about kidz

What is different about KIDZ?

Our success in pediatric therapy starts with our philosophy and a team of dedicated members who know how to achieve it.

When it comes to physical therapy, occupational therapy and speech therapy KIDZ a top performer. We are here for the children and their families. The challenge of a special needs child or teen impacts the entire family. It takes teamwork and special care. While it can seem overwhelming at first, there is a way to greatly improve the day to day challenges the KIDZ and their families face.

Our Philosophy of success

We start with our KIDZ Evaluation Session that assesses where the patients skills and abilities are on day one. To have a lifestyle challenges conversation with the parent’s. Then we develop a KIDZ Personalized Development Plan that lays out a program that will best impact the patient’s ability to independently function day-to-day in the family.

Our Process

We focus on the most basic mental and physical abilities that impact the broadest set of day to day skills. At first, what appears to be a series of baby steps, builds into real progress as they start to impact the day to day ability of the patient to perform daily tasks that have a true impact on the patients ability to function more independently.

Our Results

It is not just reaching the end of the path or program, but we celebrate one step at a time. We want our patients to feel like STARZ. We encourage success through celebrating accomplishments by showing our patients and families that putting in the effort and sticking to the routine will result in accomplishment. This builds HOPE, DREAMS and SUCCESS for our KIDZ and their Families.

TESTIMONIALS

Family Feedback:

DJ started with Kidz Therapy Networks in August.  His greatest challenge was bike riding, but with the help of his therapist, he is now riding his bike.  This is a huge accomplishment we are all celebrating.  Thanks a lot!  – Mrs. W

My children, D and S, have been going to therapy at Kidz Therapy Networks since March, 2007.  They both have Autism, and benefit greatly from the therapists who provide them with Speech Therapy and Occupational Therapy.  Because the clinic is relatively small, my kids have really progressed from the one on one therapy and attention…  – Mrs. D

I am writing in reference to Kidz Therapy Networks. My son has been going to their therapy center since March 2007 right after they opened. I have seen major improvement in my son’s communication skills as well as fine motor skills. There has also been significant behavior issues resolved with the help of his therapists. This therapy center sees children as children and not as a number or dollar sign. My son is 6 years old and has been diagnosed with Autism. I am confident that with the proper tools and help of his therapists he can lead a successful life… – Mrs. S

To Jill and everyone at Kidz Therapy Networks, first of all, let me say a big “Thank YOU!” for all you have done for M.  I, my husband, and everyone in our circle have noticed a difference in his attitude, behavior, and his ability to control his emotions.  You’ve helped enable him to be a little boy again!  We have implemented many of the therapy suggestions you gave us in order for M to continue to practice them here and at home, including making a “tent retreat” of blankets and sheets.  I only wish we had/could afford to purchase some of the incredible tools you have in the gym.  He constantly speaks of the swing, the weighted bags, and other items as in, “I could calm down if I only had a (fill in the blank.)”…Thank you again for working so hard.  You are changing lives in the most incredible ways. – Mrs. M

 

Kim Dontje – a month ago
I can’t express my gratitude enough for the amazing team of professionals at Kidz Therapy Network. Caroline is always accommodating with scheduling. I have 2 children who have occupational therapy there and we live 40 min away. It helps to coordinate their appointments for the same time. Erika and Teresa have been working with my children for over a year. The OT’s help my children learn to work well together not to mention all the other strategies they have taught them to cope better with everyday life. I would highly recommend bringing your children to Kids Therapy Networks!

Community Feedback:

My Name is Becky Carty and I am the Director of Ivy League Montessori School in Cumming, Georgia.  We are a small private school with a student population of 75 students, ranging in age from 2 1/2 years to 12 years old.  Because Montessori is known for providing an education very different from mainstream schools, physicians, and other educators often refer children to us that do not fit the “traditional mold.”  Often children that would have difficulty in another environment, thrive here.  However, there have always been children in our classrooms that we have not been able to help.  We are now fortunate to be able to partner with the wonderful OTs at Kidz Therapy Networks to help a much broader number of children.  We are very grateful to Kidz Therapy Networks for providing (free of charge!) an excellent workshop for our staff.  Their approach to child behavior is very compatible with Montessori philosophy.  We are very excited  that we now have a group of caring professionals that we can turn to for help and to provide OT to children who need it.  Often OT enables us to keep a child that we would other wise have to dismiss.  Kidz Therapy Networks are even able to provide OT for children on site, so busy parents will not have to disrupt their child’s day for therapy.  Please feel free to contact me if you have any questions.  Thank you.

WHAT MAKES KIDZ GREAT?

Our team of professionals are second to none.

Our leadership team is dedicated to providing a high quality of caring, committed and a nurturing environment for each and everyone of our KIDZ, team members, and the families that we serve.

THE LEADERSHIP TEAM

Chené Wyatt OTR/L

Chené is our clinical head and provides treatment oversight for our KIDZ. Her guidance has put KIDZ in an influencial position in pediatric therapy services. She brings compassion and expertise to our clinic every day.

Chené brings over 15 years of experience and leadership to our team. She has worked with a variety of populations all over the world. She holds specialty certifications in the administering and interpreting the Sensory Integration and Praxis Test (SIPT), Interactive Metronome, Torticollis, Beckman Oral Motor ®, Therapeutic Listening and Practical Interventions for Praxis. Chené uses a sensory integrative, child directed approach and feels that her forte is working with children who have sensory processing and motor planning (praxis) difficulties.

Chris Panagopoulos

Chris’s years of knowledge in healthcare management and finance provides KIDZ with a strong stable foundation that allows us to receive the highest quality of pediatric therapy.

Chris joined Kidz Therapy Networks in January 2008 as General Manager of Kidz Therapy Networks. Chris insures the smooth running of the clinic and is our in-house expert in dealing with insurance companies, obtaining payments, and collectibles. Chris attended Georgia Southern University and majored in business and finance.

Caroline Williams

Caroline is in charge of the day-to-day operations at KIDZ. In a fast pace, chaotic world we live in she brings stability for our patients, parents, and staff. When it comes to making sure things operate professionally, efficiently, and with the KIDZ caring attitude, it’s Caroline that makes that all happen.
She has 16 years experience in managing pediatric therapy clinics. We look to her to juggle schedules, patient appointments, work with our staff, and all with a smile.

ALLIED HEALTH

Jessie Schares, M.Ed, CCC-SLP

Jessie Schares is a Speech-Language pathologist who has been practicing for 6 years. She holds her State License in Georgia as well as her Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA). Jessie received her Bachelor’s and Master’s of Education in Communication Disorders from Valdosta State University. She also holds her Preschool Special Education Endorsement from Georgia State University. Her experience is comprised of a variety of settings including the public school system, private pediatric clinics, and home therapy. She has specialty training in P.R.O.M.P.T. (Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets), Beckman Oral Motor Techniques®, The Kaufman Program for Apraxia, and The Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) approach to feeding.

Marlè DuPlessis OTR/L

Marlè du Plessis graduated as an Occupational Therapist from the University of Pretoria in South Africa, in December of 1994. She worked as an OTR/L in South Africa for one year in a school for children with physical disabilities before moving to the United States, where she was certified to practice Occupational Therapy by the National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy, through the University of Indiana. She has almost 15 years of experience working with children and teenagers, with a variety of diagnoses, in the private and public school settings, as well as out-patient clinic and home health care. She also has additional experience working with geriatrics, adult rehab, long-term acute care and some home health care with adult populations. Marlè has an affinity for working with children with a variety of developmental disorders/delays, sensory processing, sensory motor needs, including Learning Disabilities and Autism Spectrum disorders. She also specializes in Executive Functioning and Practical Interventions for Praxis and Anxiety management.

Rebecca Ciccarelli, MS CCC-SLP

Rebecca Ciccarelli is a speech language pathologist who holds a Master’s of Science in Speech Language Pathology from Northeastern University, and a Bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders/Spanish from University of New Hampshire. She has a Georgia State License and ASHA Certification of Clinical Competence in Speech Language Pathology. Rebecca has worked in the field for over 18 years in school, pediatric clinic and early intervention setting. She worked for Boston Public Schools for 12 years. Rebecca has a special interest in working with infants and toddlers, and in addressing social communication disorders. She has attended conferences for the Social Thinking program, and is also certified children’s yoga instructor.

Sumi Chatani, PT, DPT

Sumi is the part-time physical therapist at Kidz Therapy Networks. Sumi graduated from Knox College in Illinois with a Bachelors of Arts degree in Biopsychology in 2000. She completed her Doctorate in Physical Therapy at Emory University in 2004. She has 8 years experience in outpatient, home health and aquatic therapy for pediatrics.

Carolina Lopera, M.S. ccc-SLP

Carolina Lopera is a full-time Speech-Language Pathologist at Kidz Therapy Networks. She obtained her masters degree in Speech Language Pathology and educator certification from University of West Georgia in July, 2014. Additionally, Carolina obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Communication from Georgia State University. Carolina has experience working in a variety of settings including Gwinnett and Fulton county schools, hospital, private pediatric clinics and home therapy. She has served diverse populations ages 1-18 years old, but her passion is treating pediatric age groups. Carolina is bilingual in English and Spanish and enjoys working with children of multi-cultural backgrounds. Her philosophy to treatment is to provide the best services specifically tailored to meet the needs of each child and family.

Erika Rubin, M.S., OTR/L

Erika Rubin is a full-time Occupational Therapist at Kidz Therapy Networks. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Child and Family Development at the University of Georgia. She then continued her education at Augusta University, previously known as the Medical College of Georgia, earning a Master of Health Science in Occupational Therapy. Erika has experience in a wide variety of occupational therapy settings including acute care, inpatient adult rehabilitation, and skilled nursing facilities. However, her passion is in pediatrics and she has focused her skills on working with children of all ages in their homes, clinics, schools and communities. Erika takes pride in collaborating with parents to help them better understand how to support their child’s individual needs. She takes effort in creating a positive and safe environment, in which the child can be encouraged to engage, explore, and master new skills. In her free time, Erika likes to watch movies, eat out with friends, and spend time with her fiancé Edgar, miniature poodle Benji, and family.

Teresa Nguyen, M.S. OTR/L

Teresa is a full-time Occupational Therapist at Kidz Therapy Networks. She received her Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy at Brenau University. Teresa has experience in a variety of diverse settings including the school system, inpatient adult rehabilitation, outpatient adult mental health, and outpatient pediatric settings. However, she truly enjoys working with children and their families to help make children’s everyday life more independent and fulfilling. Teresa also enjoys exploring Atlanta’s parks with her dog, trying out new hobbies, and relaxing at home with a good book.

Abby Cheung, M.S. OTR/L

Abby Cheung is a full-time Occupational Therapist at Kidz Therapy Networks. She received her Bachelor of Art in Psychology at Hunter College and her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Columbia University in New York City. Abby has worked with preschool aged children with developmental disabilities for five years and has collaborated with parents and teachers to develop child focused treatment plans. Abby also has experience working in an inpatient psychiatric unit, psychiatric day center, geriatric day centers, inpatient and outpatient rehabilitation clinics, and the Head Start program. Abby is fluent in English, Cantonese, and Mandarin Chinese. She enjoys working with children to develop independence, encourage self-development, promote self-exploration, and excel in their goals. On her down time she enjoys outdoor hiking/walks, yoga, exploring new foods, and spending time with family.

Talk to us about how we can help

Contact us today and let the KIDZ Team start helping your children today.


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