Pediatric Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists can assist with achieving improved body awareness, developing fine motor control, facilitating improved visual perceptual skills, and coordinating with families to improve self-regulation, sensory modulation, and organizational skills.

The work of a pediatric occupational therapist involves analyzing and treating skeletal, neuromuscular, and/or cognitive restrictions of their young patients. It also includes helping them in developing their interaction and communication skills, refinement of fine motor skills, and educating them in self-care.

 

Kids can benefit from occupational therapy if they have:

  • poor coordination
  • decreased balance (“clumsiness”)
  • low muscle tone or strength
  • difficulty with handwriting, awkward grasp of utensils or tools
  • have been diagnosed with a learning disability
  • difficulty completing tasks that seem easily attained by peers
  • decreased attention or ability to participate in age appropriate activities
  • decreased visual skills including visual perceptual skills and visual motor skills
  • sensory processing difficulties
  • difficulties with feeding including food aversions or a limited diet

Patience and persistence are important traits that all therapists at Milestone display. For example, many of our patients are too young to understand verbal instructions, so games and mirroring are often incorporated in the therapy. This will help to engage the child and increase cooperation. It is imperative to have the commitment and support of the family as well, which is why home programming is a staple of any successful outcome at Milestone Therapy. This home programming will educate and reinforce specific skills and behaviors, which will be used to improve and facilitate the child’s performance and long term functioning.

Interested in learning more about occupational therapy in the clinics? Check out our Highland, IN,  Olympia Fields, IL. Kankakee, IL or Merrilville, IN clinic pages.

 

 

Occupational Therapists

LAURA DUNNE LAURA
DUNNE

Laura graduated from Midwestern University in Downers Grove, Illinois in 2018 with her master’s degree in occupational therapy. She earned a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from UIC in 2014 and worked as a school paraprofessional before starting her graduate program. She also worked in pediatrics for many of her occupational therapy fieldwork experiences. Laura has always enjoyed sharing her creativity with others, but she especially enjoys using it to positively impact the lives of kids. She is thrilled to be starting her career as a pediatric occupational therapist for Milestone Therapy!

LORNA DEWINDT LORNA
DEWINDT

Lorna graduated from Fox College in Bedford Park, IL in the spring of 2018. She received an Occupational Therapy Assistant Associates Degree. She has always had a passion for working with children and a drive to make a positive impact in other’s lives. In fall of 2018, she happily accepted her dream job at Milestone Therapy. She is ready to start as an occupational therapy assistant, to use both her passion and drive to make a difference in the lives of children and families around her.

Tracy Parker Tracy
Parker
Tracy Parker

Tracy received her master’s degree from St. Louis University in Occupational Therapy in 2012. She understands the importance and incredible benefits that therapy offers in caring for her own son, Jordan, who was diagnosed with Angelman Syndrome in 2001. She was so inspired by the therapists who have helped Jordan throughout his life, helping him learn to walk, feed himself and grow as a human being, that she decided to become a therapist herself. Seeing the kids grow and overcome obstacles that otherwise were thought impossible is the most rewarding gift of being a therapist. She is excited to continue her career with Milestone in the early intervention program. She hopes to inspire the kids and parents that she works with every day the way the therapists in her life have inspired her throughout her son’s life.

MOLLY TEDROW MOLLY
TEDROW
MOLLY TEDROW

Molly received her master’s degree from the University of Missouri in occupational therapy in 2018. Molly was introduced to occupational therapy through working in a school for kids with disabilities. Working with kids with special needs has continued to be her passion throughout her education. She completed her clinicals in a school setting which confirmed her desire to find an occupational therapy position working with kids. She is excited to get started with Milestone and to start serving kids and families in the Illinois early intervention program.

Sarah Gallegos Sarah
Gallegos
Sarah Gallegos

This was not my first time working in the therapy world. I was in a medical program at Percy Julian High School of Chicago, IL, when my teacher Mrs. McClellan, strongly encouraged me to go into Occupational therapy. Mrs. McClellan saw something in me that I did not see myself. A passion for helping others in more ways than one. I was placed in a 6 week summer job at Stroger Hospital shadowing both PTs and OTs. Needless to say, I thought it was nice, but was strongly influenced by family to go into Pharmacy instead, which is where my path lead me before removing myself from the healthcare field all together and venturing into the cold harsh realities of the Marketing world (not my passion). While pursuing a Bachelor’s in Marketing, I thought I would be on top of the world as a huge Marketing researcher in the corporate world. That dream seemed more of only just a dream as each position pointed me more and more into sales. I knew that I never wanted to end up doing sales the rest of my life. So a huge life evaluation was unfolding as I weighed my career options. I knew helping others in healthcare has always been a passion, so I became a CNA. Shortly after working, a coworker in a nursing home saw my passion to help others theraputically and convinced me to go to school for PT or OT. Somehow Mrs. McClellan was right all along I thought. Now going back to school, this time for OTA, and many years later, has been the greatest decision of my life. I am now at my dream company, doing my dream career helping children in more ways than one. I am Blessed beyond belief and I thank my Heavenly Father for paving the way for my continued success.

TABATHA MARKASE TABATHA
MARKASE
TABATHA MARKASE

Tabatha graduated from Brown Mackie College-Merrillville in June 2010 as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant. She has a strong background in acute care rehabilitation and has also worked in a school setting with children ages 5 years old to 12 years old.Tabatha loves working with people of all ages and abilities. She is married with three energetic and loving children.

HEATHER O’KEEFE HEATHER
O’KEEFE
HEATHER O’KEEFE

Heather graduated from Governors State University, Illinois in 2017 with her Master’s in Occupational Therapy. She began working with Milestone Therapy in 2018 and will be working in the school setting, Early Intervention, and in the Olympia Fields outpatient clinic.

Tiffani Grant Tiffani
Grant
Tiffani Grant

TIFFANIGRANT

Coming Soon!

Taylor Forbeck Taylor
Forbeck
Taylor Forbeck

TaylorForbeck

Taylor received her Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science in 2013. After much debate on which career path to take after her undergraduate program, she observed an early intervention occupational therapist and immediately knew this was the the route she was meant to take. She graduated from St. Louis College of Health Careers in Fenton, MO in 2016 and is now excited to begin her career with Milestone Therapy in the Illinois Early Intervention System as a certified occupational therapy assistant. She has always had a passion for working with children and now gets to put forth her passion and efforts to the families and children she serves through early intervention.

KAITLYN O’BRIEN KAITLYN
O’BRIEN
KAITLYN O’BRIEN

Kaitlyn found her love of therapy from job shadowing at an outpatient pediatric clinic while in college. While in graduate school, she had a rotation in an outpatient pediatric clinic and at Comer’s Children Hospital. After receiving her Master’s Degree, she worked on an Acute Rehab floor in a hospital for 2.5 years and then as a traveling therapist. Throughout her 2.5 years as a travel therapist, Kaitlyn has worked in Skilled Nursing Facilities in Indiana, Florida, and California. In Washington, she worked in a Rehabilitation Hospital specializing in strokes, spinal injuries, traumatic brain injuries and other diagnoses affecting all ages. When she decided to settle back home in a permanent position, Kaitlyn wanted to fulfill her original passion to work with children. She was referred to Milestone Therapy from her graduate school professor and is very excited for the chance and ability to grow in her field. Working in a variety of settings has taught Kaitlyn how to adapt quickly, educate others, and the importance of family involvement in therapy.

KERRY PETERS KERRY
PETERS
KERRY PETERS

KERRYPETERS

Kerry Peters is a licensed and registered occupational therapist (OTR/L) with a passion for serving families and their children.  She enjoyed fieldwork experiences in outpatient and inpatient pediatrics throughout her graduate program at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa where she received her Master’s in Occupational Therapy (MOT).  Kerry, a Chicago native, has worked with children with a multitude of diagnoses such as Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorder, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, and other developmental delays.  Kerry likes to incorporate her musical and acting background into her practice by relating to her clients through song and imaginative play.  In her free time, Kerry loves to read, explores community theater, and enjoys spending time with her terrier, Pippin.

KRISTIN PAUL KRISTIN
PAUL
KRISTIN PAUL

KRISTINPAUL

Kristin graduated from South Suburban College in 2000 with an Associate degree in Human Services. Several years later she returned to South Suburban College, and completed the Associate program for Occupational Therapy in 2005. She was certified as an Occupational Therapy Assistant in early 2006 in the state of Indiana and Illinois. In 2012 she completed the certificate requirements to work in Illinois as an early intervention provider. In 2017 she completed the certification requirements to work with Indiana First Steps.

Kristin has a range of experience in multiple settings and with varying age groups including outpatient clinics, hospital rehab units, school settings (regular education and special education), and early intervention. Kristin has special interest and professional development in the areas of sensory integration, processing, and regulation. She also has knowledge in the importance of play in the young child to develop learning, social emotional skills, and fine motor skills.

JACKLYN LUCKETT JACKLYN
LUCKETT
JACKLYN LUCKETT

JACKLYNLUCKETT

Jacklyn went to school in Tucson, Arizona where she received her associates to be an occupational therapy assistant. After having a daughter of her own she realized pediatrics was the demographics she wanted to work with. Her love, patience, and creativity has helped drive her into being the therapist she is today.

SUZANNE KILLMER SUZANNE
KILLMER
SUZANNE KILLMER

SuzanneKillmer

After 22 years of teaching  Kindermusik™ to children age birth to 7 years, Suzanne became a caregiver for a friend with Lou Gehrig’s disease, which led her to the vocation of Occupational Therapy Assistant. Her training in occupational therapy and extensive experience with children enable her to address a child’s unique developmental needs to maximize success in performing their daily activities.  She believes it is important to facilitate the family’s participation in this process.  Suzanne feels privileged to be on the staff of Milestone Therapy in Highland, IN.

ASHLEY HAUG ASHLEY
HAUG
ASHLEY HAUG

Ashley Haug

Ashley is thrilled to be part of the Milestone Therapy Family. Ashley has been a Certified Occupational Therapist Assistant since 2008, spending many of those years with the pediatric population. She has experience with autism, sensory integration, developmental delay, Down syndrome, Rett syndrome, Cri-du-Chat syndrome, cerebral palsy, blindness, and many more. She has compassion to see children reach their highest potential including educating and training the child’s caregiver(s) with what they need to know to help get their little one to their highest potential as well. Ashley loves working as a team with everyone involved.
Quote from autism spectrum disorder, through my eyes:
Sometimes, real superheroes live in the hearts of small children fighting big battles.

BERNADETTE BRYANT BERNADETTE
BRYANT
BERNADETTE BRYANT

BERNADETTEVEGA

Bernadette graduated with her Occupational Therapy Assistant degree in 2012 and knew without a doubt that pediatrics was her special interest. She had dabbled in the outpatient rehabilitation world for seven years as a human resource specialist, often hiring new therapists. Through personal experiences of family members requiring therapy for a variety of disabilities, illnesses, and post-surgical rehabilitation, Bernadette found her path to becoming a pediatric therapist. She has experience working with children from birth to adulthood with a variety of diagnoses including autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, Down syndrome, development delay, cerebral palsy, and several genetic syndromes within the school, home, and clinic settings. Bernadette works each and every day as a mom of a child with ADHD, anxiety, and dysthymic disorder; therefore, practicing what she preaches. She believes that families are the strongest key to effective therapy and through therapist-family collaboration, every child can reach and exceed their potential. Bernadette looks forward to continue working with the families of Milestone Therapy.

LAUREN MUELLER LAUREN
MUELLER
LAUREN MUELLER

LAUREN MUELLER

Since graduating from South Suburban College in 2014, Lauren has worked with children in the clinic, schools, and in homes as an OTA. She has always known that she wanted to work with children, and has a soft spot for those with special needs. Lauren loves having such a variety of ways to help kids and their families. She believes the most important part of the process is building a relationship. The most rewarding part of the job is watching kids reaching their milestones and achieving goals. She finds great joy in working with children and loves that they do not set limits on themselves!

KELLY SORIA KELLY
SORIA
KELLY SORIA

KELLY SORIA

Kelly always had an interest in working with children. After attending school to be an Occupational Therapy Assistant, Kelly found that she had chosen a rewarding career. Having the opportunity to work in a school setting, EI (early intervention), and clinical base, she has worked with children of varying abilities since 2012 including those diagnosed with autism, sensory processing disorder, Down syndrome, and developmental delays. The most rewarding aspects of being a therapist are watching the children achieve milestones and working with the families. By maintaining a close relationship with caregivers, Kelly is able to teach them strategies to improve their child’s functional skills. It gives her great satisfaction to be a part of their early development.

CLARE MCCULLOUGH CLARE
MCCULLOUGH
CLARE MCCULLOUGH

CLAREMCCULLOUGH

Clare has been learning from and growing with children in the world of occupational therapy since 2014 and is continually impressed by the opportunities to apply what she has learned in helping children and their families to lead more independent lives. She received her Masters in Occupational Therapy from Western Michigan University and returned to the Chicago area to be near family. She was drawn to the field by a desire to help children facing challenges in their paths to learn and live lives that are meaningful and important to them. Clare is very interested in how the impact of sensory processing difficulties can impact a child’s happiness, attention and ability to complete his or her daily activities. She’s especially interested in vestibular processing and encourages everyone to go to the park and swing as much as possible! She is fluent in Spanish and enjoys making the world of sensory processing more accessible to families who feel most comfortable speaking Spanish. She works with children with autism spectrum disorders, sensory processing disorder, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, developmental delay and those who struggle with self-regulation. She is determined to develop a treatment program with the tools of movement, play, music and sensory tools that will help children to be as successful as possible. Her interest in how music can impact self-regulation led her to complete Therapeutic Listening training and certification and she has seen great results using this program.

LESLI LETKE LESLI
LETKE
LESLI LETKE

LESLILETKE

Lesli has a Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy and began her rewarding career at Milestone Therapy in 2008. She is currently the Lead OT at Milestone Therapy. She is truly passionate about her job and loves what she does. She believes that building a therapeutic relationship with families is critical to the work she performs on a daily basis. Lesli has worked with a variety of children with a wide array of diagnoses including sensory processing disorder, autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, and developmental delays, as well as many more. Lesli has had experience in the school system and the clinic setting, as well as early intervention. She also has acquired training in the Handwriting without Tears Program and enjoys providing assistance to children with handwriting difficulties.

KRISTEN KOZY KRISTEN
KOZY
KRISTEN KOZY

KRISTENKOZY

Kristen loves working with children and becoming an Occupational Therapist was one of the best decisions she has ever made. Kristen graduated from Northern Illinois University in 2007 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Physical Education. This is where she was introduced to adapted physical education, which led her to occupational therapy. Kristen graduated from Governor’s State University and has enjoyed her time working with Milestone Therapy. Kristen has been working with children in various settings since 2003, with various diagnoses such as sensory processing disorder, autism, Down syndrome, and children with severe and profound disabilities.

VIKI KORE VIKI
KORE
VIKI KORE

VIKI KORE

Since graduating as an occupational therapist in 1989, Viki has worked with both children and adults in a variety of settings including hospitals, clinics, schools, and in homes. She has always had a soft spot for working with children and their families, and has been primarily working within the Illinois Early Intervention Program for the last several years. She believes therapy activities should be fun for the child and the interventions purposeful to address the family concerns for the greatest success. She is experienced in treating children with developmental delays, physical disabilities, and sensory processing disorders.

RACHEL JANSMA RACHEL
JANSMA
RACHEL JANSMA

RACHEL JANSMA

Rachel has been working as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant in pediatrics since 2015. She has worked with families and children possessing a wide range of needs and abilities in a variety of settings such as schools, early intervention, and outpatient clinic. Rachel loves learning, new challenges, and the opportunity to be creative, all of which pediatric occupational therapy offers. Her passion is working with children and families to help them achieve their goals while making therapy FUN! Rachel is really excited to work, learn, and grow as a practitioner with you and your family.

CORIN INTIERI CORIN
INTIERI
CORIN INTIERI

CORININTIERI

After completing her occupational therapy education from Utica College in upstate New York in 2001, Corin began her career in California working with children. A series of fortunate events brought her to Chicago with her husband in. Shortly after in 2008 she found herself across a table interviewing with Drew Haverstock and Milestone Therapy. Since then, Milestone has helped Corin continue her passion of working with children but has also allowed her to start and build a family of her own. She feels that working with children is not work but often an extension of motherhood. She feels privileged that families allow providers into their homes to support them and their children. She feels blessed every day that she can be excited about working and often learns just as much from the families as they learn from her. In 2010, she relocated to southern Illinois with her husband to start a family of her own. She now supports these families through Illinois Early Intervention and is hoping to grow the company in this area with assistance from Drew and the rest of the staff and providers at Milestone.

COLLEEN HIGHAM COLLEEN
HIGHAM
COLLEEN HIGHAM

COLLEENHIGHAM

In 2009, Colleen decided to make a career change and pursue a degree as an occupational therapy assistant. She graduated from Lewis and Clark Community College in 2012 and it was definitely worth the sacrifice. Colleen is a military wife and spent several years overseas in 3 different countries, always reinventing herself to become productive in the workforce. In 1999, her family moved to Illinois where they were stationed at Scott AFB where her husband has retired and is currently still working. In the years living here, Colleen accepted a position in the school system working with children who have autism, Down syndrome, and other developmental disabilities. She enjoyed this and stayed for 5 years before deciding to go back to school. Her love has always been to work with children and this life decision was later reinforced when she accepted a position with Milestone Therapy. She is very grateful to have this opportunity and to be working with families who have the confidence in her and let her work with their children. Someone once said that if you wake up every day and feel like you are not going to work than you have chosen the right path. Everyday day she feels like she is making a difference and it is a pleasure to do what she does!

LORRIE HART LORRIE
HART
LORRIE HART

LORRIEHART

Lorrie is very excited to be part of the Milestone therapy team as she embarks on her second career. Lorrie worked as a pediatric nurse for many years, caring for children with developmental delays and diagnoses such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism, and many more. As an occupational therapy assistant, Lorrie is passionate about helping children overcome obstacles and develop to their full potential. She has been working in the schools and clinic since 2012 with children and young adults ages three to 22. It has been rewarding for her to see the students grow and succeed through the use of sensory strategies, adaptations, and assistive technology. She feels fortunate to be able to go to work every day and love what she does!

LYDIA BRUNEAU LYDIA
BRUNEAU
LYDIA BRUNEAU

LYDIA BRUNEAU

Although Lydia’s passion has always been to work within the field of pediatrics, after earning her Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy from Chicago State University in 2011, Lydia started her career working in a hospital, with the adult population. In efforts to better understand the continuum of care, she provided services in the outpatient, acute, intensive care unit, and sub-acute rehab setting. As time passed, Lydia felt something was missing and a friend suggested switching to pediatrics. After practicing for 2.5 years, Lydia decided to work as a school therapist. Since making that change in 2013 Lydia is happy to say she found the right fit and shows no signs of turning back. Lydia loves collaborating with families and seeing children meet their developmental or educational milestones. Lydia strongly believes, the key to personal growth and increased participation in everyday life tasks is through creating a strong therapeutic relationship with both the child/family, and establishing a good foundation within an optimal learning environment. She is excited to be part of a company that shares the same passion and she is ready for the rewarding experiences that lie ahead.

Upcoming Events

No Upcoming Events