Meet the CAS Team


Meet Our Team: Bringing you 50+ years combined experience and more than 25 areas of specialization- served with passion.

Administrative Team

Jamie Putnam,>M.S.,CCC/SLP Speech Language Pathologist/ Clinic Director


Jamie Putnam

M.S.,CCC/SLP Speech Language Pathologist/ Clinic Director

Education:

  • B.S. Speech Pathology and Audiology: Texas State University
  • M.S. Communication Sciences and Disorders: Texas State University
  • Licensed: State of Texas Certification of Clinical Competence: ASHA

Additional Certifications/Training:

  • Early Childhood Development
  • Learning Disabilities Certification
  • Licensed Hanen ® provider, with certifications in the parent programs:
    • It Takes Two to Talk
    • More than Words®
  • Fast ForWord Provider®
  • Michelle Garcia Winner “Social Thinking”
  • Wilson Reading Program

Member:

  • American Speech – Language – Hearing Association
  • Texas Speech Language and Hearing Association
  • American Telemedicine Association
  • National Stuttering Association
  • Stuttering Foundation
  • American Academy of Private Practice in Speech Pathology and Audiology.

Experience:

  • Private Practice
  • Round Rock ISD (pre-k, elementary & high school age students)
  • Seton Hospital- adult patients
  • Neonatal intensive care unit
  • Outpatient therapy services

Community Involvement:

  • Northwest Austin Young Life – Committee Member
  • Travis County Center for Child Protection – Family Support Volunteer

Favorite Things to Talk About:

My 3 children, my little nieces and nephews, healthy living, and other’s life stories. 

How did you choose this field?

My grandmother worked at a hospital and when I was young she would take me to work with her. She let me observe various hospital employees so I could see all the different types of careers. The speech pathologist was my favorite! I wanted a career where I could make a difference, work with people, and continually be challenged. In my 25+ years as an SLP, I haven’t been disappointed! I love being a part of the therapy team. I look forward to meeting every individual who walks through our doors and especially enjoy getting to interact with the children. I look forward to talking with you and answering any questions you may have about our clinic and team to ensure a positive experience here at Capital Area.

Kristin Higginbotham Scheduler/Intake Coordinator

Kristin Higginbotham

Administrative Manager

k_higginbotham@capitalareaspeech.com

Education:

  • Studied Psychology and Paralegal Studies at McNeese State University, in Lake Charles, Louisiana.

Favorite Things to Talk About:

My dog, Royce. I also love talking about my family, mental health care, cooking, podcasts and movies. I’m from Louisiana and will talk to you about anything Cajun, especially about the food and the Saints football team.

Community Involvement:

I’ve volunteered at food banks and most recently at Communities for Recovery. I’ve gone on Mission Trips to Oklahoma and Florida. I love being of service to others, so anywhere I can help others, I’m there.

How did you choose this field?

I love working with people and hearing their stories!

SPEECH LANGUAGE PATHOLOGY TEAM

Amy Delk, B.S.,CSD/ Speech Language Pathology Licensed Assistant

Amy Delk

B.S., CSD/ Speech-Language Pathology Licensed Assistant
Administrative Assistant/Intake Specialist

Education:

  • B.S. in Communication Disorders, University of Texas at Austin.
  • Graduate work completed in speech-language pathology at UT Austin Licensure
  • Licensed Speech-Language Pathology Assistant- State of Texas

Experience:

  • Public School
  • Private Practice
  • Hospitals Served as the UT Chapter President of NSSHLA


Community Involvement:

Certified/Licensed Tour Director

Favorite Things to Talk About:

I love to talk about my kittens, Mims and Rhannin and my puppy Beasley. Travel is my passion. I have been to West Africa to volunteer with a friend in the Peace Corps. The Highlands of Scotland is my favorite place to visit and spend time. I enjoy live music of all kinds. I love to talk and get to know new people!

How Did You Choose This Field?

I have chosen to be a speech therapist because I love to help people communicate and I have always had an interest in language, words, and reading.
Meredith Peyton, M.S., CCC/SLP Speech Language Pathologist

Meredith Peyton Meagher

M.S., CCC/SLP, Speech Language Pathologist

Education:

  • B.S. in Speech-Language Pathology: Texas Tech University Health Science Center.
  • M.S. in Communication Disorders: University of Texas at Dallas.

Licenses/Certifications:

  • Certification of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language – Hearing Association.
  • Licensed in Speech-Language Pathology by the State of Texas
  • Vital Stim
  • Neuhaus Dyslexia Program Assistive Technology


Affiliations:

  • Texas Speech Language and Hearing Association.
  • American Speech-Language and Hearing Association.
  • National Stuttering Association
  • Texas Voice Project

Experience:

  • Public School
  • Private Practice
  • National Stuttering Association
  • Texas Voice Project and Assistive Technology Team
  • Pre-verbal Program at the Callier Center Dallas Parkland Memorial Hospital: FEES evaluations for adult patients, Rehabilitation services and Cochlear Implant Camp Facilitator

Pasadena ISD:

Implemented Phonics intervention program and established Pasadena area NSA kids support group through the National Stuttering Association. Region 4 Houston area: Assistive Technology Implementation.

Favorite Things to Talk About:

My two kids! Recipes, music, speech and language newest research and interventions, movies, my doggie, Pearl; travels, my family, and connecting with new people and hearing their stories.

How did you choose this field?

A good friend of mine was in the Speech-Language and Hearing Sciences undergraduate program at Texas Tech University (Wreck ’em Tech). She would come home with interesting stories involving cochlear implants, stuttering, and traumatic brain injuries. This sparked an interest, so I applied, was accepted and the rest was history. I love interacting with people and making a difference in their lives.
Stacey Rosensteel, M.S., CCC/SLP Speech Language Pathologist

Stacey Rosensteel

M.S., CCC/SLP Speech Language Pathologist

Education:

  • B.A. Liberal Arts and Sciences; Communication Disorders; San Diego State
  • M.S. Clinical Speech Pathology; Northern Arizona University

Licenses/Certifications:

  • Certification of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • Licensed in Speech Pathology by the State of Texas
  • Level 1 PROMPT trained

Experience:

  • Early Childhood Development
  • Oral motor Development
  • Down Syndrome
  • Feeding Disorders
  • Auditory Processing Disorders
  • Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Voice Disorders and Speech Production Impairments
  • Pediatric practice since 2002 in private practice, schools, and hospitals. I have been a graduate student supervisor for 9 years.

Favorite Things to Talk About:

My two young children and my husband, cooking, gardening, music, and theater.

How did you choose this field?

I knew I wanted to do something to help others and make a positive difference in their lives. I love this field and have found my calling to work with children with special needs and help them reach their highest potential.
Yvonne Smith, M.S.,CCC/SLP Speech Language Pathologist

Yvonne Smith

M.S.,CCC/SLP Speech Language Pathologist

Education:

  • B.S. Speech and Language Pathology and Audiology from California State University, Sacramento
  • M.S. Speech and Language Pathology from California State University, Sacramento

Licenses/Certifications:

  • Certification of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • Licensed in Speech Pathology by the State of Texas
  • Continuing education in Childhood Apraxia of Speech, including principals of motor learning and DTTC.
  • Trained in PROMPT and the parent program It Takes Two to Talk.




Experience:

  • Early Intervention
  • Childhood Apraxia of Speech
  • Speech Sound Disorders and Autism Spectrum Disorder

Community Involvement/Interests Outside of Work:

I have served as president of the Sacramento Area Speech and Hearing Association (SASHA), and for several years I was a board member in my children’s school PTO. I love to read any genre, and I love creating materials to use in therapy.

Favorite Things to Talk About:

My super supportive family, that helped me get back to my home state of Texas!

How did you choose this field?

I always knew I wanted to be in a helping profession, and I considered teaching and child psychology. I started my college days thinking I would be a physical therapist, but the school I was enrolled in did not have a PT program. As I completed my general education coursework, before transferring to a PT school, I stumbled across an introduction to speech pathology class. I decided to check it out for the semester, and I was hooked. I love seeing the difference I help make with the children and families I work with. After 20+ years, I still love what I do!

Lauren Terrazas

M.S. CCC/SLP Speech Language Pathologist

Education:

  • B.S. in Communication Sciences and Disorders at Northwestern University
  • M.S. in Speech, Language, and Learning at Northwestern University

Licenses/Certifications:

  • Licensed in Speech Pathology by the State of Texas Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language and Hearing Association (ASHA)
  • Beckman Oral Motor
  • Hanen “It Takes Two to Talk”
  • Videofluoroscopic Swallowing Study (VFSS)
  • CPR Certified

Experience:

  • Skilled Nursing Facilities
  • Public Schools
  • Private Practice

Favorite Things to Talk About:

I enjoy talking about my baby boy, Austin restaurants, recipes, fitness/health, my Australian Shepherd named Roo, and travel.

How did you choose this field?

I’ve always enjoyed learning about the anatomy of the human body, especially how the brain works in regards to language and motor function. Being a speech pathologist allows me to bridge my interests in both science and helping others improve their quality of life. I am fortunate to work in a field where I get to interact with patients and their families, rather than sit behind a desk!

Elizabeth Alaniz

MS., CF/SLP Speech Language Pathologist

Education:

  • B.A. in Communicative Disorders from California State University, Fullerton
  • M.S. in Communication Disorders & Sciences from California State University, Fullerton

License/Certifications:

  • Licensed to Practice Speech Pathology by the State of Texas
  • CPR Certified
  • Safety-CareTm Behavioral Safety Training
  • Student Member of the Academy of Neurologic Communication Disorders and Sciences





Experience:

  • Pediatric Private Practice
  • Skilled Nursing Facilities
  • Acute Rehabilitation Hospital
  • Behavioral (ABA) Therapy for children with Autism Spectrum Disorders

Community Involvement/Interests:

I love volunteering with adults with early Alzheimer’s through Memory Connections at the AGE Institute. I also volunteer with Meals on Wheels’ Connecting Seniors with Technology. I am an avid trail runner and love watching the sun rise on my morning runs!

Favorite Things to Talk About:

My amazing husband and daughter, anything running-related, and the latest speech therapy research/treatments.

How did you choose this field?

I like to think this field chose me, as it was personal experiences with speech-language disorders that drew me to it. I watched my brother struggle with stuttering growing up, as well as my grandfather’s communication difficulties after multiple strokes. As a speech-language pathologist, I knew I could couple these experiences with my strong desire to help others.

Megan Hodges

M.S., CCC-SLP Speech Language Pathologist

Education:

  • Bachelor of Behavioral Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders, Hardin-Simmons University, Abilene TX
  • Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology, Abilene Christian University, Dallas TX

Licenses/Certifications:

  • Licensed in Speech-Language Pathology by the State of Texas
  • Parkinson Voice Project SPEAK OUT!® Provider

Experience:

  • Pediatric experience in school settings and private practices.

Favorite Things to Talk About:

I love talking about my two dogs, Maizy (a mini Yorkie) and Maya (a lab/great dane mix)! They are the sweetest pups and have the biggest personalities. I also enjoy talking about sports; I love all sports and all teams so it’s always easy to root for someone. I’m still fairly new to the Austin area, so I enjoy learning about new restaurants and fun things to do around the city, as well.

How did you choose this field?

I have always known that I wanted to help others in a big way, and what better way than helping others communicate. I started off my undergraduate degree as an Education major, however I quickly fell in love with my language and literacy development classes. My advisor in school redirected me to the Speech Pathology program and I knew instantly that was where I was meant to be! I have loved getting to work with clients and their families and I am excited to be a part of the Capital Area team!
Julia Tomlinson

Julia Tomlinson

M.S., CCC-SLP, Speech Language Pathologist

Education:

  • B.F.A. Performance and Production from Texas State University
  • Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from Stephen F. Austin State University

Licenses/Certifications/Training

  • Licensed in Speech-Language Pathology by the State of Texas
  • Parkinson Voice Project SPEAK OUT!
  • Parkinson Voice Project LOUD Crowd
  • Training in Michelle Garcia Winner’s “Social Thinking”
  • Training in Sarah Rosenfeld-Johnson’s Talk Tools hierarchy
  • Hanen’s Four I’s to Socialize
  • Feeding Infants in the NICU and Beyond

Experience:

  • Private Practice
  • Hospital
  • NICU
  • Inpatient rehabilitation hospital
  • Outpatient rehabilitation center

Community Involvement:

  • Round Rock Community Choir member and participates in their community outreaches
  • Mentor to current graduate students
  • Occasional involvement with community theater productions.

Favorite Things to Talk About:

My incredible husband, Trevor, and my adorable dog, Milo. I love cooking, singing, traveling, theater, and hiking. I also enjoy discussing my field. Speech – Language Pathology is such a diverse area and being able to provide intervention for our precious clients is a true joy to me.

How did you choose this field?

As a 3-year-old, it is expected that they have 900 – 1,000 words in their vocabulary and are speaking in 3–4-word sentences. The first day I shadowed an SLP, I was able to witness a 3-year-old boy say his first word. The joy in that moment sealed it for me. From that moment on, I could not wait to help others find their voice and improve their quality of life. Being an SLP allows me to combine my loves of voice, feeding infants, and helping our children to develop into wonderful people.

Blake Colburn

M.S., CCC-SLP Speech Language Pathologist

Education:

  • B.S. in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
  • M.S. in Communication Disorders from The University of Texas at Dallas

Licenses/Certifications:

  • Certification of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • Licensed in Speech Pathology by the State of Texas
  • CPR Certified

Experience:

  • Home Health Care
  • Public School
  • Private School
  • Preschool Language Development Program and MBS studies at Pediatric Imaging Center

Favorite Things to Talk About:

My dog Asher, my friends and family, movies, music, fitness, and travel.

How did you choose this field?

I always knew that I wanted to pursue a career in healthcare. The idea of being able to improve someone’s life from the inside out is very inspiring to me. I first learned about speech pathology when I was in high school while shadowing a long-time family friend who was an SLP at a preschool. I knew immediately that speech pathology was the career for me. This discipline allows me the opportunity to help patients of all ages overcome daily obstacles and succeed in their everyday lives. I am forever grateful for the field of speech pathology and I feel that that is reflected in my passion for what I do every day.

Lindsey Rutherford

Lindsey Rutherford

M.S., CCC-SLP Speech-Language Pathologist

Education:

  • Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders, Texas State University, San Marcos TX
  • Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders, Texas State University, San Marcos TX

Licenses/Certifications:

    • Certification of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
    • Licensed in Speech-Language Pathology by the State of Texas
    • CPR Certified




  • Continuing Education in the following:
    • Beckman Oral Motor
    • Hanen’s ‘It Takes Two to Talk’ Parent Training Program
    • PROMPT: Introduction to Technique (Level 1)
    • PECS Level 1 Training

Experience:

  • Paediatric experience in the school
  • Private practice
  • Home health settings
  • Adult experience in outpatient/inpatient rehabilitation

Favorite Things to Talk About:

I love to talk about my favorite sports, football and basketball! I also love talking about my family and friends, food, working out, gardening, music, books, movies and anything that brings a smile to peoples’ faces.

How did you choose this field?

I first became interested in the field of speech-language pathology after a close family friend had a stroke, which impaired his ability to speak. I always knew I wanted to pursue a career involving language/communication, and after pursuing a Spanish degree the first two years of my undergraduate studies…I did not feel fulfilled. I wanted to pursue a career that combined my love of language and my passion for helping others, so I changed my major and never looked back!
My favorite part of this profession is not only helping people, but also the trust and meaningful relationships that I’m able to establish with my patients and their families.

Michele Reeder

M.S., CCC/SLP Speech-Language Pathologist

Education:

  • B.S. in Speech Pathology and Audiology: Northern Arizona University
  • M.A. in Communicative Disorders: California State University Long Beach

Licenses/Certifications:

  • Certification of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • Licensed in Speech-Language Pathology by the State of Texas
  • Licensed Hanen® provider, with certifications in the parent programs:
    • It Takes Two to Talk
    • More Than Words®
    • Target Word
  • Level 1 PROMPT Trained

Member:

  • American Speech–Language–Hearing Association
  • Texas Speech Language and Hearing Association

Experience:

  • Private Practice
  • Public Schools
  • Hospitals
  • Skilled Nursing Facilities

Favorite Things to Talk About:

I love to talk about my kids and my husband!

How did you choose this field?

While I was in college, I observed my younger brother’s speech therapy session. I loved the idea of helping people communicate and giving a child confidence in his/her voice.

Maura Brown

Speech-Language Pathologist

Education:

  • Bachelor of Science in Counseling Psychology, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY
  • Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology, Columbia University, New York, NY

Licenses/Certifications:

  • Certification of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • Licensed in Speech-Language Pathology by the State of Texas
  • Level 1 Prompt Trained
  • BLS Certified


Experience:

  • Public Schools
  • Hospital-based out-patient pediatrics
  • Acute and long-term acute care hospitals (adults)
  • In-patient rehabilitation hospital (adults)

Favorite Things to Talk About:

After watching all the Marvel movies during the pandemic, I love talking about the brilliance of the Marvel Cinematic Universe. For something a little more realistic, I love talking to people about traveling and hearing their recommendations for places to put onto my travel bucket list, both within the United States and around the world.

How did you choose this field?

Before some friends traveled to Russia to adopt their 7-month-old daughter, they signed her up for speech therapy services so she could start as soon as they brought her home. I was surprised to learn that the baby was already at significant risk for speech and language delay. The work that the speech-language pathologist was doing to encourage her to speak was so fascinating to me, I decided to make a career change and go back to school to become a speech-language pathologist. It was one of the best decisions I ever made.


Jenna Lane

M.S., CCC-SLP Speech-Language Pathologist

Education:

  • Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders, Texas State University
  • Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology, Texas State University

Licenses/Certifications:

  • Certified Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association
  • Licensed in Speech-Language Pathology by the State of Texas
  • CPR Certified

Experience:

  • Pediatric experience in school settings and private practices.
  • Adult experience in a in patient rehabilitation hospital.

Favorite Things to Talk About:

My favorite things to talk about are my love for dogs, my family and my friends. In my free time, I enjoy being active by being outside or working out in the gym, watercolor painting, and reading.

How did you choose this field?

I love helping people. I knew that at the end of a tough day, I could walk away feeling like I made a difference, and the tough day would be worth it. I fell in love with the field of Speech-Language Pathology because it’s a practical and functional way to help others. Not only that, but what is a greater gift then the ability to communicate functionally?! I continue to enjoy learning about my field and each one of my clients. I am so happy to be a part of the Capital Area family.  

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY TEAM

Kelsi Knife, M.O.T, OTR Occupational Therapist

Kelsi Knife

M.O.T, OTR Occupational Therapist

Education:

  • B.S. Health Sciences: Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
  • Master of Occupational Therapy: Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center

Experience:

  • Fieldwork experience at University Medical Center Brackenridge: Austin, TX
  • Fieldwork experience at Round Rock Independent School District

Community Involvement/Interests Outside of Work:

I love exploring new places with my husband and our dog. I also enjoy reading, trying new restaurants, and spending time with friends.

Favorite Things to Talk About:

I love to talk about everything! Some of my favorite subjects are my family, my three sweet baby boys, my dog, and fun new therapy ideas.

How did you choose this field?:

I shadowed a pediatric occupational therapist as a teenager and have been in love with the profession ever since! I get to play with children all day, while also working on important skills. Pretty awesome, huh?
Heather Celkis, OTR Occupational Therapist

Heather Celkis

OTR, Occupational Therapist

Education:

  • B.S. Occupational Therapy: Eastern Michigan University with Departmental Honors

Certifications:

  • Certified to administer the Sensory Integration Praxis Test
  • Therapeutic Listening Provider
  • Michelle Garcia Winner: “Social Thinking” SOS Approach to Feeding
  • Beckman Oral Motor Training NBCOT Certified
Experience:
  • Pediatric practice since 2001- both school and clinic based.

Community Involvement:

I served as co-chair for the Association of Pediatric Therapists in the San Francisco Bay area.

Favorite Things to Talk About:

My adorable little boy, a wonderful husband, and two very large cats! I also love to talk about international travel, fun things to do in Austin, and good books.

How did you choose this field?

I volunteered under an occupational therapist in high school and fell in love with the field and working with kids. I adore my job, believe that the best kind of therapy looks and feels like play, and can’t wait to help the kids here at Capital Area Speech and Occupational Therapy reach their goals!
Caitlyn Gaston, MOT, OTR Occupational Therapist

Caitlyn Gaston

MOT, OTR Occupational Therapist

Education:

  • B.S. Kinesiology -Stephen F. Austin State University
  • Master of Occupational Therapy- University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio

Experience:

  • Fieldwork experience at Outreach Pediatric Therapy in San Antonio, Texas
  • Fieldwork experience at HealthSouth RIOSA in San Antonio
  • Texas Handwriting Without Tears K-5 Certification
  • Beckman Oral Motor
  • Trained in Effective Interventions for Oppositional and Defiant Behaviors

Community Involvement/Interests Outside of Work:

I am a Texan born and raised but am new to the Austin area and look forward to exploring all that this wonderful city has to offer. I enjoy the outdoors, reading a good book, dabbling within the realms of cooking, and spending time with friends and family. I am an active member of the Texas Occupational Therapy Association and have done outside involvement work with the Special Olympics and Lion’s Low Vision Centers.

Favorite things to talk about:

Just about anything! I enjoy meeting new people and always love to hear interesting stories of others experiences in life.

How did you choose this field?

I was introduced to occupational therapy at an early age through my involvement as a camp counselor for children with disabilities. I was able to see the direct impact that was made on the lives of these children and their families. From then on I knew that this was the career path for me and not to mention, its a lot of fun and very personally rewarding.
Ruth Gonzalez, M.O.T. OTR Occupational Therapist/ SLPA Licensed Speech Language Pathology Assistant

Ruth Gonzalez

M.O.T. OTR Occupational Therapist/ SLPA Licensed Speech-Language Pathology Assistant

Education:

  • Bachelor of Science in Communication Disorders, University of Texas Rio Grande Valley
  • Master of Occupational Therapy, Texas Woman’s University-Houston

Certifications/Training:

  • Bilingual (Spanish)
  • Beckman Oral Motor Training
  • PECS Communication System
Experience:
  • Pediatric SLPA in an Outpatient Clinic, OT
  • Fieldwork Experience at Methodist Hospital of Sugarland, OT
  • Fieldwork Experience at Mentis Neuro Rehabilitation in Houston

Favorite Things to Talk About:

Music, movies, makeup, my niece and nephews, music festivals, food festivals, travel, and my cat, Mia.

How did you choose this field?

I’ve always wanted to be in the health/medical field. As a child, I wanted to be a veterinarian, so I’ve always had that desire to help others.
Jennifer Glover

Jennifer Glover

OTR, Occupational Therapist

Education:

  • B.S. Occupational Therapy: Texas Woman’s University

Certifications:

  • Certified to administer the Sensory Integration Praxis Test
  • Michelle Garcia Winner: “Social Thinking”
  • Beckman Oral Motor Training
  • Trained in Handwriting without Tears and Typing without Tears

Experience:

I started my career in 1998 working with adults in both the acute hospital setting as well as in patient rehabilitation. I have been working in a clinical and home health pediatric setting since 2001.

Favorite things to talk about:

I will talk about most anything! I love to talk about my wonderful family, traveling to new places, a good book or podcast.

How did you choose this field?

I have always wanted to work with kids and began to look at various careers that involved helping kids. I began to shadow an occupational therapist after graduating high school and was hooked. I absolutely love my job because it brings new challenges each day and I get to work and play with so many amazing kiddos!

Marissa Rivera - OT

Marissa Rivera

Occupational Therapist, OTR/L, MOT

Education:

  • Bachelor of Health Sciences: Quinnipiac University – Hamden & North Haven, CT
  • Master of Occupational Therapy: Quinnipiac University – North Haven, CT

Experience:

  • Fieldwork Experience:
    • Pediatric-based mental health
      • Residential and therapeutic day school incorporating both nature and animal-based programming with a strong focus on emotional regulation, crisis intervention, and use of appropriate coping skills.
      • Common diagnoses included: bipolar disorder, anxiety disorders, depression, OCD, ADD/ADHD, developmental delay, intellectual disability, reactive attachment disorder, PTSD/trauma, apraxia, oppositional defiance/conduct disorders.
      • Therapeutic Crisis Intervention (NO restraint use) trained during this experience.
    • Vocational transition program
      • Ages 18+ with neurological-related diagnoses with a strong focus on community reintegration and independent living.
      • Common diagnoses included: TBI, autism, Down’s syndrome, schizophrenia, OCD, ADHD, conduct disorder, intellectual disability, seizure disorder.
    • Hospital-based care
      • Focused on acute care, subacute rehabilitation, and outpatient rehabilitation.
    • Skilled nursing facility
      • Focused on short-term rehabilitation with some long-term rehabilitative care.
  • Other relevant experience:
    • School-based occupational therapy
      • Fieldwork experience in two different elementary schools, grades K-6th
    • Early intervention exposure
      • Completed a semester long service-learning experience with an occupational therapist for the birth to three population at a community resource center
    • Muscular Dystrophy Association – Camp Counselor

Community Involvement/Interests Outside of Work:

Outside of work you can typically find me with my significant other, family, friends and/or my dogs! I tend to spend my time relaxing (both inside and outside) and love to do anything involving games, crafts, or going out to new restaurants/places to eat with others – especially ice cream stands! I just recently made the big move from upstate New York to Austin, so you will definitely find me out and about exploring this beautiful city for many months to come!

Favorite Things to Talk About:

I always enjoy talking about my dogs (three back home in NY and one here with me in Austin!), my family, friends, upcoming trips and fun places to go to – I am always up for traveling to new places!

How did you choose this field?

I have always wanted to go into a field where I can help others on a daily basis. Then, an event occurred within my immediate family and I was introduced to the work of occupational therapists. I immediately knew that this field was where I was meant to be. I truly believe that each person, whether young or old, is unique and has a lot to offer to this world. I wish to help all of the individuals that I work with find out what means the most to them, what allows them to be as independent as possible, and of course, help them achieve all of their desired goals and more!

Ellen Stimson

Ellen Stimson

MS, OTR Occupational Therapist

Education:

  • Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology; Michigan State University; East Lansing, MI
  • Master of Science in Occupational Therapy; Western Michigan University; Grand Rapids, MI

Licenses/Certifications:

  • National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy
  • Texas Board of Occupational Therapy Examiners: License to Practice
  • Basic Life Support (CPR and AED) for Healthcare Provider




Continuing Education:

  • MNRI Dynamic and Postural Reflex Integration
  • Sensory Integration and Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Pediatric Functional Strength Training
  • Strength Training in Children with Neurological Disorders
  • Pediatric Motor Development

Experience:

  • Fieldwork experience in outpatient pediatrics
  • Fieldwork experience in skilled nursing
  • Private practice (pediatrics)

Outside of Work:

I was born and raised in a small town in southern Michigan. I moved to Houston, Texas in 2018 where I began working in private practice pediatrics. My fiancé and I are new to the Austin area and have enjoyed exploring all the city has to offer. Outside of work you can find me planning my wedding, attending Cedar Park High School football games, exploring new hiking trails, and visiting with friends and family.

How did you choose this field?

I was first introduced to occupational therapy when a knee injury led me to receive therapy services myself. From my first experience job shadowing the profession, I knew it was for me as it allows me to combine my strong scientific background, creative problem-solving skills, and love of pediatrics.