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Lena Thoresen, OTR/L & Kathy White, LMHC – Owners

Kathy and Lena’s compassion and visionary thinking helped to open Children’s Therapy Solutions, Inc.’s doors in 2004.  In order to fulfill that vision and help all people including those with no insurance or means to pay for services they needed, they established a non-profit organization called Manatee Hope Inc.  Children’s Therapy Solutions Inc. now contracts with Manatee Hope Inc. to ensure everyone receives the help they need.  Lena and Kathy are passionate about children and believe each child must have at least one dependable adult in their lives that they can trust and open up to. They work hard to make Children’s Therapy Solutions Inc.  a place where all children and families feel safe and cared about in a truly sincere way.

kathy-whiteKathy, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, graduated with her Masters degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Kentucky and has over 25 years of experience working as a Counselor. Kathy has been married for 37 years. She and her husband have 4 successful children. Her children are and have always been her passion. Proudly, they are all doing well, one a Pharmacist, the next an Electrical Engineer in the Air Force, A Medical Doctor and her youngest daughter Julia is a junior in Nursing School.  Kathy believes all individuals can achieve success and personal fulfillment. In her therapy, Kathy helps families find a balance between overachieving and underachieving. She believes families can adapt and make changes that will help children achieve their goals now and later in life.  She is a certified Parent Child Interaction Therapist (PCIT) and Certified Rehabilitation Counselor.  Her strengths in the field include listening, motivating, establishing rapport, and helping individuals to be “their own therapist” and “to solve their own issues”.  In her spare time, Kathy enjoys boating, bike riding, horseback riding, reading, and working on charity events such as Manatee Hope.

lenaLena graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with her degree in Occupational Therapy.  She has over 20 years of experience in her field and has a strong desire to help people and work with “difficult and challenging therapy situations.” Lena has worked with many medically fragile children, premature babies, and a variety of families with a multitude of challenges. One of her specialties is working with babies who are diagnosed with Torticollis.  She has attended specialized courses in FloorTime, Hippotherapy, Sensory Integration, Reflex Integration, Neuro-Developmental Therapy and Aggression Control Training (ACT) among many other classes.  Lena is originally from Norway, speaks fluent Norwegian as well as brings a unique perspective into multicultural living.  Lena believes it takes as many adults as possible to help love and raise children. “Parents need all the support they can get, as well as children can never have too many people who love them and look out for them”. Lena enjoys spending time with friends/family, running, volunteering and traveling.

Megan Halliday, M.S., OTR/L – Director of Therapy

megan-pitstickMegan is the Director of Therapy at Children’s Therapy Solutions, Inc.  She obtained her Masters degree in Occupational Therapy at Eastern Kentucky University.  Her love for children and helping families brought her into this field.  Megan has been with CTS since 2008 and has extensive experience in Sensory Processing Disorders, Handwriting Without Tears and academic based therapies, and feeding therapy utilizing the S.O.S. Feeding Approach.  She also has training in the Alert Program for self-regulation, FloorTime, and Brain Gym.  Megan connects with families and individualizes treatment to meet the family’s needs.  One of her specialties is problem solving difficult situations to create practical solutions to apply in the home setting to maximize progress.  Megan enjoys anything outdoors, volunteering with Junior League of Manatee County and other non-profits, spending time with family and friends, traveling, music, and watching sports (Go Rays!).

 

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Wendy Blumenthal, Ph.D.

Wendy BDr. Blumenthal received her bachelor’s degree with honors from Emory University. Later, she received her Ph.D. from Nova University in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, then interned at Brown University Medical School.  After moving to Georgia in 1986, Dr. Blumenthal worked as a staff psychologist for a head injury treatment program as well as a post-acute rehabilitation program.  The next year, she opened a private practice specializing in working with children, adolescents, and families.  After 28 years of practicing in Atlanta, Dr. Wendy as her patients refer to her, followed her dream of living by the beach on Anna Maria Island and joined Children’s Therapy Solutions in June, 2016.  Dr. Wendy does psychoeducational assessments for learning challenges and AD/HD as well problem-oriented psychotherapy.  Additionally, she specializes in working with children and adolescents experiencing medical disorders, trauma, anxiety, and high functioning autism.  A few years ago, Dr. Wendy founded the Sensory Friendly Foundation which aims to provide fun music and arts events for individuals experiencing sensory sensitivities.  In her spare time, she loves the beach, reading, spending time with her family, volunteering for Red Cross and volunteering as official for the Odyssey of the Mind Florida and World competitions.   Please check her website for further information about Dr. Wendy at www.docwendy.com.

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Lena Thoresen, OTR/L

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Lena graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with her degree in Occupational Therapy.  She has over 20 years of experience in her field and has a strong desire to help people and work with “difficult and challenging therapy situations.” Lena has worked with many medically fragile children, premature babies, and a variety of families with a multitude of challenges. One of her specialties is working with babies who are diagnosed with Torticollis.  She has attended specialized courses in FloorTime, Hippotherapy, Sensory Integration, Reflex Integration, Neuro-Developmental Therapy and Aggression Control Training (ACT) among many other classes.  Lena is originally from Norway, speaks fluent Norwegian as well as brings a unique perspective into multicultural living.  Lena believes it takes as many adults as possible to help love and raise children. “Parents need all the support they can get, as well as children can never have too many people who love them and look out for them”. Lena enjoys spending time with friends/family, running, volunteering and traveling.

Megan Halliday, M.S., OTR/L

megan-pitstickMegan is the Director of Therapy at Children’s Therapy Solutions, Inc.  She obtained her Masters degree in Occupational Therapy at Eastern Kentucky University.  Her love for children and helping families brought her into this field.  Megan has been with CTS since 2008 and has extensive experience in Sensory Processing Disorders, Handwriting Without Tears and academic based therapies, and feeding therapy utilizing the S.O.S. Feeding Approach.  She also has training in the Alert Program for self-regulation, FloorTime, and Brain Gym.  Megan connects with families and individualizes treatment to meet the family’s needs.  One of her specialties is problem solving difficult situations to create practical solutions to apply in the home setting to maximize progress.  Megan enjoys anything outdoors, volunteering with Junior League of Manatee County and other non-profits, spending time with family and friends, traveling, music, and watching sports (Go Rays!).

Lorin Newingham, OTR/L

lori-newinghamLorin graduated with her degree in Occupational Therapy from Florida Gulf Coast University.  She was brought into the field 7 years ago by her love for children and helping others.  Her patience, kindness, and flexibility make her the great therapist she is.  Lorin works with many medically fragile children at a local day care providing quality and skilled therapy.  She has attended specialized courses in FloorTime, Therapeutic listening, and Aggression Control Training (ACT).  Her strengths in her field are patience, flexibility, and working with medically fragile children.  Lorin likes to play kickball, rollerblade, go on mission trips, volunteer in the community, and go to the beach as an Anna Maria local.

 

Amanda Crump, M.S., OTR/L

Amanda graduated with her Master of Science degree from Eastern Kentucky University.  She had a desire to help others which led her to Occupational Therapy.  She has completed continuing education courses in Autism Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Processing Disorders, Myofascial release, Non-Destructive Testing Techniques, and other behavioral interventions.  She feels her strengths in her field are in working with children with Autism, children with multiple disabilities (CP, seizure disorders, and visually impaired).  Amanda and her husband are foster parents and enjoy serving the community in this way.  In her spare time she plays with her children, participates in church activities, and serves with non-profit organizations.

Barbara Farnsworth, COTA/L, Feeding Therapist

barbara-fBarbara graduated with her Associates of Science in Occupational Therapy from Keiser University in Tampa. She was inspired to become a COTA after watching her mother receive occupational therapy following surgery. She wanted to work in a field where she could help people, and having two daughters of her own, brought her to pediatrics. Barbara’s personal accomplishment is graduating college later in life and finding a career that has been the best decision she has ever made. She loves coming up with creative activities for the kids to challenge them in new, and interesting ways. Barbara loves “Pinterest-ing” to come up with ideas for fine motor and sensory activities and relaying them to parents to do at home. When she is not working, she loves to go boating, fish, watch her daughter play softball, and working in the yard. We love her passion for feeding therapy, as she is always introducing new and fun ways to try new foods. She recently completed an SOS feeding approach course.

Elizabeth Reinbolt, M.S. OTR/L

Elizabeth graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University with her Master’s of Science degree in Occupational Therapy. She was introduced to the field when her brother, who has autism, received Occupational Therapy at Children’s Therapy Solutions. Elizabeth then spent several years working with children with special needs prior to becoming an OT. Elizabeth is trained in PCM and her strengths are working with children with severe autism, medically fragile, cerebral palsy, and sensory difficulties. She oftentimes helps parents understand floor time play to help children engage with others and play more appropriately. In her spare time she enjoys kayaking, hiking, and shopping.

Kristina Perez, M.S.,OTR/L

kristina-perezKristina is a past CTS intern turned permanent employee. She graduated from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. She then attended the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences to receive her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy. She felt that with occupational therapy, she could combine her psychology background and mental health knowledge to better understand her clients. She loves that occupational therapy allows her to help people live better lives through focusing on the human core (occupation) in daily activities.
After interning at CTS, Kristina decided to accept a permanent position. She stated she loved the clinic and the therapists, but what she really loved is that kids truly come first at CTS. A clinic that holds true to providing quality services for their clients and that allows her to be creative in her treatments made CTS the perfect fit. Since being at CTS, Kristina has completed her Interactive Metronome Certification.
Kristina is hard working, detail oriented, and strives daily to make each child’s life a little bit better through therapy. When she isn’t at the clinic you can find her kayaking, (indoor) mountain climbing, or completing local Mud Runs.

Sydney Burke

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Jessica Mullins, B.S. SLPA

Jessica is a Speech Language Pathology Assistant with her bachelors from Indiana State University.  She will be attending graduate school in the fall of 2015.  She decided to pursue speech language pathology because of her love and compassion for individuals with developmental delays.  She has over 9 years of experience working with individuals of all ages who have Autism Spectrum Disorder.  Jessica has traveled to Africa where she taught English to children and adults in local villages.  She likes to ensure that families are well informed of their child’s goals and educates them on therapeutic materials which can be used at home.  In her spare time, she likes to go to the beach, shop, travel, and spend time with friends and family.

Jordan Stewart, M.A. CCC-SLP

jordan-stewartJordan is currently completing her clinical fellowship year with Children’s Therapy Solutions.  She graduated from the University at Buffalo, SUNY.  Jordan was brought into this field by her desire to find a career that combined her communication skills and teaching with her passion to help children with special needs.  She also holds a teaching certificate, graduated Summa Cum Laude.  She is a driven CFY with success in attaining childrens’ speech/language goals through enjoyable and imaginative customized therapy activities that naturally transfer to their daily environment.  Jordan is knowledgeable about current evidence-based research findings and effective diagnostic and therapeutic approaches.  She has experience in providing group and individual therapy in school and private settings to students ages 1-21.  Jordan also has a working proficiency of Spanish and uses it with some of her Spanish speaking clientele.  In her spare time she enjoys jet skiing, exploring beaches, reading, watching documentaries, playing tennis and traveling.

Alissa Belmont, M.S. CCC-SLP

alissa-belmontAlissa earned her Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of South Florida. She interned in Hillsborough County Elementary School’s and practiced speech therapy with children under supervision at the USF on-site clinic. She was brought into the field by her enthusiasm for language and love for being creative with kids. Alissa has a personal goal of earning an ACE award that is given to SLPs who earn 70 hours of continuing education within 3 years. She loves being creative and making every session full of opportunities to communicate and support language learning. In her spare time she likes to relax at the beach, read, write, cook, and try DIY art projects. Alissa often encourages parents to read to their children to increase their exposure to language every day.

Alexandra Shaw, MS CCC-SLP

Alexandra decided to become a Speech and Language Pathologist after seeing the positive impact that speech and language therapy had on her siblings. Having worked with children since she was a teenager, Alexandra wanted a career that allowed her to assist children and families in the way her siblings and family were helped. She pursued a Master’s Degree in Speech Language Pathology from Duquesne University. During graduate school, Alexandra volunteered at the Cleft-Craniofacial Center of Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh. She has experience with children with Autism, Down Syndrome, Childhood Apraxia, Asperger’s Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, and implementation of AAC devices and ASC in outpatient clinics, public and private schools, and homes. She is certified in, “It Takes Two to Talk” and the Hanen Program. Alexandra is patient and empathetic therapist who always strives to help others in any way that she can and we are thrilled to have her on our team. When she isn’t at the clinic, you can find her at the beach, watching a movie, or playing her favorite game (Uno) with her family and friends.

Jessica Fanning M.S. CCC-SLP

Jessica received her BS in Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Cincinnati and her Masters of Science in Speech Pathology at USF. She has been working as an SLP for over 7 years, in which she has worked with a variety of patients in schools, private practice, homes and Skilled Nursing Facilities. She was inspired to become a Speech Therapist due to the vast variety of settings she could work in. During her free time, Jessica enjoys traveling, going to the beach, spending time with friends and family, and playing in a kickball league.

Ashley Caves, M.S. CCC-SLP

Ashley received her M.S. in Speech Language Pathology and her B.S. in Communication Disorders and Elementary Education at University of Wisconsin-Steven’s Point. After observing an SLP work in an ESE classroom, she was drawn to becoming a speech therapist and decided to do whatever it took to switch her major. Ashley has been working as an SLP in the school setting, working with children from Kindergarten to 5th Grade. She enjoys working with children under age 5 who are non-verbal and need AAC or PECS to communicate. Her strengths include implementing play-based therapy, teaching the use of PECS, working with children on the autism spectrum, and teaching children how to use AAC devices. During spare time, Ashley enjoys riding on motorcycles with her husband, going on walks with her dog, relaxing at the beach, and cheering on the Packers football team. Go PACKERS!

Megan Simon, M.S. CF-SLP, Bilingual SLP

megan-simonMegan received her M.S. in Speech Language Pathology from Nova Southeastern University and her B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a concentration in Speech-Language Sciences, graduating from both institutions with honors. She was brought to the SLP field by her love and compassion. She has found that the best way for her to make an impact on the lives of others is to help them communicate their wants and needs. She loves making therapy as fun as possible and enjoys finding new ways to learn and have fun at the same time. Her strengths include providing bilingual therapy sessions and working with children with swallowing difficulties. Megan loves traveling, enjoying the outdoors, shopping, and going to the beach. Megan aspires to hold a BCS-S certification, an oral motor certification, and prompt certification. We love having Megan on our team and are blessed to have such a well-rounded therapist on our staff.

Laura Winkler, M.S. CF-SLP

Laura earned her Master’s degree in speech-language pathology from the University of South Florida and her Bachelor’s degree in elementary education from Elon University in North Carolina. She spent two years teaching prior to entering the field of speech-language pathology. While working as an elementary school teacher Laura noticed several students who struggled with learning to read and write, make friends, and follow directions in school due to difficulties with language processing. This inspired her to help children strengthen these skills to be successful in school and relations, leading to the decision to pursue becoming an SLP. Laura attained certification in the Barton Reading and Spelling System and maintains her Florida teaching certification in grades K-6. Her strengths incl ude diagnosing and treating language based literacy disorders, language impairments, articulation, and early intervention for speech-language delays. In her spare time she enjoys playing tennis, volleyball and reading.

Debbie Meissner M.S., CCC-SLP

Debbie joined Children’s Therapy Solutions after working for Manatee County Schools for 35 years. She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Florida and her Masters degree from Florida State University. Debbie has vast experience working with a variety of ages and disorders. She has extensive experience working with children having autism, language based reading disorders, mental health, ADHD, stuttering, voice, language and speech disorders. She participated many years on the cleft palate team through Children’s Medical Services. Debbie has also been an adjunct professor for Nova University. She enjoys keeping current with latest therapy trends earning ACE awards from the American Speech Language-Hearing Association. Debbie finds working with her clients and their family to be very rewarding. She truly believes that it takes a village to raise a child.

Michelle Andrzejewski MS, CCC-SLP 

Michelle received her B.S. and M.S. in Speech Language Pathology at Purdue University. At Purdue, she was a research assistant for a lab that was researching early predictors of autism spectrum disorders. She became a Speech-Language Pathologist because of her passion for working with children. She moved down to Florida two years ago and has loved getting to know the area. Michelle currently also works in the school setting with students from kindergarten through 5th grade. She loves to combine literacy skills with articulation and language goals. Almost all of her therapy sessions include reading a book. In her free time, Michelle enjoys kayaking, going to the beach, and playing games with her family and friends.

Caitlin Kellogg, M.A. CF-SLP

Caitlin earned her Master’s in Speech-Language Pathology from Edinboro University of Pennsylvania. She always had a desire to become a part of a field that would allow her to help make a positive impact in the lives of those in need, and speech has given her just that. Caitlin had the opportunity to complete a 14-week internship at Children’s Therapy Solutions and is happy to return to Florida joining the speech therapy team full time. Caitlin strives to make her therapy sessions enjoyable, creative, individualized, and let’s not forget…FUN! She aims to make differences in the lives of her clients one day at a time. In her spare time, she enjoys being outdoors, spending time with friends and family, cooking/eating (let’s be honest!), music, and simply just trying new things!

Susan Rose

Evelyn Snoeren

Luz Moreno

 

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Kathy White, LMHC

kathy-whiteKathy, a Licensed Mental Health Counselor, graduated with her Masters degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Kentucky and has over 25 years of experience working as a Counselor. Kathy has been married for 37 years. She and her husband have 4 successful children. Her children are and have always been her passion. Proudly, they are all doing well, one a Pharmacist, the next an Electrical Engineer in the Air Force, A Medical Doctor and her youngest daughter Julia is a junior in Nursing School.  Kathy believes all individuals can achieve success and personal fulfillment. In her therapy, Kathy helps families find a balance between overachieving and underachieving. She believes families can adapt and make changes that will help children achieve their goals now and later in life.  She is a certified Parent Child Interaction Therapist (PCIT) and Certified Rehabilitation Counselor.  Her strengths in the field include listening, motivating, establishing rapport, and helping individuals to be “their own therapist” and “to solve their own issues”.  In her spare time, Kathy enjoys boating, bike riding, horseback riding, reading, and working on charity events such as Manatee Hope.

Virginia Gibala, M.A., LMHC

virginia-cabalaVirginia is a bilingual mental health counselor who graduated with a Master of Arts degree from Webster University.  She has over 10 years of experience and believes that mental health is necessary to be healthy in other areas of our lives.  Virginia is very empathetic with her clients which makes them feel understood.  She also works well with parents and often gives them ideas for home carryover of counseling strategies.  In her spare time, Virginia likes to go on trips with her family, exercise, and spend time with friends.

 

Sarah Allan

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Karrin Scully, M.S., PT

Karrin received her Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Miami School of Medicine.  She has over 19 years of experience in treating orthopedic injuries, premature infants, and medically fragile children in a variety of settings including schools, homes, and clinics.  In her spare time, Karrin enjoys spending time with her husband and three children.

Jessica Kaminski, DPT/L

jessicaJessica attended University of South Florida to receive her Bachelor’s degree in Public Health before attending Nova Southeastern University to receive her Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy. Jessica completed a three month clinical internship in pediatrics where she realized her passion for wanting to work specifically in pediatrics. She loves that she is able to work with children one-on-one to help them to achieve their goals. Her strengths include working with Torticollis and with babies. When she isn’t working at the clinic, Jessica loves spending time with her friends and husband.

 

Colleen Harchuck, M.S. PT/L

Colleen comes to CTS with 18 years of school based pediatric experience with children of various disabilities and developmental delays. She says that her love for kids is what made her want to be a Pediatric Physical Therapist. Colleen received her Bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences and her Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy from Duquesne University in Pennsylvania. Aside from being a physical therapist, she enjoys spending time and working out with her husband, son, and daughter. She loves cheering on her son at his basketball games, and her daughter at her gymnastics events.
Maria Escalante, PTA
Janine Ward

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Mia, Insurance Specialist

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Rue, Scheduling Coordinator and Medical Billing

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