MARCIE RHEE (OWNER AND DIRECTOR)
Marcie Rhee, DPT, PCS is a Doctor of Physical Therapy. She graduated from the University of Southern California in 1999 with a clinical doctorate in Physical Therapy. Marcie is a board certified Clinical Specialist in Pediatric physical therapy, a distinction she earned in 2005. She started her Pediatrics career at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center evaluating and treating children on the acute rehabilitation service primarily with brain injuries and spinal cord injuries and broadened her Pediatric experience while at Miller Children’s Hospital in Long Beach on the inpatient acute service, acute rehabilitation service and outpatient clinics including the rehabilitation clinic and cystic fibrosis clinics. Marcie has been dedicated to early intervention and therapeutic intervention for young children since 2002 and is the founder and director of Kids in Motion Pediatric Therapy. She has evaluated thousands of infants and toddlers in the surrounding community to assist with eligibility determination and service coordination for the Early Start program and is passionate about helping every child meet his or her full potential using an evidence based, family centered approach that focuses on parent participation and an emphasis on play.
ALYSSA BRANDS (SCHOOL BASED CLINICAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE LEAD)
Alyssa Brands, DPT, is a Doctor of Physical Therapy. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sports Medicine from Pepperdine University and her clinical doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Saint Augustine for Health Sciences in San Marcos, California. Alyssa has focused her career in the realm of pediatrics and has practiced both in California and Oregon. Alyssa has worked with children from birth to age 21 with a wide array of diagnoses in the clinic, home and school-based settings, including a notable background working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. She has experience with advanced behavior support and intervention techniques through the Oregon Intervention System (OIS), fulfilling equipment needs in the school setting, and creating specialized programs focused on functional living skills. She emphasizes current evidence based practice in all of her treatment plans and is committed to providing the highest standard of care for all of her patients, stressing a family centered model.
JOLENE NELSON (PHYSICAL THERAPY ADMINISTRATIVE LEAD)
Jolene Nelson, PT, DPT earned her Doctorate of physical therapy from Boston University in 2011. She began her pediatric career at Franciscan Hospital for Children in Boston Massachusetts gaining experience working with children ages 0-21 in multiple settings including inpatient, rehab, outpatient and school. Jolene moved to the Los Angeles area in 2012 and began working with infants and toddlers in the Early Intervention setting. She is currently a board member of Kids Can Los Angeles, a non-profit dedicated to providing adaptive equipment for children with special needs. Jolene is passionate about helping children grow, develop, and explore the world around them.
THÉRÈSE WILLIS (PHYSICAL THERAPY CLINICAL LEAD)
Thérèse Willis, DPT is a Doctor of Physical Therapy. She earned her Bachelor’s degree in Sports Science with an emphasis in Pre-Physical Therapy from the University of Kansas in 1995 and her clinical doctorate in Physical Therapy from the University of Southern California in 2000. She has been working in the pediatric setting throughout her career. She has worked with infants, toddlers, children and adolescents with varying developmental, neuromuscular, orthopedic, genetic and cardiopulmonary diagnoses in a clinic setting and as a staff physical therapist with California Children Services. In addition, she has provided in-home physical therapy intervention to infants and toddlers through Regional Center’s Early Start Program. She joined the Kids in Motion Pediatric Therapy team with enthusiasm to work closely with children and their families to assist each child in achieving his or her optimal potential.
Elena Absalon PT, DPT earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Regis University in Denver, CO. She earned a Bachelor of Arts studying Spanish and Human Physiology in the Robert Clark Honors College at the University of Oregon. Elena has practiced in a variety of settings, including working as the physical therapist on a multidisciplinary team for an intensive early intervention program. She enjoys the creativity, challenge, and collaboration inherent to the field of pediatrics. Elena is dedicated to supporting children and families so that they can more fully participate in their communities.
Michelle Farley, PT, DPT, PCS is a Doctor of Physical Therapy and a Board Certified Pediatric Clinical Specialist. She completed her undergraduate degree with a major in Kinesiology and an emphasis in Physical Therapy, at Humboldt State University. She received her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Chapman University. Recently in 2016, Michelle received her Pediatric Clinical Specialist title, a distinction that has allowed her to further her knowledge of pediatrics. Her passion has been providing physical therapy services over the past few years in the Early Intervention setting to help each child achieve and grow. She joins the Kids In Motion team with positive energy and empathy to promote encouraging connections with each child.
Carole Kim, PTLA, DPT is a Doctor of Physical Therapy. She earned her B.S. in Psychobiology at University of California, Los Angeles and her D.P.T Clinical Doctorate from University of Southern California. She has pediatric clinical experience in both the inpatient and outpatient settings, working with children with various neurological, neuro-muscular, cardiopulmonary, and orthopedic diagnoses at Miller’s Children’s Hospital as well as Children’s Hospital Orange County (CHOC). Carole is very excited to be a part of the Kids in Motion team and is eager to help kids reach their highest potential in all environments, whether it be home, school, or the community.
Ashley Mejilla, DPT, is a Doctor of Physical Therapy. She earned her Bachelor of Kinesiology & Exercise Science and her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Central Michigan University. She found her passion working with kids during her pediatric clinical experience during graduate school and gained experience working with children of all ages with a wide variety of diagnoses at Mary Free Rehabilitation Hospital in Grand Rapids, Michigan. She has also worked with children through her experience as a soccer coach in Toronto, Canada. Ashley moved to California in 2017 and is excited to continue her career with Kids in Motion to fulfill her passion in helping every child meet their full potential while having fun at the same time!
Sara McMillan, PT, DPT is a Doctor of Physical Therapy. She earned her BS in Biomedical Science at Southeast Missouri State University in Cape Girardeau, MO and her clinical doctorate in physical therapy from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, MO. Sara first fell in love with helping children as a figure skating coach in St. Louis, MO, where she worked with children aged 2 and older. Sara has experience working in the outpatient clinic, early intervention, and school based settings. Sara is excited to be working with children and families in the Southern California area and is dedicated to helping children gain confidence and reach their goals.
Erin O’Mahony is a Doctor of Physical Therapy. She earned her BA in Exercise science with a minor in psychology from Willamette University in Salem OR and her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Northwestern Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago IL. Erin has worked with a variety of adults and children in acute care, outpatient orthopedic, and day rehabilitation settings and has developed a particular passion for working with children in both the outpatient and hippotherapy settings. Erin is so excited to join the Kids in Motion team, and can’t wait to help kids grow and reach their fullest potential in the school and clinic based settings.
Tiffany Yu, DPT, is a Doctor of Physical Therapy. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences at the University of California, Irvine and her clinical doctorate in physical therapy from Chapman University. She has pediatric clinical experience in the outpatient clinic and early intervention settings working with children from 18 months to adolescence. She has also worked with children through her experience as a swimming instructor in Orange County. She enjoys working with each child and their family in a fun, interactive environment to help each child achieve their goals and greatest potential.
JACKIE BRESNAHAN (OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY CLINICAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE LEAD)
Jackie Bresnahan, M.S., OTR/L earned her Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy 2012 from Tufts University. She has practiced occupational therapy in a variety of settings, including three years as a school-based therapist. Jackie has worked with children with a wide array of diagnoses, including significant experience working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders. She has a passion for continuing to expand her knowledge-base in the field of occupational therapy, and has completed courses in the Handwriting Without Tears Curriculum, visual rehabilitation, and the Get Permission approach to feeding. She is also an AOTA certified fieldwork educator. Jackie is committed to a team approach to help children succeed.
Lauren Davis, M.S., OTR/L earned from her Master’s of Science Degree in Occupational Therapy from California State University, Dominguez Hills, where she received the “Academic Excellence Award” upon her graduation. Lauren has worked in a variety of settings, included two years as a school-based therapist. Before beginning her career as an Occupational Therapist, Lauren spent over 3 years working with children as a substitute teacher, working in general education and special education classrooms, which provided great variety and exposure in global pediatric development. Lauren also taught swim lessons to children with disabilities, as well as typically developing children, which provided a unique experience and knowledge in working with all kids in creative settings. Lauren values a creative, holistic, and child-centered therapeutic approach, as well as the importance family and multidisciplinary involvement when supporting a child.
Taryn Erickson, MS, OTR/L, earned her Masters of Science degree from California State University, Dominguez Hills, where she received the “Academic Excellence Award” upon her graduation. Before beginning her career as a Pediatric Occupational Therapist, Taryn spent over 9 years working with children and their families in a variety of roles including as a behavioral therapist, preschool teacher, infant and toddler program coordinator, toddler ballet teacher, and handwriting/ letter readiness teacher. Her experience working in so many settings with both typically developing children and children with special needs, gives her a unique and global perspective when designing intervention plans and therapeutic activities. Taryn values strong therapeutic relationships with her clients and families and is passionate about building confidence and independence in every child she works with. She is thrilled to join the Kids in Motion team and looks forward to getting to ‘play’ with her clients every day!
Aileen Imai, MA, OTR/L earned her Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Southern California. She is also a certified Child Life Specialist, a certified Child Passenger Safety Technician, and a certified Rhythm Works Integrative Dance Instructor. Aileen has experience working with children of all ages in a variety of settings, including outpatient clinic, inpatient, and community-based settings. Aileen utilizes a holistic and evidence-based approach to guide her treatment sessions and is committed to providing patient-family centered care. Aileen is excited to join the Kids in Motion team and looks forward to working with children and families to help them reach their greatest potential to live life to the fullest!
Marlys Loyer, MS, OTR/L, earned her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Indianapolis in 1999. She has OT experience in a variety of settings, including pediatrics in clinics and at home. Marlys has received additional training in sensory processing, feeding, self-regulation, and executive functioning. She believes in continual learning and treating the whole child in order to make their individual therapy journey fun and successful. Marlys is passionate about helping children reach their goals and enjoys working closely with families.
Amanda McConnell, MS, OTR/L earned her Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from California State University, Dominguez Hills. She has experience in a variety of settings including school-based, outpatient Pediatric, acute rehabilitation, community-based, and stroke rehabilitation. Amanda has spent over 10 years volunteering with adults and children with a wide array of abilities, which has significantly fueled her passion for occupational therapy. She is committed to establishing strong relationships with families and helping children develop the skills they need to thrive and achieve independence in their daily life.
Elaine Ray, OT/L, graduated from University of Illinois, Chicago, and has always specialized in the area of Pediatrics. She has experience working with children of all ages, including many years in the public school system. As even very young children understand and appreciate the feel of success, Elaine believes in mindfully guiding children to recognize their own individual areas of strength and how to use those strengths to reach their goals. Working as part of a team is especially important to Elaine and she looks forward to collaborating with family members, teachers and caregivers to help every child succeed.
Audrey Trewin, MS, OTR/L, RYT, graduated with a Master’s in Occupational Therapy in 2002. Audrey has worked with children from infants to adolescents throughout her career, specializing in children who have sensory integration and praxis-related difficulties. She has extensive training in sensory integration and completed her Sensory Integration and Praxis Test (SIPT) certification in 2006. Audrey is trained in Therapeutic Listening, the SOS Approach to Feeding, and the Beckman Oral Motor Assessment/Intervention. She has taken continuing education courses on using yoga with children and became a certified yoga teacher in 2012. Audrey firmly believes in the importance of a child-centered, holistic and multidisciplinary approach to therapy as well as the value of parent education and involvement. Audrey finds great joy in helping children develop confidence and gain independence.
Robyn Tsik, MOT, OTR/L earned her Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy from The University of St. Augustine in 2013. She has experience in providing OT services in the public school system, and began her passion for working with children and their caregivers through clinical experience in Georgia, where she provided outpatient and hippotherapy (horse therapy) services to children with a wide range of diagnoses, such as Cerebral Palsy, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and ADHD. Robyn enjoys working with children of all ages and focuses on creating an interactive, motivating, and nurturing atmosphere to help each child reach their goals while gaining confidence in themselves. Her treatment sessions are guided by a holistic approach and evidence-based research. Robyn is thrilled to be a part of the Kids in Motion team and looks forward to working closely with the children and their families.
ANI ANDERSON (SPEECH THERAPY CLINICAL AND ADMINISTRATIVE LEAD)
Andrea Anderson, MS, CCC-SLP, earned her Master’s degree in Communication Disorders from the University of Redlands in 1995. Her pediatric speech therapy experience has been gained across varied settings including a pediatric internship at Rancho-Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center. Andrea has provided clinic based therapy for children to adults and home based therapy as a part of early intervention programs for many families in Santa Monica and the South Bay since 2001. She has been a presenter for the Infant Development Association, “Edu-play”, and Regional Center on the topic of Language and Play. She developed a social skills program for children with Autism and emphasizes targeting functional communication exchanges across settings. Andrea’s therapeutic approach focuses on each child’s unique profile of strengths and needs while incorporating evidence based practices. She finds joy working with children and supporting them in reaching their greatest communicative potential.
Briana Black, M.A., CF-SLP received both her bachelor’s degree and master’s degree from California State University, Fullerton. She supports speech and language development by making sessions functional, dynamic, and creative. She has experience in the preschool setting and has worked as a behaviorist implementing principles of Verbal Behavior for children with autism and developmental delays. During her graduate externships, she provided therapy for children with autism, childhood apraxia of speech, cleft palate, and articulation disorders. When she is not at Kids in Motion, she enjoys running, going to the beach, writing, cooking, and playing guitar.
Bianca Minniti, M.S., CCC-SLP, received her bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a minor in Psychology from the University of Iowa and her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Idaho State University. Bianca was inspired to become a pediatric speech pathologist after experiencing the positive ways speech therapy helped her younger brother. During her academic career she gained experience working with children in a variety of settings including a hospital, private practice, schools, and an Indian Reservation. Bianca gained research experience as an undergraduate assistant in a stuttering research lab and worked in the ISU Multisensory Language Processing Lab in graduate school. She is passionate about equipping children with the tools and techniques to achieve their goals and celebrating their success along the way! When she is not at Kids in Motion, she enjoys mountain biking, hiking, rollerblading, and exploring sunny Southern California.
Lisa McBride, M.S., CCC-SLP earned her Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Teachers College, Columbia University. She has been afforded the opportunities to serve clients ranging in age from 20 months to 70 years old with a variety of communication disorders including but not limited to motor speech and phonological disorders, expressive and receptive language delays/disorders, language-learning disabilities, pragmatic/social language deficits, and non-verbal individuals who use AAC devices. She has worked with clients in group and individual, push-in and pull-out sessions in preschool and elementary school settings as well as in private, clinic-based settings. She has gained additional continuing educational training in Intro to PROMPT and Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS). She also has experience working as a behavioral interventionist implementing Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy in both the home and classroom settings. Lisa is most passionate about fostering effective communication skills and developing and implementing developmentally-appropriate, client-specific programs.
Rebecca Pearle, M.A., CF-SLP, received both her Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from California State University, Long Beach. During her graduate clinical practicums and school internship, Rebecca gained extensive pediatric experience by completing assessments and providing individual and group therapy to children with a variety of diagnoses including Autism, Down Syndrome, expressive/receptive language delays and deficits in social skills. During her internship in a preschool-elementary school setting she received specialized training in high tech and low tech Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) and techniques to support maladaptive behaviors. Rebecca is committed to helping children find their voices and she has had considerable experience working with primarily non-verbal kids. She is a strong supporter of family-centered practice and creating individual learning environments for each child with whom she works. When Rebecca is not at Kids in Motion, she enjoys running and hiking with her husband and their beloved dog, Smokey.
Andrea Percy, MS, CCC-SLP, completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Kansas and earned her Master’s degree at the University of Washington in 2010. She has experience working in both the public school and private setting with preschool through middle-school aged children. During her career, Andrea has evaluated and treated children with a variety of needs including articulation/phonology, receptive and expressive language, Autism/social communication difficulties, stuttering, and communication challenges due to stroke. Andrea finds enjoyment creating individualized therapy techniques and materials specific to the needs of each child. She is a member of the American Speech Language Hearing Association (ASHA). When not at Kids in Motion, Andrea likes exploring southern California with her husband and two children, reading, and visiting family in Kansas and Wyoming.
Mei Shiotsu, M.A., CCC-SLP, earned both her Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from California State University, Long Beach. Throughout her academic career, she gained pediatric experience in private practice and school settings. Mei has completed assessments and implemented individual and group therapy for children with a variety of diagnoses and speech/language disorders including Autism, Down syndrome, phonology and articulation disorders, expressive/receptive language delays, fluency and social skills. She has also worked with children and adolescents affected by disability in family camp and church settings. Mei loves working with children and their families, and she enjoys creating a fun learning environment for each child.