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


 




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.




In Loving Memory of Carolyn Bentley-Pediatric Occupational Therapist:
October 9, 1960-September 5, 2015


Carolyn graduated from Eastern Kentucky University. Her professional interests included working with children with sensory processing disorder especially those on the autistic spectrum. Carolyn was a part of the Children’s Choice for Therapy team from January of 2009 until her passing in September 2015. She will forever be in our hearts and always a member of our therapy team!!!!



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!



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.


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.


Jessie Roffer, M.S., CCC-SLP
Pediatric Speech/Language Pathologist


Jessie received a Bachelor's degree in Communicative Disorders from the University of Central Florida, and a Master's Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Nova Southeastern University. While at Nova, she served as a co-president of the National Student Speech-Language Hearing Association. Prior to joining Children's Choice for Therapy, Jessie worked in a variety of clinical settings. Her professional interests include early intervention, autism, resonance, language delays, Augmentative and Alternative Communication, and feeding. Jessie is certified in PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) and Beckman Oral Motor Assessment and Therapy.

Jessie resides in South Tampa with her husband, Clay. She enjoys photography, cooking, and cheering on the Tampa Bay Lightning.


Nancy Barker, MS, CCC-SLP
Pediatric Speech/Language Pathologist


Nancy is a native Floridian and proud of it! She received her Bachelor’s degree in Health Science from the University of Florida, and she continued her education at the University of South Florida earning her Master’s of Science in Speech Language Pathology and a graduate certificate of Hearing Specialist: Early Intervention. Prior to joining Children’s Choice, she worked for an elementary school in Hillsborough County. Her professional interests include Early Intervention in language, Listening and Spoken Language Therapy for children with hearing loss, American Sign Language, and Autism Spectrum Disorders.


Jackie DePeralta, MOT, OTR/L
Pediatric Occupational Therapist


Jackie is originally from the Chicagoland area. She graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Illinois at Chicago and later moved to Fort Lauderdale, FL where she graduated with her Master's degree in Occupational Therapy from Nova Southeastern University.

Jackie has experience in a variety of different settings including school systems, outpatient pediatric clinics, outpatient hand clinics, as well as inpatient rehabilitation in the hospital setting. Working with children has always been her passion and she enjoys adapting her therapeutic approach to meet the needs of the children and families she serves.

In her free time, Jackie loves playing volleyball, working out, spending time in the sunshine, and catching up with her friends & family in Chicago.


Andrea Chidester, M.S., OTR/L
Pediatric Occupational Therapist


Andrea was born and raised in Sarasota, FL. She received her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Southern Mississippi and her Masters of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers. Andrea has had the opportunity to gain experience in inpatient rehab at Tampa General Hospital where she worked with patients of all levels of involvement. She also has pediatric experience in an outpatient setting as well as the school system. She specifically enjoys working within the scope of sensory integration.

In her free time, Andrea enjoys watching football, working out, and catching rays at the beach. She plans on expanding her knowledge of Autism in particular, and she hopes to eventually contribute to research on this neurodevelopmental disorder.


Jamie Cohn, M.S., OTR/L
Pediatric Occupational Therapist


Jamie graduated Cum Laude from Ohio State University earning a Bachelor of Science in Human Ecology with a business minor. She received a Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Seton Hall University and is licensed to practice in the states of Florida and Ohio. Jamie uses her creative ideas to make therapy fun in order to assist her clients in achieving their goals. Her professional interests include sensory integration, aquatic therapy, and assistive technology. Jamie helped develop an aquatic occupational therapy program in Ohio. She enjoys working with children of all ages and their families!

Jamie enjoys traveling, sewing projects, and spending time with her fiancé, family, and friends.


Katie Jessen, COTA/L
Pediatric Occupational Therapist Assistant


Katie attended Keiser University where she earned her Associates of Science degree to become an occupational therapy assistant. Katie is also a licensed massage therapist and has been practicing for over 8 years. She has experience working with both geriatric and pediatric populations however her primary interest is children particularly those with sensory processing disorders. “I love the creativity I am able to utilize while working with kids! It is extremely rewarding to see the potential they have and the progress they can make!” Katie is excited to be part of the Children’s Choice for Therapy team!!!


Alexis Lopez, MOT, OTR/L
Pediatric Occupational Therapist


Alexis graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Physical Education with a specialization in Exercise Science from the University of South Florida. Immediately following graduation, Alexis moved back to Fort Lauderdale, where she was born and raised, to pursue her Master's degree in Occupational Therapy from Nova Southeastern University.

Alexis is certified by the American Hippotherapy Association which allows her to practice occupational therapy with the use of equine (horse) movement and sensory integration techniques. Alexis helped establish a Hippotherapy program in Odessa, FL where she sees clients weekly. Alexis has experience with both pediatric and adult clients but says she has always enjoyed working with pediatrics, focusing and expanding on their abilities, as well as, encouraging further growth and independence.

In her free time, you can find Alexis horsing around outside at the farm with her friends and horses, trial riding or hiking, playing/watching sports, camping, or participating in water activities.


Shannon Whittemore, MS, CCC-SLP
Pediatric Speech/Language Pathologist


Shannon received a Bachelor’s degree in education from Florida Southern College. She is certified to work with elementary students, early-childhood, and children with specific learning disabilities. After teaching for 4 years, she was able to pursue her passion for speech and language disorders by pursuing a Master’s degree from the University of South Florida in 2001. Prior to joining Children’s Choice for Therapy, Shannon worked in the public school system in Polk County where she spent the past 12 years as a preschool diagnostician. Although Shannon has also provided cognitive therapy to adults through the years, pediatrics is her true passion!! Her professional interests include early intervention, augmentative and alternative communication, apraxia, phonology disorders, and language. She loves working with families and seeing the joy on children’s faces when they are able to communicate effectively!

Outside of work, Shannon enjoys spending time with family and friends, yoga, playing golf, traveling, reading, and knitting.


Katherine Long, MS, CCC-SLP
Pediatric Speech/Language Pathologist


Katie received a Bachelor's degree in Communicative Disorders as well as a Master's Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Central Florida. While at UCF, Katie completed her minor in American Sign Language and was an active member of the National Student Speech-Language and Hearing Association. Prior to joining Children's Choice for Therapy, Katie worked in a variety of clinical settings. Her professional interests include early intervention, TBI, apraxia, articulation, language delays, and Augmentative and Alternative Communication.

Katie resides in Tampa with her fiancé, DJ and her Golden Retriever named Tucker. She enjoys baking, Shopping, and cheering on the Tampa Bay Lightning! Go Bolts!



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