Carolyn Andrews, MOT, OTR/L
Pediatric Occupational Therapist


Carolyn is the owner of Children's Choice For Therapy. She has a Bachelor's degree in Special Education from the University of South Florida . Carolyn taught learning disabled students here in the Hillsborough County School System for four years. She then went on to pursue a Master's degree in Occupational Therapy from Nova Southeastern University .

Carolyn specializes in the area of sensory integration and is Sensory Integration and Praxis Test Certified . Her knowledge in this area is extensive and she enjoys attending conferences in order to keep current on the subject. Carolyn has attended numerous conferences some of which include: “How Does Your Engine Run”, “Sensory Integration for those with Developmental, Learning Disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorders and Dyspraxia”, “Sensory Defensiveness and Related Social/Emotional and Neurological Problems by the Wilbargers:, "Practical Sense in Sensory Integration”, "Advanced Practical Sense in Sensory Integration”, "Sensory Integration Intervention in Autism”, “Handwriting Without Tears”, "Hints for Horrible Handwriting”, “From Eyesight to Insight: Visual/Vestibular Assessment & Treatment”, “Clinical Assessment and Practical Interventions for Praxis”. Because of her strong background in sensory integration, Carolyn especially enjoys working with children on the autistic spectrum.

Carolyn is also certified in Therapeutic Listening . She has attended “Listening With The Whole Body” which provides her access to Modulation and Somonas CD's as well as “Advanced Listening With The Whole Body” which are the Fine Tuning CD's. Carolyn is also a certified Interactive Metronome provider.

Carolyn evaluates and treats children in the office on a daily basis. Carolyn is a certified RDI Consultant. RDI (Relationship Development Intervention) is a developmental program that focuses on the remediation of autism.



Andrea Kelley Walter, MS, CCC-SLP
Pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist


Andrea received her Bachelor's degree in Communication Sciences & Disorders from the University of Florida. She received her Master's degree from the University of South Florida in Speech Language Pathology. Her professional interests include Autistic Spectrum Disorders, Language Delay, Cerebral Palsy and Down Syndrome.

Prior to joining Children's Choice for Therapy, Andrea worked in the school setting for years and did one of her externships at Morton Plant Mease Hospital. She has experience with both adult and pediatric clients with various diagnoses. Andrea is a certified Interactive Metronome provider.




Leslie C. Hiltz, MHS, OTR/L
Pediatric Occupational Therapist


Leslie is an Occupational Therapist who graduated from the University of Florida in 1998. Since that time, she has enjoyed working with children with sensory integrative disorders, such as Autism. Leslie enjoys physical challenges and anything outdoors.

Leslie has had extensive training in neurological injuries such as brain and spinal cord injury, in addition to her training in pediatrics. "Working with these populations has allowed me the opportunity to see how learning impacts and develops the brain. I feel grateful for the opportunity to share in my patients' recoveries."

Leslie has shown a specific interest on how vision affects learning and motor skills. She tries to incorporate this into all aspects of patient care, whenever appropriate. Leslie is a certified Interactive Metronome provider.




Carolyn Bentley, OTR/L
Pediatric Occupational Therapist


Carolyn is an occupational therapist who graduated from Eastern Kentucky University. Her professional interests include working with children who have sensory integration dysfunction especially those on the autistic spectrum. She has provided services to both adult and pediatric clients with various diagnoses. Carolyn joined the Children's Choice for Therapy team in January 2009.

Personally, Carolyn is a native Floridian who is interested in organic gardening, however, she expressed that between Florida's extreme heat and bugs it was indeed a challenge!!



Kara Mihelich , M.S., OTR/L
Pediatric Occupational Therapist


Kara is originally from the Metro Detroit area. She moved to Kalamazoo, MI to earn her B.S. and M.S. in occupational therapy from Western Michigan University. There she also studied holistic health and yoga. Moving to the Tampa Bay area had always been a thought, so she decided to leave the blistery winters and give tropical weather a try. She enjoys exploring Tampa, cooking, and talking with her family in MI via web cam.

Kara's clinical experiences have ranged from outpatient hand therapy to providing services for early intervention in the school system. She enjoys learning about new and exciting research regarding pediatric occupational therapy. She has always found joy and laughter when spending time with children. She is inspired by the creativity and happiness they bring to any situation. "I am honored to be a part of helping these children develop the skills they need to live a fulfilling and happy life."



Rachel Fisher Sauve, M.A., CCC-SLP
Pediatric Speech-Language Therapist


Rachel received her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Florida. She continued her education as a Gator, earning her Masters in Speech-Language Pathology from UF as well. Before coming on board at Children’s Choice, Rachel completed her clinical externship at Shands Hospital, specifically at the Speech and Hearing Clinic and at Magnolia Parke, an outpatient rehabilitation center for children. Her other clinical experiences have ranged from private practice to a residential community for developmentally disabled adults. Rachel has experience working with children with apraxia, hearing impairment/cochlear implants, Autism Spectrum Disorders, cleft lip/palate, and language delay.

In June of 2009, Rachel moved to the Tampa Bay area. She spends her time hanging out with her family and friends, keeping up with Gator football, reading, and enjoying as much of the beautiful Florida sunshine as possible!




Christine Hegarty, MS, OTR/L Pediatric Occupational Therapist
Pediatric Occupational Therapist


Christine has been practicing as a pediatric occupational therapist in the Tampa area since 2006. She received her Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy from Boston University in 2006 and has a Bachelors Degree in Psychology from Florida State University.

Christine specializes in Autism, sensory processing disorders, feeding aversion, and handwriting. She is a certified Therapeutic Listening provider and has attended “Therapeutic Listening; Listening with the Whole Body.” She is currently working towards a Level I Certification in Handwriting without Tears and has attended the 2-day Handwriting without Tears workshop (Pre-K and K-5) as well as the Print Tool Workshop (handwriting assessment tool).

Christine has spent most of her career in a pediatric hospital outpatient setting. Therefore, she has experience with a variety of diagnoses such as cerebral palsy, brachial plexus injury, stroke, hemiplegia, traumatic brain injury, and developmental delay. She holds specialty certifications in those areas as well including the Therasuit Method Intensive Therapy, Kinesiotaping, pediatric neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES), pelvic floor rehabilitation, pediatric serial casting and pediatric splinting.

Christine enjoys reading, visiting her family in Orlando, practicing yoga, cooking, and dancing/performing salsa with a local performance team.



Kristi Bell, B.S.
Pediatric Speech Language Pathology Assistant


Kristi received her bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma where she was an active member in the National Student Speech/Language Hearing Association. Kristi gained clinical experience at the university and has attended seminars on topics such as Auditory Verbal Therapy. She also has a degree in American Sign Language from Oklahoma State University.

Prior to joining Children's Choice for Therapy, Kristi taught high school American Sign Language in Plano, Texas. She now enjoys coaching gymnastics and working for Children's Choice for Therapy.

 


Maria Sarantis, MS, CCC-SLP
Pediatric Speech/Language Pathologist


Maria received her Bachelor’s Degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of South Florida, in 1997. She received her Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Mississippi University for Women in the Spring of 1999. Her professional interests include language delay, fluency, articulation disorders, Down Syndrome and dementia.

Prior to joining Children's Choice for Therapy Maria has worked in the school setting as a K-12 therapist and Pre-K diagnostician, in a geriatric setting at a Skilled Nursing Facility, privately in the home and preschool setting and provided PRN services for one of All Children's Hospitals outpatient facilities.


Sabrina Ruppenthal, M.S., CCC-SLP
Pediatric Speech/Language Pathologist


Sabrina received her Master’s degree in speech/language from the University of Central Florida in 2002. Her professional interests include Autism Spectrum Disorder, Language and Literacy, Narrative Intervention, and Augmentative and Alternative Communication. Prior to joining Children’s Choice for Therapy, Sabrina worked in a variety of settings including the school system, clinic, and home health for nine years providing research based interventions.


Britny Went, M.S., OTR/L
Pediatric Occupational Therapist


Britny was born and raised in Tampa, Fl. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Community Health and her Masters of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, FL. Britny has had the opportunity to gain experience in various settings such as skilled nursing facilities, school systems, and outpatient pediatric clinics in the Fort Myers and Tampa Bay areas. She enjoys working with children of all ages with developmental delay, Autism Spectrum disorders, and sensory integration dysfunction.


Rebecca Pittman, B.A., SLP-A
Pediatric Speech/Language Pathology Assistant


Rebecca graduated with honors from the University of South Florida with a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. While at USF, she was an active member of the National Student Speech, Language, and Hearing association, and has experience treating a variety of disorders with both adult and pediatric clients. Her professional interests include Augmentative and Alternative Communication, aphasia, hearing loss, and language delay. Rebecca joined the team at Children’s Choice for Therapy in 2012 and enjoys researching new evidence-based techniques to offer her clients during treatment. She is a native Floridian and enjoys reading, kayaking, cooking, and spending time with her family.


Lisa Patel, MOT, OTR/L
Pediatric Occupational Therapist


Lisa received her Bachelor's degree in Health Science with a minor in Family, Youth, and Community Sciences from the University of Florida. She continued as a “Gator” to receive her Master of Occupational Therapy from UF as well. Lisa has clinical experience in acute care, outpatient hand therapy, and outpatient pediatric settings. She enjoys working with children with developmental delays, feeding concerns and sensory processing difficulties.

Lisa was born and raised in Florida but is new to the Tampa area. She enjoys cooking, dancing, decorating cakes, and traveling.


Erika Elliott, M.S., CFY
Pediatric Speech/Language Pathologist


Erika received her Bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Florida and went on to pursue her Master’s Degree at the University of South Florida. Through her clinical externships, she received training with both pediatric and adult clients. Her professional interests include Language Learning Disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorder, and Aphasia.

In her spare time, Erika enjoys outdoor activities, yoga, and cooking!


Aimee Krivonyak, M.S., CCC-SLP
Pediatric Speech/Language Pathologist


Aimee Krivonyak received her Master's degree from Valdosta State University and her Bachelor's degree from Florida State University. She is a board member-at-large of JASPA, a member of the FLASHA Ethics Board, and is clinically certified through ASHA as a pediatric speech language pathologist. Her professional interests include: Non-Verbal Learning Disorder, Traumatic Brain Injury, and Autism. She has worked in a variety of settings including hospitals, public schools, and home health care.


Children's Choice For Therapy
Veterans Professional Center
6924 W Linebaugh Ave • Tampa, FL 33625
(813) 962-6766