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Occupational Therapy

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY TREATMENTS

Occupational therapists help children achieve goals related to fine motor skills, sensory processing, activities of daily living, and feeding.

Does My Child Need Occupational Therapy?
There are a variety of problems and conditions that may be improved by occupational therapy treatments. Children with special needs as well as those with the following conditions could benefit from occupational therapy:

  • Inability to properly use feeding utensils, toothbrush, hairbrush, etc..
  • Difficulty cutting or writing
  • Problems associated with feeding such as gagging, picky eating, or refusal of foods
  • Aversions to certain clothing or textures
  • Difficulty with buttons, tying shoes, zippers, and snaps
  • Sensory processing disorders such as trouble tolerating certain smells, sounds, and environments
  • Difficulty with attention, following directions, and/or transitions

Aquatic Occupational Therapy
Pediatric therapy Center, in conjunction with the Sarpy County YMCA, is now offering aquatic occupational therapy. Aquatic occupational therapy is a great way for children to practice moving their bodies in a calming and less-resistant environment. The warm water will provide the child the freedom to move their body in ways that are more challenging on land. The water provides deep pressure to the body which can help with improving a child’s body awareness, ultimately improving a child’s motor planning and motor skills.  The deep pressure of the pool water can help improve attention and sensory processing, specifically regulation and sensitivity. The ease of movement in the water can also assist with developing improved oral motor skills.

Specialized Intervention Methods
Pediatric Therapy Center’s occupational therapists are trained to provide specialized intervention methods including:

PHOTO GALLERY

MEET OUR FRIENDLY OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY TEAM

Kellie Costello

Occupational Therapist

kellie@ptcne.org

Kellie Costello graduated from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri in 2000 with a Bachelor’s of Art Degree in Psychology and in 2002 with a Master’s in Occupational Therapy. She has 15 + years experience working in pediatrics in school based, outpatient, and preschool/early intervention settings. She has specialized training in Beckman Oral Motor, Sequential Oral Sensory Feeding Program, Astronaut Training®, Pediatric Kinesiotaping, Interactive Metronome, Therapeutic Listening®, and is Level 1 certified in Handwriting Without Tears®. Kellie has taken numerous continuing education courses in sensory integration, visual deficits, feeding/oral motor, fine motor, and handwriting. She has experience working with children birth to 18 with a variety of diagnoses including Down syndrome, oral motor delay, cerebral palsy, autism, and developmental delay. Kellie continues to strive to make herself a better therapist in a wide variety of sensory areas through continuing education, therapist collaboration, and direct treatment.

Ashley Grossenbacher

Occupational Therapist

ashleyg@ptcne.org

Ashley Grossenbacher graduated with her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from College of Saint Mary in 2012. She has been working with the pediatric population for 4 years in the outpatient setting. Ashley has experience working with clients ages 0-21 with a variety of diagnoses including autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, developmental delay, sensory processing disorder, physical disability, ADHD, and Cerebral palsy. She has also worked with adults in acute care settings. Ashley is certified and trained in Interactive Metronome, Myofascial Release, Reflex Integration, Astronaut Training, and Advanced Therapeutic Listening. She has received additional training in Handwriting Without Tears, feeding, and sensory processing and integration. She has experience collaborating with peers, parents, and teachers in the home and school settings to best carry over therapeutic strategies and goals. Ashley believes therapy should be engaging, individualized, and challenging for each child to achieve their highest potential.

Samantha_Hagge

Samantha Hagge

Occupational Therapist

samanthah@ptcne.org

Samantha Hagge graduated with her Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Rockhurst University in Kansas City, Missouri in 2009. She completed her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Rockhurst University in 2010. She has been working with the pediatric population for 7 years in various settings including schools, in-home, out patient, and community. Samantha has experience working with clients ages 0-21 with a variety of diagnoses including autism spectrum disorder, Down syndrome, developmental delay, sensory processing disorder, physical disability, ADHD, and cerebral palsy. She has also worked with adults in acute care settings. Samantha has worked in various programs in the Kansas City area specializing in serving children with behavioral disorders. She has also received additional training in handwriting, Therapeutic Listening, Interactive Metronome, sensory processing, and Sequential Oral Sensory Feeding Approach (SOS). Samantha is passionate about serving children with sensory processing disorders and plans to continue to pursue advanced training in these areas.

Michaela Distefano

Occupational Therapist

michaelam@ptcne.org

Michaela Distefano graduated from Creighton University in Omaha, Nebraska in 2015 with a Bachelor’s of Art Degree in Psychology and in 2018 with a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy. Michaela completed several clinical rotations working with the pediatric population within an outpatient setting. Her experiences involved the specialized areas of sensory integration and equine-assisted therapy. She has experience with clients ages 0-21 with a variety of diagnoses, including autism spectrum disorder, ADHD, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, developmental delay, and sensory processing disorder. Michaela is also trained in Interactive Metronome. Michaela’s goal is to empower both children and their families to reach their full potential.

Sheila Molczyk

Occupational Therapist

sheilam@ptcne.org

Sheila Molczyk graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in Exercise Science from the University of Nebraska Omaha in 2014. She then completed a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from Creighton University in 2018. Sheila has had multiple clinical rotations working with the pediatric population in both schools and outpatient settings. She has experience working with clients ages 0-21 with a variety of diagnoses including autism spectrum disorder, sensory processing disorder, ADHD, developmental delay, cerebral palsy, and Down syndrome. Sheila also has specialized training in Sequential Oral Sensory Feeding Approach (SOS). She is passionate about serving children and families in her community and helping empower them to achieve independence and engagement in meaningful occupations.

lori_podany

Lori Podany

Occupational Therapist

lorip@ptcne.org

Lori Podany graduated from Creighton University in Omaha in 2002 with a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy. She has experience working as a pediatric occupational therapist in school-based, preschool, and in-home settings. She has worked with children who have a variety of diagnoses including autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, ADHD, and developmental delay. Additional work experience includes in-home behavioral support and program development for children with autism. Lori has attended numerous pediatric continuing education courses including Sequential Oral Sensory Feeding Program, Handwriting Without Tears, Therapeutic Listening, and neurodevelopmental treatment. She attended the American Occupational Therapy Association Conferences in 2014 and 2016, which provided updated information and current research in pediatrics. She is passionate about working with children and their families to achieve independence. As a mother to a Pediatric Therapy Center graduate, she understands the importance of a collaborative network of support for families. With a recent move back to Nebraska, she looks forward to serving her hometown community through participation in events that empower children with special needs.

Michaella Spenceri

Occupational Therapist

michaellas@ptcne.org

Michaella Spenceri graduated from Creighton University in 2011 with a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Exercise Science, from University of Nebraska Omaha in 2013 with a Master’s of Science Degree in Health, Physical Education and Recreation, and from Creighton University in 2017 with a Doctorate Degree in Occupational Therapy. She has experience working with the pediatric population in both outpatient and school-based settings. She has received additional training in Handwriting Without Tears, feeding and swallowing, and sensory processing. She is a member of both the Nebraska Occupational Therapy Association and American Occupational Therapy Association. She has an English Bulldog that she would like to eventually train to be a therapy dog.