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 Becky Staudt

Becky Staudt, M.S., OTR

Occupational Therapist

Becky received her B.S. in Psychology at Texas State University in 2012 and her Masters of Occupational Therapy at Sacred Heart University in Connecticut. She completed her fieldwork rotations in pulmonary rehabilitation at Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, and in Austin working with children with a variety of diagnoses, including sensory integration disorders, Autism, developmental delays, and dysgraphia. Becky is passionate about improving children’s quality of life, and incorporating their families along the therapeutic process. She has recently moved back to her native home of Texas, and is excited to be a part of Big Sky’s team and enjoy all that Austin has to offer. She enjoys running Lady Bird Lake trail, cooking, traveling, and spending time with family and friends.

Photograph of Brooke Weber

Brooke Weber, M.S., OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

Brooke received both her B.A. in child development and M.S. in occupational therapy from Tufts University in Boston. She completed her fieldwork rotations in early intervention, hospital, school, and community-based settings throughout the Boston area, working extensively with children with sensory processing difficulties, autism, and developmental delays. A Virginia native, Brooke has volunteered her time working with children with severe burn injuries in central VA. She is passionate about family-based care and is excited to be part of the Big Sky team! In her time off, Brooke enjoys swimming, reading, and spending time with her family.

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, M.S., 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 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.


Speech Therapists


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 Chris Sidoff

Chris Sidoff, M.S., CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist

Chris is a licensed and certified speech language pathologist with 25 years of experience. She has earned a Bachelors degree from the University of Wisconsin in Communication Disorders with a minor in Audiology and a Masters degree in Communication Disorders from Our Lady of the Lake University - San Antonio. Chris has experience in pediatric private practice, educational settings, both private and public, and outpatient rehabilitation facilities. Areas of expertise and interest include Childhood Apraxia of Speech; Autism Spectrum Disorder (including Asperger's Syndrome); Traumatic Brain Injury; Auditory Process Disorder, Word Retrieval Disorder; disorders of phonology and articulation; receptive and expressive language disorders; Down’s Syndrome, fluency disorders of both stuttering and cluttering; and disorders of Executive Function. She is trained in PROMPT (PROMPTs for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets) and remediates communication disorders resulting from mild to severe hearing loss through aural rehabilitation therapy. Chris also has experience in the remediation of secondary language delays, including phonemic awareness development and reading fluency skills secondary to dyslexia.
Chris resides in the Lakeway area with her family. Her spouse has practiced general dentistry for 25 years. Their oldest child is a speech language pathologist, and their second child is preparing for graduate school in the same field. The youngest is completing his first year of college classes. Chris enjoys spending time with friends and family hiking, camping, boating, skiing, reading, cooking, gardening, and watercolor painting.

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 Lindsay Cohen

Lindsay Cohen, M.S., CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist

Lindsay Cohen received her Bachelor of Arts in Speech and Hearing Sciences from Indiana University in 2010. She then went on to receive her Masters of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders from The Pennsylvania State University in 2012. She holds the ASHA Certificate of Clinical Competence and is licensed as a speech-language pathologist in the state of Texas. In both private practice and private school settings she has evaluated and provided treatment to children with various diagnoses and severity levels. Some of her experience and interests include: Autism Spectrum Disorders, Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, expressive and receptive language disorders, augmentative and alternative communication, articulation and phonological disorders. Lindsay 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. She just moved to Austin and is excited to join the Big Sky team and explore the city with her husband.

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 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 Lisa Dennis

Lisa Dennis, PT, MPT, PCS

Physical Therapist

Lisa graduated from UT Austin with a BS in Speech Communication and obtained her Master of Physical Therapy degree at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. Lisa has worked in a variety of settings in her 18 years practicing physical therapy starting at Shriner’s Hospitals for Children in Houston. There she was able to treat a wide variety of children in both inpatient/post-surgical rehab and outpatient specialty clinics for cerebral palsy, arthrogryposis, spina bifida, and various other orthopedic impairments. After moving to Austin with her husband, Joe, and 3 children in 2009 Lisa continued working with children in the outpatient rehab and home health settings. In 2012 she obtained certification from the American Board of Physical Therapy Specialties as a Pediatric Clinical Specialist. Passionate about celebrating the gifts and capabilities all children have to offer Lisa helped create and currently serves on the executive board of Vandegrift High School’s Special Education Department Booster Club and volunteers co-teaching a dance class for children with special needs at her community’s dance studio.

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 Heather Morgan

Heather Morgan

Scheduling Coordinator

Heather is originally from New York and earned a bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies from Penn State. She moved to Austin in 1997 to gain a Master’s degree in Social Work at The University of Texas. She has been working professionally with children and families for 20 years. Heather likes to stay busy and continues to work part-time with adoptive families while also being a member of the Big Sky team. Heather and her husband are raising two teenage daughters and their beloved Boston terrier in southwest Austin.

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 Nichol Suarez

Nichol Suarez

Scheduling Coordinator

Nichol moved to Austin from Pullman Washington in August of 2016 after a series of back-to-back moves from Seattle and Whidbey Island after her husband served in the United States Navy. She is a graduate of the Art Institute of Seattle where she focused on Residential Interior Design as well as an Associates Degree in Business Administration from Skagit Valley College. Nichol has worn many hats in creative and educational environments from music-museum curation, advertising, archives management, teaching pre-k and school administration. In her free time, she enjoys creating new friendships and exploring the many restaurants and events that Austin has to offer.

Photograph of Sarah Duval

Sarah Duval

Insurance & Authorization Coordinator

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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