas Country Concerts, traveling to visit family and friends, and routing on the Astros, Cowboys, Spurs, and Longhorns!

Stacy Russell, M.S., CCC/SLP

My name is Stacy Russell. I graduated from Baylor University in
2009 with a Bachelor of Arts, and earned my Master of Science degree
in Communication Sciences and Disorders in December, 2010 from Baylor
as well. During my graduate course work I had clinical rotations that
include hospital, school system, NICU/PICU, adult neuro group, and
Baylor's literacy-based Camp Success.

I joined Kidz Therapeze in January 2011 and feel so blessed to be
working at this clinic and to begin my career here. I live in
Gatesville with my husband and enjoy spending time with him and
family.

Aunty FeeFee... HALLELUJAH!!!

Kristin has been with Kidz Therapeze since August 2002.  She received her Master's degree from the University of Florida in 1995, and has provided speech therapy services to adults and children with a variety of impairments, in a number of settings since that time. Her particular interests are working with children who are cochlear implant recipients, and children who have diagnoses including Autistic Spectrum Disorder, verbal apraxia/dyspraxia, and feeding/swallowing difficulties.

Kristin is an authorized provider of "The Listening Program" for sensory integrative issues, and has been trained in "The Beckman Assessment and Intervention Protocol" for many years.  She also has training in Auditory - Verbal Therapy, and the "Picture Exchange Communication System".

Kristin is married to husband, Derrick, who is retired from 21 years of service in the Armed Forces. Together they have 2 sons (one who has just entered the Army) and a daughter. When not working, Kristin loves to travel and spend time outdoors gardening, biking, etc, with her family.

God is first in her life, and she believes that with faith nothing is impossible!

Erika Oliva, SLP Assistant

Hi, my name is Erika. I am a bilingual Speech Language Pathologist Assistant and work under the supervision of Kristin Golden, MA, CCC/SLP.  I graduated from Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Communication Disorders in August 2009. Axe ‘Em Jacks! I have been blessed to be able to work with the staff, children, and families at Kidz Therapeze since May 2010. I enjoy working with children in a fun, creative, play-based setting to help them reach their full potential and goals.

On the weekends, you can catch me traveling to Houston, Dallas, or anywhere in between visiting with family and friends. I also enjoy Major League Baseball, almost anything outdoors, and too many reality TV shows.

Kendall Wild, M.S., CFY/SLP

Rebecca Fowler, SLP-CFY

My name is Rebbecca. My experience with Kidz Therapeze began 6 years ago when my child began receiving therapy services.  I was truly inspired by the therapist and the children at Kidz and decided to return to school to pursue a degree in Speech Pathology. I graduated from Baylor University in 2012, with a Master of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. I love waking up every day knowing that I have the ability to make a positive difference in a child’s life.  I am absolutely thrilled to be beginning my career at Kidz Therapeze.

Julie Creswell, MS, CCC/SLP

Julie is a speech language pathologist who joined Kidz Therapeze in July of 2009. She earned a Bachelor's Degree in Speech Language Pathology from Texas Christian University in 2003 and a Master's Degree in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Kansas in 2005.

She has experience providing speech and language services to both children and adults in a variety of settings including schools, hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, and outpatient clinics. Julie lives in Austin and enjoys exploring the city, reading, traveling, and spending time with family, friends, and her dog, Magnum.

Casey Bonsett, MA, CFY/SLP

Hello! My name is Casey Bonsett. I graduated from Ball State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Speech Language Pathology in December of 2010. I started working on my Master’s degree the following January and graduated in 2012. I moved from Indiana after graduation to begin working at Kidz Therapeze. I enjoy working with children of all ages and stages to help them meet their fullest potential. I am still adjusting to the heat of Texas, but I love everything and everyone I have met so far!

In my free time I enjoy swimming, rollerblading, spending time with my friends and family, and cheering on my St. Louis Cardinals! Even though my current address is in Texas I will always be an Indiana girl at heart!

Lori Malone, M.S., CCC/SLP

I graduated from Baylor University with a Master in Communication Sciences and Disorders in May of 2002.  I have eight years of pediatric experience working in private practice, acute care, the neonatal intensive care unit, and in the school setting.   

I am a part time therapist at Kidz Therapeze and a full time wife and mother to my husband Jonathan and two year old little girl Kate.  I feel so blessed to be able to make a difference in the lives of children while at work.  Seeing each child make progress towards each of their goals is so rewarding!

Kat Dominguez, SLP Assistant

I am originally from Virginia and got my B.A from the University of Mary Washington with a major in Theatre. After I moved to Texas I completed my pre-requisites for Speech/Language Pathology at the University of Texas. I have been at Kidz Therapeze since the summer of 2012 under the supervision of Lorie Malone, CCC-SLP.

My unique background drives me to constantly think outside of the box in order to reach each child in the way that is most effective for them. Working with parents as a team is also very important to me. The family benefits most when parents, teachers, specialists and the child all work together to achieve the goals we've established, and I strive for this with all the families I work with. I am particularly interested in processing disorders, apraxia and fluency disorders.

When I am not at work I am at home with my amazing husband Tony and our baby Mayah. The three of us like to dance, read books, and cook together. I am so blessed to have a family I love, a job I love, and to work with amazing co-workers, parents and most importantly, the amazing kiddos that I see everyday.

Brittany Small, SLP Assistant

I graduated from Texas State University in May 2013 with my B.S. in Communication Disorders and I started working at Kidz Therapeze in August 2013. I am currently working as a Speech-Language Pathologist Assistant under the supervision of Lorie Malone, CCC-SLP. I love being able to work with the children and ultimately improve their quality of life! It is such a rewarding job and I am glad I am able to be part of Kidz Therapeze. During my free time, I like to travel and spend time with my friends and family.

Michelle Hobbs, MS, CCC/SLP

Hi, my name is Michelle Hobbs. I graduated from the University of Illinois in 2007 with my bachelor's degree in Speech and Hearing Science. I received my Master's degree in Speech Language Pathology from Northern Illinois University in 2009, I met my husband, Travis, while I was studying at Northern Illinois University. We were married in Arkansas on July 11, 2009, and then we moved to Texas.

I have been working at Kidz Therapeze since September 2009. I have enjoyed working with all the children of different ages and personalities. I am very blessed by God for my job, friends, and family. My husband and I enjoy sailing, playing games, going to movies, and hanging out with friends. I am a huge White Sox fan! Go Sox!

Sheri Jennings-Brint, SLP Assistant

Sheri Jennings-Brint holds a B.A. in Music with a minor in Psychology from Texas State University in San Marcos, and a Post-baccalaurate in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Houston. She values the importance of creating meaningful bonds with her patients through compassion, respect, and humor to support achievement of the highest level of progress possible. She is a strong proponent of using music as a tool and incorporates musical techniques into therapy plans for many of her patients. 

Sheri believes that parents are the key to successful therapy and strives to provide outstanding parent education and methods for carryover in the home. She has successfully assisted in treating children with articulation and expressive/receptive delays and disorders, autism spectrum disorders, hearing impairment and cochlear implants, Down's Syndrome, apraxia, and behavioral concerns. Additionally, Sheri has intermediate proficiency in the Spanish language, and has used this skill to conduct therapy for simultaneous language learners.

She has conducted therapy in Houston public schools, and in the home health setting in the Central Texas region serving children ages 12 months to 21 years. She was hired as a SLP-Assistant to the wonderful Michelle Hobbs SLP-CCC at Kidz Therapeze in the summer of 2013. Sheri spends her free time playing with her seven-year-old son Sebastian, composing and recording music, experimenting in the kitchen, and visiting Austin's greenbelts and various musical festivals.

Leslie Searls-Gutierrez, MS, CCC/SLP

Leslie has been part of the Kidz Therapeze team since 2007. After
completing her education and receiving a Master's of Arts in Speech
Language Pathology from the Univeristy of North Texas in Denton,
Texas, Leslie returned to her home town of Killeen!

She loves working at Kidz Therapeze and enjoys the intimate setting and being able to develop close relatiosnships with her patients. She has special interets in pediatric feeding and swallowing and Early Language Development.

Leslie is married to husband, Gerson, and they have two beautiful
little girls. They enjoy spending time outdoors swimming and
gardening, watching soccer and spending time with extended family.

Ann-Marie Larson, MS, CCC-SLP

I grew up in Wisconsin. I moved to Tacoma Washington after graduation and worked at an elementary school on Joint Base Lewis-McChord for 5 years. I then moved to Orlando FL and worked at an elementary school for an additional 5 years. The job opportunity at Kidz Therapeze brought me to Texas in 2012 and I am enjoying every moment of the opportunity. I have three children. Devin is 11, Braeden is almost 3, and Nora is 7 months and growing fast.

Katy Jones, MA, CCC/SLP

Katy received her Master in Communication Disorders in 1996 from the University of Houston. She also received a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Sam Houston State University in 1991.

She loves working with children and feels blessed to work in such a positive, supportive work environment. She lives in Austin with her husband Kevin, and her 3 children. (And 2 dachshunds!) In her spare time, Katy enjoys spending time with family and friends, boating on Lake Travis, and being a Girl Scout Leader.

Lori Pohanka-Kalama, M.S., CCC-SLP

I began my journey as a speech therapist in 1994 and what a trip it’s been!  Most of my experience is with children in schools, but I’ve also done traveling therapy, home health care, Medicaid Peer Review, nursing homes and now private practice.  I earned my Master’s Degree from Minot State University in Minot, North Dakota.  I’ve worked in North Dakota, Arkansas, Germany, Kentucky, Colorado, and Texas.  I am particularly interested in processing disorders, literacy, apraxia, phonological disorders, articulation, language, & autism.

My husband Kelly is active duty military and is working toward 30 years.  We have two boys.  Rafe is in fifth grade and Gabe is in fourth grade.  We also have a plethora of furry or scaly family members including two dogs, three cats, a python and several fish.

I love to travel and have been to some amazing places around the world.  I am a certified PADI Rescue scuba diver & can’t wait until my boys are old enough to certify.  We are involved in jiu jitsu, muay thai, and krabi (swords).  I also enjoy gardening and am learning to can / preserve food this summer.   Life is quite the adventure!

Kasey Hudock, M.S., CCC-SLP

I was born and raised in a very small town in Delaware. I attended West Virginia University (Go Mountaineers!!) and received my Bachelor's Degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology in 2009. Upon graduating from WVU, I went on to receive my Master's Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from East Carolina University in 2011. I have clinical experience working with both pediatri and adult populations in a variety of settings including acute, inpatient rehab, skilled nursing, school, and outpatient facilities. I love working with children of all ages!

I recently moved to Texas in May 2013 when my husband and I got stationed at Fort Hood. In my free time, I love to spend time with my husband, surround myself with friends, play with my German Shepherd (Harley), travel, and participate in outdoor activities. Once I discovered the potential that Kidz Therapeze has to offer, I quickly pursued the position. I love the atmosphere, individualized treatment approach, and resources that the facility has to offer. It provides children with endless amounts of opportunities to achieve their goals and improve their communication abilities. I have absolutely loved my experience at Kidz so far!!

Heather Zeh, M.A., CFY/SLP

Heather lived in Las Vegas, Nevada until she moved to Southern California for college. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders from Biola University and a Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Northern Colorado.

Throughout her education and clinical experience, she enjoyed working with children and adults in a variety of settings. She relocated to Texas to join the great team of therapists at Kidz Therapeze. She is greatly looking forward to working with and serving the children and their families with excellence.

Heather loves drinking coffee, traveling, going to CrossFit, spending time with friends, watching football (go Denver Broncos!), and being involved with church. She is excited to be living in Texas but definitely misses being around mountains!

Shelley Ballard, MS, CCC/SLP

My name is Shelley, and I am the loudest, proudest member of the Fightin' Texas Aggie Class of 2009. Upon graduation from Texas A&M, I went on to receive my Masters degree in communication disorders from the University of Texas at Dallas in 2010. During my studies, I quickly discovered my passion to work with children, and took a job with Round Rock ISD. When presented with the opportunity to work at Kidz Therapeze in the summer of 2011, I quickly discovered my passion to work with children, and took a job with Round Rock ISD. When presented with the opportunity to work at Kidz Therapeze in the summer of 2011, I quickly accepted and have never looked back.

In my free time, you can find me hanging out with my husband, whom I married in August of 2009, and our dog, Jack. God has blessed us in so many ways, and we strive daily to make a difference in others' lives. Together, we enjoy spending time with family, doing projects around the house and cheering for the Aggies- Gig 'Em

Kim Franken, M.S., CCC/SLP

I was born and raised in Missouri.  I received both my Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Central Missouri.  I recently moved to Hutto, TX and LOVE living in Texas so far!  I enjoy working with kids of all ages and seeing all of the accomplishments they achieve! 

I am very excited to be working at Kidz Therapeze! During my graduate program, I had clinicals in a clinic setting, school setting, and hospital setting working with individuals of all ages.  In my spare time, I enjoy hanging out with my family and shopping! 

Megan Matos, M.S., CCC-SLP

Megan joined the Kidz Therapeze team in August of 2011 after completing her master of science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Adelphi University in New York. Megan received a bachelor of arts degree in Psychology, specializing in developmental psychology and cognitive neuroscience, from New York University in 2006.

Prior to becoming a speech-language pathologist, Megan worked as a behavioral therapist for children on the autism spectrum at The McCarton School for the Integrated Treatment of Autism in New York, NY and as a private ABA therapist for seven years.

In addition to behavioral management, Megan has experience with augmentative and alternative forms of communication (AAC). She has received training in device families including: DynaVox, Tobii, and Prentke Romich. She is familiar with both high and low technology forms of AAC and is passionate about providing a method of communication when traditional verbal speech is not adequate.

Megan has been trained in Beckman Oral Motor Therapy and Food Chaining techniques for feeding and dysphagia therapies.

Megan lives in Leander with her husband and son, and is excited to welcome another son sometime in December!

 

Therapy Dogs

Lexi

 

 

Simba

Hi, my name is Simba.  I am 5 years old and I am a mix of Golden Retriever, Yellow Lab, and Australian Shepard.  I have come a long way in my life.  When I was just 5 weeks old, I was abandoned in a cotton field in the middle of west Texas.  I saw a ranch in the distance and crawled my way as close as I could before I was utterly exhausted and couldn't stand anymore.  The horses on the ranch heard my crys and helped lead my mom, Chelsea Loafman, to me.  She scooped me up and I got food and water, a bath, and then a very long nap in a soft, warm blanket.  Every day I gradually got a little stronger.  As soon as I could walk again, all I ever wanted to do was follow my mom and I still follow her everywhere even though I am all grown up.  

Now I get to follow mom to Kidz Therapeze to play with kids.  I am so excited to be here and the kids have energy just like me! Everyone like to throw the frisbee for me because I can catch it mid-air.  I am so excited to help kids get stronger because I remember what it took for me to get stronger when I was little.  When I am not working I like to go running or swimming with mom and dad as well as play with the other animals I live with: a little dog, two cats and two bunnies.  My mom is an Exercise Physiologist and teaches Anatomy and Physiology classes at a local college.  She has worked quite a bit using horses as part of therapy sessions but I am her first therapy dog. 

Chief

Hi, my name is Chief. I was adopted by Tammy Renaud from Golden Beginnings Golden Retriever Rescue (www.gbgrr.org). I am a 6 year old Golden Retriever/Saluki mix. My mom tells me I am a therapy dog, and that I help kids with special needs. I just like to think of myself as "the boss". I LOVE MY JOB!!

The best part of my day is hearing the kids say "Chief is here!" or getting treats from the kids. Playing with kids is what makes me the happiest. I love to greet them and give them kisses. But I also like snuggle and play time with them. Mom keeps telling me I have the easy life…I think it's more like the BEST LIFE!!

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