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 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.
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
Jenalee Hackett, COTA/L
Jenalee graduated from Keiser University, Tampa in 2020. While completing an internship at Children’s Therapy Solutions in the school setting, she learned from her OTR mentor the importance of the Floortime approach for children with ASD. Jenalee previously, completed her undergraduate studies in psychology and human development from Eckerd College in 2016. There she was introduced to the field of Occupational Therapy while completing an internship at the Autism Program at John Hopkins Children’s Hospital. She looks forward to helping children reach their goals in and outside of therapy, while being able to collaborate with the families. Jenalee grew up in Groveland, Massachusetts- a small town off the coast. Some of her favorite past times include spending quality time with friends, with family, and with her dog, being on the water, going to the beach, and reading.
Kristina Cosner COTA/L
Kristina graduated from State College of Florida 2019 and has experience working with children through Brain Balance and young adults training for Special Olympics. She’s also gained work experience with the geriatric population but now at Children’s Therapy Solutions she feels ready to make a long term difference in the lives of children. Kristina says, “therapy is awesome because you can help people of all ages, backgrounds, cultures in a multitude of different settings live their life to the fullest! I’m passionate about giving a child and their families the tools to help them live their best most independent life in all their occupations.” Kristina wants the families she works with to know she is there as a resource and will work extra hard to help each child achieve all of their goals. Kristina grew up in Iowa. She loves exercising, trying new cuisine, playing with her dog, boating, reading and most recently picked up long boarding. Her favorite food is a Filipino dish called Adobo; being half Filipino and half Caucasian she grew up eating food from both cultures. Kristina is so excited for the opportunity to learn, teach and grow with her new friends at CTS.
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
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!
Jessica Hauberg, M.S. OTR/L (Bio and Photo to Come)