big sky pediatric therapy

the sky is just the beginning!





big sky playroom and outside

About Us

Our facility has been designed to promote a warm, comforting and family friendly atmosphere. We create an environment that encourages parents to be a part of their child's treatment and build a program that will help parents create therapeutic opportunities for their child outside of the therapy session. Because of the busy lives of families today, we have extended hours during the week.
Big Sky is located in West Lake Hills just off Bee Caves Road at the intersection of Cuernavaca Drive in the Crystal Mountain business complex. We are easily accessible from Mopac, 71 and Capital of Texas Highway (360). Once you have turned off of Bee Caves Rd, make an immediate right down the hill away from the Laura Bush library. Our spacious clinic is located in building 3 to your left.

 

Our Team

Photograph of Caren Arnold

Caren Arnold, OTD, OTR

Occupational Therapist, Owner

Caren Arnold received her Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Tennessee in Exercise Science and her Clinical Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from Belmont University, Nashville. Caren has worked in private practice as well as inpatient and outpatient pediatric hospitals. She specializes in sensory integration, autism spectrum disorders, and dysgraphia. Specialty certifications include: The ALERT program, Interactive Metronome, Debra Beckman's Oral Motor Skills and Mary Benbow's foundational hand skills. Caren has also developed a cursive writing protocol, a curriculum for intensive print and cursive handwriting camps, and is skilled in conducting wheelchair and equipment evaluations.


Occupational Therapists


Photograph of Callah Kimble

Callah Kimble, M.S., OTR

Occupational Therapist

Callah received her Bachelor of Arts in Liberal Studies with a concentration in Human Development from California State University, Long Beach and her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from New York University. She completed her clinical rotations in hospital, outpatient, school and community settings throughout New York and New Jersey, working with clients with various physical, cognitive and socio-emotional disabilities. Callah has experience working with children in both educational and outpatient settings. Prior to graduate school, Callah spent over a year volunteering in California with the Pediatric Therapy Network, where she gained experience with sensory integration techniques for children in the Early Intervention Program. As an occupational therapy student, she spent time at the Imagine Academy for Autism in Brooklyn, NY, where she gained experience providing therapy to improve student’s ability to participate optimally in their school, home, and community environments. Callah is passionate about providing holistic, quality care that is individually catered to meet the goals of her clients and their families. Callah is new to Austin and is proud to be a member of the Big Sky Pediatric Therapy team, she looks forward to getting to know the children, their families, and all that Austin has to offer!

Photograph of Carolyn King

Carolyn King, M.S., OTR

Occupational Therapist, Clinical Manager

Carolyn King received both her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology and her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Wisconsin- La Crosse. She completed her clinical at Big Sky Pediatric Therapy under the supervision of Caren Arnold and joined the Big Sky team upon her completion of school. Carolyn has experience working with children with developmental delays, dysgraphia, autism spectrum disorders, sensory processing dysfunctions, attention deficit disorders, motor coordination disorders, neurological injuries/impairments and a variety of other diagnoses. She has been trained and certified in the Astronaut Training: A Sound Activated Vestibular-Visual protocol; a therapeutic approach for increasing visual skills, motor coordination and body awareness. When she is not working she enjoys spending her time exploring Austin and all it has to offer!

Photograph of Jody Ritter

Jody Ritter, MOT, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

Jody Ritter received a bachelor's degree in fine art from the University of North Texas in 1989, and a master's degree in occupational therapy from Texas Woman's University, Houston in 1994. She began her career in adult physical rehabilitation and developed an interest in neurological functioning while working with individuals with brain injury. Neurology continued to be an area of interest as she transitioned to working with children in 1997. After teaching occupational therapy at the graduate level for several years, Jody returned to pediatric clinical work in the school setting. She is passionate about developing therapeutic relationships with her clients and their families. When she is not engaged in the therapeutic process, you can find Jody enjoying her family, working on mosaics, or exploring her new home-city of Austin.

Photograph of Joni Scaparra

Joan "Joni" Scaparra, MOT, OTR

Occupational Therapist

Joni graduated from Texas A&M with a Bachelor of Science in Zoology, with a Minor in Genetics and a Master of Biotechnology, with a certificate in business. She then attended Alabama State University where she received her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy. She has worked as an applied behavioral analysis therapist for children with autism and related disorders. Throughout her time at Texas A&M she was a part of Project Sunshine, an organization that works with children with disabilities and long term illnesses. When Joni is not working she enjoys being out doors, swimming, and hanging out with friends and family.

Photograph of Kim Strickland

Kim Strickland, MS, OTR, ATP

Occupational Therapist

Kim Strickland, MS, OTR, ATP has been practicing occupational therapy for 22 years. She received her BA in psychology from the University of Texas at Austin and her MS in occupational therapy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. She has an Assistive Technology Professional Certification (ATP) issued by the Rehabilitation and Engineering Society of North America. She has worked in a variety of hospital settings including inpatient, outpatient, rehabilitation, mental health and a hospital for medically fragile children. She also has extensive experience as a school based therapist including in Eanes ISD. She enjoys working with children with a variety of abilities and challenges including autism, Downs syndrome and other genetic differences, cerebral palsy and other neurological differences, sensory processing challenges, fine motor delays, traumatic brain injury and learning differences. She has a particular passion for using low tech and high tech strategies to assist those children who struggle with the writing process or who are emerging writers. In her non-professional life she finds fulfillment in the joys and perils of parenting two teenage sons, traveling with her husband, reading, attending the theater and volunteering as a court appointed special advocate (CASA) for children who have been abused or neglected. She also has a fondness for stupid puns and Broadway showtunes.

Photograph of Laurie Hebert

Laurie Hebert, BS, OTR

Occupational Therapist

Laurie graduated from Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center in 2001 with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy. She has worked with both adults and children in home health, school and outpatient pediatric clinic settings. The majority of her experience has involved working in sensory-based clinics, treating children with sensory processing difficulties, autism, developmental delays, ADHD, dysgraphia and dyslexia. Laurie has a special interest in mindfulness and yoga for children and has completed the Level 1 Aerial Yoga and Mindfulness for Kids certification through Yogapeutics. In her spare time she enjoys writing, hiking and soaking up the Austin music scene.

Photograph of Meril Dagher

Meril Dagher, M.S OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

Meril Dagher received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Social Behavior and Criminology Law and Society from the University of California Irvine, and her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Columbia University. Prior to beginning graduate school Meril worked as a Developmental Interventionist at an outpatient clinic in California for two years. During that time she worked with children diagnosed with autism and developmental delays and was trained in DIR/Floortime in which she held individual sessions and social skills groups. While she was a student, she completed her clinical rotations in hospital, outpatient, and skilled nursing facilities throughout New York City. For her pediatric clinical rotation, she worked in an outpatient pediatric clinic at the Rose F. Kennedy Center in Bronx, New York. She was introduced to a variety of techniques including Sensory Integration, Neurodevelopmental Handling (NDT), and behavioral intervention. Meril is passionate about providing quality care that is individually tailored to fit each child's needs. She encourages family involvement throughout the therapy process to provide holistic care to her clients and help them meet their goals. Meril is new to Austin and proud to be a member of the Big Sky team and looks forward to working closely with her clients and their families!

Photograph of Molly Stuart

Molly Stuart, OTR

Occupational Therapist

Molly received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Lamar University and a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Texas Medical Branch. Molly was an Adjunct Professor at the University of Texas Allied Health Science Center in San Antonio. She has also been a speaker for Texas and National OT conferences. Molly is an ongoing editor for CEUWorld.com and a published author of an education course titled: "The Vision System and It's Impact on Learning." She has worked in both adult and pediatric settings including: inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation, long term care facilities, acute hospital settings, school system and private pediatric clinics. Her pediatric experience includes working with children with sensory processing dysfunctions, developmental delays, autism, congenital defects, traumatic brain injury, and various other diagnoses with special needs. She is NDT certified and has special training and interest in handwriting skills, traumatic brain injury and the vision system. She especially loves helping families and children bridge the gap between school and home. Molly is a native Texan and lives in NW Austin with her husband, and they have two daughters in college.

Photograph of Beth Rubin

Beth Rubin, MOT, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

Beth Rubin received her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Lawrence University and her Master of Occupational Therapy from University of Washington. She has worked in pediatric outpatient and educational settings in Seattle and Austin. She has experience working with children with a variety of diagnoses including autism spectrum disorders, sensory processing disorders, Down syndrome, Waardenburg syndrome, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, attention deficit disorders, and developmental delay. Prior to graduate school, she worked one-on-one with children with autism spectrum disorders as an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapy assistant, home exercise program therapy assistant, and as a tutor and respite care provider. During graduate school, Beth helped design and implement a motor coordination social group at a pediatric outpatient clinic with three other classmates. They presented their work at the American Occupational Therapy Association annual conference and published an article in OT Practice magazine. Beth loves working with children and helping them develop necessary skills and strategies in fun and playful ways. She feels it is important to create a partnership with the child’s family and caregivers so that they can work together to better help the child reach their fullest potential. When she is not working, Beth enjoys playing card games and board games with friends, attending live musical theater, snowboarding (she's very much a beginner!), baking, reading, exploring Austin, and spending time with her husband, dog, and cat.


Speech Therapists


Photograph of Brittney Hammer

Brittney Hammer, M.S., CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist

Brittney Hammer graduated from Texas Tech University with a Bachelor of Science in Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences. She went on to attend Texas State University to receive a Master of Science in Communication Disorders. Brittney has 5 years of experience working as a Speech-Language Pathologist. She has evaluated and provided treatment to a wide range of diagnoses and severities, some of which include: Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down syndrome, receptive and expressive delay, developmental delay, cochlear implant, feeding aversion and food chaining. Brittney is passionate about a family centered and interdisciplinary therapy approach. Brittney has completed the Beckman Oral-Motor Training. In her spare time, Brittney enjoys being with her friends and family and enjoying all the outdoor activities Austin has to offer.

Photograph of Carly Newhouse

Carly NewHouse, M.S., CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist

Carly moved to Austin from New York in April 2013. She received her Bachelors of Science in Speech and Hearing Science from Arizona State University, and her Masters of Science in Communication Disorders from Mercy College. She has received her Certificate of Clinical Competence from ASHA, and is licensed to practice speech-language pathology in New York and Texas. Carly has worked in elementary school settings, pre-schools, and home care. Her expertise and interests include: Autism Spectrum Disorders (including Asperger's Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder), childhood apraxia of speech, executive functioning deficits, specific language impairments, expressive and receptive language delays, late talkers, early intervention, auditory processing disorders, and articulation/phonological disorders. Carly is trained in PROMPT (PROMPTs for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets), which is a holistic, dynamic, multi-sensory therapy approach for individuals with speech production disorders.

Photograph of Jill Harriman

Jill Harriman, M.S., CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist, Team Leader

Jill moved to Austin from Boston in September 2013. She received her Bachelors of Science Degree in Allied Health from Merrimack College and her Masters of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of New Hampshire. Jill has experience working with children of all abilities within the school and private practice settings including: children with articulation/phonological disorders, childhood apraxia of speech, expressive/receptive language disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorders, stuttering, auditory processing disorder, and intellectual disabilities. She has a passion for phonological awareness and is trained in LiPS (Lindamood Phoneme Segmentation) and Lively Letters. She is also trained in Visualizing and Verbalization to aid comprehension. Jill enjoys working with children with complex communication needs and is trained in a variety of augmentative communication programs.

Photograph of Kacey Heidemann

Kacey Heidemann, M.S., CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist

Kacey Heidemann graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Arts in Communications and a minor in Linguistics. She went on to attend Texas Woman's University where she received her Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders. After receiving her masters degree, Kacey moved to Austin and just recently completed her clinical fellowship with a school district in the surrounding Austin area. She holds the ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence and is licensed as a speech-language pathologist in the state of Texas. In both the public school and private practice settings, Kacey has evaluated and treated pediatric clients from ages 2 to 18 with a variety of diagnoses and severity levels. Some of the areas Kacey has experience in include: articulation and phonological disorders, Childhood Apraxia of Speech, voice disorders, receptive and expressive language disorders, pragmatic language disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorder, fluency disorders, Down Syndrome, auditory processing disorders, and intellectual disabilities. In her free time, she enjoys running and being outdoors, reading, and spending time with family and friends.

Photograph of Maggie Bergin

Maggie Bergin, M.A., CF-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist

Maggie graduated from the University of Connecticut with a Bachelor of Arts in Speech, Language, and Hearing Sciences in 2014. She remained at UCONN to earn her Master of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology. Maggie’s clinical rotations during graduate school included an outpatient pediatric clinic and a magnet school with a focus on multiculturalism and hearing impairment. She had the opportunity to work with children with varying speech and/or language impairments, as well as specialty populations such as children who use AAC devices and children with autism, cochlear implants, or intellectual disability. During her free time, Maggie enjoys running, cooking and baking, and exploring Austin with her friends.

Photograph of Kay Gibbs

Maggie "Kay" Gibbs, M.S., CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist

Kay attended Abilene Christian University where she received both her Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She holds the ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence and is licensed as a speech-language pathologist in the state of Texas. Within both the public school and outpatient rehabilitation settings, she has provided evaluation and treatment to pediatric clients with articulation/phonological disorders, expressive/receptive language disorders, fluency disorders, and pragmatic language disorders secondary to autism, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, genetic disorders, and developmental delay. She has a passion for servicing clients with severe and profound communication disorders and has extensive experience with augmentative and alternative communication supports. She is trained in LAMP (Language Acquisition Through Motor Planning), a therapeutic approach to teaching language to non-verbal clients using speech-generating communication devices.

Photograph of Melissa Riddel

Melissa Riddel, M.S., CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist

Melissa Riddel graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders/Speech-Language Pathology. She then attended the University of North Texas where she earned her Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology, with a minor in Audiology. She completed her clinical rotations in home health and a pediatric clinic. In both settings, Melissa had the opportunity to work with a variety of pediatric clients, including those with Down syndrome, speech and language delay, childhood apraxia of speech, Autism Spectrum Disorders, expressive and receptive language disorders, intellectual disability, fluency disorders, articulation and phonological disorders, and cerebral palsy. Her experience also includes children with feeding disorders and those who use alternative and augmentative communication devices. During free time, she enjoys rock climbing and running at the Greenbelt, cooking, hanging out and playing board games with her family and friends.

Photograph of Michelle Curtis

Michelle Curtis, M.S., CCC-SLP

Speech Language Pathologist, Mentor Therapist, Team Leader

Michelle moved to Austin from Washington DC in May 2011. She received her Bachelors of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders and Chemistry and Masters of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders from James Madison University. She has received her Certificate of Clinical Competence from ASHA, and is licensed to practice speech-language pathology in Texas. Michelle has worked in the private practice setting providing passionate, quality care to patients ranging from infancy to adolescence. Her expertise and interests are diverse and include: Autism Spectrum Disorders (including Asperger's Syndrome and Pervasive Developmental Disorder), childhood apraxia of speech, executive functioning deficits, brain tumors, strokes, ADHD/ADD, specific language impairments, expressive and receptive language delays, late talkers, early intervention, auditory processing disorders, stuttering/fluency, and articulation/phonological disorders. Michelle is trained in PROMPT (PROMPTs for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets), which is a holistic, dynamic, multi-sensory therapy approach for individuals with speech production disorders.


Physical Therapists


Photograph of Agata Scott

Agata Scott, PT, DPT, CPT

Physical Therapist

Agata Scott PT, DPT completed her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Texas in Austin, where she became involved in the UT Autism Project and first discovered her passion for helping kids with disabilities. Dr. Scott completed her Doctor of physical therapy degree at Angelo State University where she performed and defended her research on the benefits of yoga in the pediatric population. Agata is also a certified personal trainer and has experience treating children of all ages with torticollis, equinus varus (toe walking), autism, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, developmental delays and orthopedic injuries. She is currently working on her MCMT mastery certification of manual therapy having already completed the lumbar, shoulder, hand, wrist, hip, knee and foot regions. During her free time, she and her husband run a charitable sock company, travel, run, and enjoy skiing together.

Photograph of Allyson Marshall

Allyson Marshall, M.S., MPT

Physical Therapist

Allyson graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a BS in kinesiology and from Texas Women's University in Houston with a MS in physical therapy. At TWU, she completed her thesis on hip and spine ROM in professional ballet dancers and the correlation to spondylolisthesis. Her work experience began in Houston in an early childhood intervention program followed by several different outpatient orthopedic settings in Houston and Austin. Orthopedic pediatrics is an area of special interest to her. Allyson is an avid runner and lives in West Lake Hills with her husband, Mike, and their 4 children.

Photograph of Brandy Parker

Brandy Parker, PT, DPT, CSCS

Physical Therapist

Brandy Parker graduated from Texas A&M University with her BS in Kinesiology (Applied Exercise Physiology) and from Angelo State University with her Doctor of Physical Therapy. At ASU she completed her capstone research on cardiovascular changes from continuous versus interval training across all ages. Brandy has worked in the outpatient setting treating both adults and children. She has experience treating children with developmental delay, down syndrome, traumatic brain injury, torticollis, cerebral palsy, various genetic syndromes, and orthopedic/sports injuries. She is also a certified strength and conditioning specialist with the National Strength and Conditioning Association. During her free time, Brandy likes to explore the city (especially the restaurants), workout, and spend time with her husband and puppy.

Photograph of Hayley Blackman

Hayley Blackman, PT, DPT

Physical Therapist

Hayley Blackman graduated from the University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology. Prior to attending UT Austin, Hayley danced for a professional ballet company in Philadephia. And while living in Austin for undergrad, she continued sharing her passion for dance by teaching ballet classes at a local dance studio for children ranging from 5 to 18 years old. She then attended Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center where she earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy. Hayley completed her clinical rotations during graduate school in a variety of settings throughout Texas including hospital, skilled nursing facility, and outpatient orthopedics. She completed her outpatient pediatric rotation here at Big Sky Pediatric Therapy and is excited to now be joining the Big Sky team. She has attended courses over reflex integration, utilization and fitting of adaptive therapeutic tricycles through AMBUCS, and utilization of the Test of Infant Motor Performance assessment. During her free time she enjoys exploring all that Austin has to offer with her family and friends.

Photograph of Kara Schulte

Kara Schulte, PT, DPT

Physical Therapist

Kara Schulte graduated from the University of Toledo with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science. She then completed her graduate work at the Ohio State University and earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy. At Ohio State, Kara completed additional coursework in early intervention to gain an in-depth understanding of child development and received an interdisciplinary specialization in pediatrics. Kara began her physical therapy career as a traveling physical therapist and settled in Dallas, where she worked at an outpatient pediatric clinic. She has experience treating children of all ages with orthopedic injuries, torticollis, neurological disorders, genetic syndromes, traumatic brain injuries, developmental delays, equinus varus (toe walking), coordination disorders and leading group based therapy. Kara is also a certified personal trainer and is passionate about bringing awareness to childhood obesity. New to Austin and a newlywed, Kara and her husband are excited to explore Austin and take advantage of the great outdoors.

Photograph of Michele Brown

Michele Brown, M.S., PT

Physical Therapist

Michele Brown received her BA in English from the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, and her Master's of Physical Therapy from the Medical College of Virginia in 1995. Michele has experience working with children from birth through age 21 and older adults with disabilities. She has worked in a variety of clinical settings including the University of Virginia Children's Hospital inpatient units and outpatient clinic, as well as Specialty clinics such as Spina Bifida clinic, Hemophilia clinic, Neurodevelopmental clinic, Preemie clinic, and Cerebral Palsy clinic. She has experience evaluating for and determining appropriate wheelchair seating and assistive equipment, as well as recommending appropriate orthotics when indicated. Michele has also worked in the public schools and early intervention setting and currently also sees children in the home health setting. She loves working with each child to make progress toward improving his ability to play and interact with friends and family. Michele and her husband, Chris,have 3 daughters and enjoy hiking, exploring new places, and playing games together.


Administrative Staff


Photograph of Dori Chappell

Dori Chappell

Office Manager & Marketing Coordinator

Dori received her Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from St. Edward's University. Before joining the Big Sky team, she spent several years working with children on the autism spectrum doing ABA therapy, as well as working with insurance in the pediatric therapy field. Dori is originally from Austin and enjoys running, reading and traveling.

Photograph of Jill Ivie

Jill Ivie

Insurance Coordinator

Jill earned her BS in Sociology from Texas A&M University and MA in Human Services Administration from St. Edward's University. She applies her professional experience in human resources management, insurance benefits and business process improvement to the Big Sky office. She volunteers in her children's school as a reading tutor and library aide, and serves on the PTA Executive Board focusing on fundraising and community partnerships. Jill lives in Southwest Austin with her husband and two children. In her free time she volunteers with Meals on Wheels and is a member of the Austin Modern Quilting Guild.

Photograph of Kimberly Burke

Kimberly Burke

Patient Relations Coordinator

Kimberly Burke earned her Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Texas A&M University in 2013. Before joining the Big Sky team, Kimberly worked as an administrative assistant for a local hospital system and as a household manager for a family in northwest Austin. She also has previous experience in public relations, communications, marketing, and merchandising. Kimberly has always had a passion for working with children and families and is excited to learn more about the pediatric therapy system and be a part of the Big Sky team! In her spare team, she enjoys blogging, cooking, traveling, listening to live music, and exploring Austin's charms with her husband and friends.

Photograph of Megan Van Winkle

Megan Van Winkle

Insurance & Authorization Coordinator

Megan moved to Austin from San Antonio in April 2015. She brings with her many years of experience working with patient scheduling and assistance, as well as having worked with children in various settings such as education, childcare, and the medical field. Megan lives in Northeast Austin with her husband, and their two dogs. In her spare time, she enjoys traveling, spending time with family and friends, kayaking with her husband, and exploring what Austin has to offer!

Photograph of Sarah Duval

Sarah Duval

Insurance & Authorization Coordinato

Sarah received her Bachelor of Business Administration in Marketing from Stephen F. Austin. She worked with a marketing company in Dallas after graduating and then stayed at home for a few years to raise her children. She was very active in the public school and held various volunteer positions. She currently lives in Southwest Austin with her two children and their dog. In her spare time, she enjoys tennis, photography and scrapbooking.


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