Lena Thoresen, OTR/L
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 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
Lorin graduated with her degree in Occupational Therapy from Florida Gulf Coast University. She was brought into the field 12 years ago by her love for children and helping others. Her patience, kindness, and flexibility make her the great therapist she is. Lorin specializes in providing quality and skilled therapy for medically fragile children with various diagnoses. She has attended specialized courses in FloorTime, Therapeutic listening, Behavioral Tools, Myofascial Release (MFRI), Brain Gym, Vestibular (Astronaut) training, Pediatric Kinesiotaping, Pediatric Feeding (The Big Picture), and Yoga for Special Needs. Lorin likes to play kickball, rollerblade, go on mission trips, volunteer in the community, and go to the beach as an Anna Maria local.
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.
Cara Jackson, MOT, OTR/L
Cara graduated from Colorado State University with her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy in 2016. She was originally drawn to the field of occupational therapy through volunteering at a summer camp working with children and teenagers with disabilities. Cara has been working at CTS since 2016 and specializes in the Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) feeding approach with specialty training for a child on the Autism Spectrum. Additionally, she is certified in CAN-EAT Approach which utilizes medical, motor, and behavioral strategies with pediatric feeding disorders. She is a creative and fun therapist that enjoys working with a variety of clients and has a passion for working with teenagers. Cara has lived in Bradenton for most of her life and is a very active person who loves skim boarding, working out, sports, and spending time with her family.
Heather Carpenter, MOT, OTR/L
Heather graduated from Adventist University of Health Sciences with her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy in 2016. She was drawn to the field of occupational therapy from her passion for working to improve the lives of children with disabilities. Heather is a kind and compassionate therapist that believes family centered care is a key component of therapy and enjoys incorporating families into her session. Heather has been working for CTS since 2017 and specializes in the Beckman Oral Motor protocol which focuses on interventions to increase functional response to pressure and movement, range, strength, variety and control of movement for the lips, cheeks, jaw and tongue. She has a passion for early intervention and has taken a variety of specialized course to meet the needs of this population including Treating Torticollis, Evidence-Based Kinesiology Taping for Pediatrics, Essential Assessment and Treatment Strategies for Pediatric Orthopedic Dysfunction. Heather was born and raised in Florida, during her free time she loves going to the beach, boating, spending time with her family, friends, and two adorable dogs.
Juan Nieto-Quinterio, COTA
Juan Nieto-Quinterio is a COTA with 3 years experience working with the pediatric population. He grew up in Venezuela and is a bilingual Spanish-English speaking therapist. Juan graduated from Florida State College at Jacksonville. He is completing training in the Handwriting Without Tears program and will soon be a certified HWT specialist. Juan joined the OT field after discussing career options with his sister who is a Speech Language Pathologist. After she told him about Occupational Therapy he went into the field and found out he loved working with kids and making a difference in their lives. His strength in addition to assisting with handwriting is making progress with intense behaviors. In his free time he plays soccer, tennis, guitar, and enjoys traveling!
Eleonora Salustri, MOT, OTR/L
Eleonora graduated from Barry University with her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy in 2017. She was drawn to the field of occupational therapy through her volunteer experiences at a variety of pediatric sites. Eleonora is a creative and compassionate therapist who uses her strengths to aid children in reaching their fullest potentials. Eleonora was born in Rome, Italy and is fluent in Italian. She enjoys spending her free time outdoors paddle boarding, kayaking, hiking, and exercising.
Emily Spencer, MOT, OTR/L
Emily graduated from Adventist University of Health Sciences with her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy in 2017. She was drawn to the field of occupational therapy after working with children with disabilities in an ABA clinic. Emily is a joyful and compassionate therapist who loves to be a part of children’s journey towards independence. Emily has previous experience working with children as an occupational therapy aid, registered behavioral therapist, and a gymnastics coach. During her free time, Emily loves painting, traveling, and spending quality time with family and friends.
Barbara Farnsworth, COTA/L
Barbara graduated from Keiser University with her associates degree in Occupational Therapy in 2014. She was drawn to the field of occupational therapy after seeing and experiencing the impact therapy services can have on increasing the quality of life for individuals. Barbara is a compassionate and loving therapist who enjoys making meaningful connections with the children and families she works with. Barbara has been working at CTS since 2014 and specializes in the Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) feeding approach and CAN-EAT Approach which utilizes medical, motor, and behavioral strategies with pediatric feeding disorders. Barbara has lived in Saint Petersburg, FL majority of her life. She enjoys being in the outdoors boating, fishing, and spending quality time with her husband and two beautiful daughters.
Cristina Guerra COTA
Cristina graduated from Keiser University in 2018 with her Associate of Science in Occupational Therapy Assisting. She was drawn to the field of occupational therapy by her love of working with children and wanting to help make a difference in their lives. She has always been driven to work with children and receives satisfaction from witnessing the improvement that a child can make. Helping families achieve goals in and outside of therapy also brings pleasure to Cristina, and it is important to her that each child grows to be as successful as they can in therapy as well as in life. Cristina was born and raised in Tampa, and enjoys being by the water, outdoor activities, working out, and listening to various podcasts.
Jennifer Brandon, COTA/L
Jennifer graduated from State College of Florida in Manatee/Sarasota in May 2019. Before beginning OTA school, she worked as a paraprofessional with the Manatee County School Board at Jessie P. Miller Elementary, working in the Kindergarten through Fifth Grade class for student’s with varying exceptionalities from 2013-2017. Prior to that, she worked as a Preschool Teacher for 3 years, teaching children ages 3 to 4. She has worked for many summers at Dream Oaks Camp in Bradenton, Florida as a camp counselor for children ages 7-17 with varying disabilities and chronic illnesses. Occupational Therapy has been her dream career field since she was just 11 years old. She loves children and is fascinated by the science of development of skills through play. She enjoys helping and collaborating with families and children to reach their personal goals and believes OT is so amazing! Miss Jenn grew up here in the Bradenton/Palmetto area! She moved away for a year to London, England, but missed my people and the sunshine! Her hobbies include spending time with friends, family, and my son – probably by a pool. She is a singer, and is learning to play the guitar. She also does lettering/calligraphy writing in her spare time. Her favorite things include OT, music, coffee, flowers, and sunshine.
Nicole Spanswick, MOT, OTR/L
Nicole graduated from Bay Path University of Massachusetts in June 2019. Nicole has always gravitated towards working with children, and been interested in understanding the physical, social, and sensory aspects that contribute to functional development and growth. She loves to facilitate independence and accomplish goals while making a child smile, and is passionate about using a child’s strengths and interests during play in collaboration with families. Prior to completing her MOT, Nicole has worked with children in pediatrics with a diverse range of needs since 2013 in home, school, transitional, and hospital settings. While completing her MOT, Nicole interned at Children’s Therapy Solutions where she worked in outpatient and school settings with the medically fragile, infants with torticollis, children with ASD, cerebral palsy, chromosomal abnormalities, and other varying exceptionalities. She learned from OTR mentors about the Floortime approach for children with ASD, and TBRI for children with trauma. Nicole grew up in small town along the coast of Maine, but has a family all over the world. She enjoys working with families from different cultures and backgrounds. Her favorite things are time with family, traveling, sunsets, cooking, volunteering, remaining active, and spending time outside.
Amanda C, 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, 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
Jessica Hauberg, M.S. OTR/L
Brittni Gasior, COTA
(Photo to come)Brittni graduated from Northern Illinois University in 2012 with a degree in psychology. She soon became a full time nanny, and nannied for about 8 years. During her time as a nanny she nannied for a boy who was receiving OT services. Having always loved caring for children, and after attending OT services with the boy she nannied for, she knew that she wanted to be apart of the amazing field of occupational therapy. Brittni decided to go back to school in order to be a COTA. She completed my fieldwork at All About Speech and Language where she gained the skills to treat children with a variety of diagnosis. There Brittni gained exposure to the Handwriting Without Tears Program as well as The Zone of Regulations. Brittni is excited to start her career at Children’s Therapy Solutions and to be apart of an amazing therapy team!