Meet the Team

Dedicated & Certified

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Amy Wheadon

OTD, OTR/L, CPT, Y.E.S.

Occupational Therapist, Certified Personal Trainer , Youth Exercise Specialist

kidSHINE Owner & Founder

Amy is a pediatric occupational therapist who has worked with preschool and elementary aged children for over 20 years.  Amy graduated from Colby College in 1997 with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology and Child Development, earned a Masters of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Boston University in January 2000, and just completed her Post Professional Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from NEIT in Rhode Island in March 2020.  Amy is a board certified occupational therapist who is licensed in Massachusetts and New Hampshire, and she is an AOTA (American Occupational Therapy Association) member. Amy has worked as a licensed and registered OT in public schools, private schools, client’s homes, and private outpatient clinics.  Over the years, Amy has performed consultations to private schools and parents/ parent groups, has organized and run parent and teacher workshops and has participated in a grant to train kindergarten teachers to re-infuse core strength and developmental foundational skills back into kindergarten curriculums.   Amy has also administered tele-health occupational therapy services to clients overseas. Recently, Amy conducted and completed doctoral level research on measuring the efficacy of the EXERSHINEkids POWER Bootcamp Program that she designed.  Significant results of Amy's research indicated that intense physical exercise, when implemented as part of a specific structured program can improve self regulation in children with sensory processing challenges.

Amy’s extensive clinical experience includes working with children with developmental disorders, Autistic Spectrum Disorder (ASD), Sensory Processing Disorder (SPD), Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), Executive Functioning Disorder, as well as generalized core weakness, upper body and hand weakness, difficulty with balance, poor motor planning, decreased spatial awareness, difficulty with fine motor dexterity, decreased visual motor integration skills, poor perceptual skills, poor organizational skills and difficulty with social skills, peer interaction and structured play skills.  Amy has been trained in and has experience using specific intervention techniques such as brushing protocols, the ALERT Program, the Astronaut Program and Handwriting Without Tears.  Amy also has experience using ILS ( Integrated Listening Systems) and The Listening Program. Amy founded and developed the EXERSHINEkids POWER Bootcamp Program in 2015.  In the past 5 years, Amy has developed a protocol and manual and trained staff therapists on program implementation for different age groups and ability levels in multiple clinics.  Amy is also certified as a personal trainer and youth exercise specialist.  In her spare time, Amy is a distance runner (who has run 5 marathons and multiple shorter distance races) and a strength and conditioning enthusiast.  She has a passion for exercise and understands the importance of fitness, health and staying active as part of daily life.  Amy is also a mother of 3 children, including two "tweens" and one teenager.

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Alie Barletta

MS, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

Assistant Clinic Manager

Alie is a licensed and registered Occupational Therapist who received her degree at the University of New Hampshire in 2015. Since then, Alie has been working in early intervention. Her passion for working with children and their families is highlighted by her focus to create individualized care plans. As part of her early intervention experience, Alie assisted in developing a very successful yoga group for toddlers. Alie believes in using a therapeutic technique that helps her clients to build confidence and mindfulness to assist in their learning, growing and regulation.  She embraces new opportunities to continuously expand her knowledge and skill set. In her free time, Alie is focused on a wellness lifestyle including long walks, exercising, yoga and cooking new recipes. She enjoys summering at the beach, particularly down the Cape, and cherishes her time with family and friends.

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Meagan Dow

MS, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

Meagan is a licensed and registered Occupational Therapist who received her degree at the University of New Hampshire in 2019.  Meagan has clinical experience as an OT in both preschool and pediatric outpatient settings, where she provided evidenced-based interventions for children of all ages and abilities. Aside from her clinical experience, Meagan has been a summer camp counselor for children, focusing on creating activities designed  support child development. Meagan has a passion for working with children to achieve their goals through play and physical activity! Aside from her passion for working with children, Meagan loves to stay active. Meagan has participated in 2 half marathons and has the goal to run a full marathon someday. She enjoys hiking, walking/running with her golden retriever, and spending time with her family outdoors! Meagan is so excited to join the KidSHINE team!

Katherine

Katherine Kroeger

OTD, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

Katherine is a licensed and registered Occupational Therapist who recently received her entry level doctoral degree at MGH Institute of Health Professions. Katherine completed her bachelors degree at Simmons College with a Degree in Exercise Science in 2017. Katherine has clinical experience in an outpatient pediatrics facility, and her doctoral research was completed in the outpatient department at Boston Children’s Hospital. At Children’s, she contributed to research examining the effects of robot-assisted therapy on functional performance for children with hemiparesis. Katherine has extensive experience with working with children in various settings and she has known from a young age that she has wanted to support children and their families. Katherine is ecstatic to help her clients at KidSHINE discover and achieve their full potential. Outside of the office, Katherine enjoys taking spin classes, hiking, going for long walks, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.

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Kelsey Colbert

MS, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

Kelsey is a licensed and registered Occupational Therapist who received her degree from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences in 2020.  She received a Bachelor’s of Science degree is in Movement Science from Westfield State University in 2018. Kelsey has experience in pediatric outpatient and school settings, including completing her Level 1 Fieldwork at kidSHINE in 2019. Kelsey has worked with children of all ages and abilities through PCA work, therapeutic riding and coaching gymnastics. Having participated in gymnastics throughout her youth, Kelsey appreciates the value of combining exercise and movement with therapeutic technique. Kelsey believes in success and confidence that children can gain through a strong therapeutic connection among themselves, their families, and the kidSHINE staff. Outside of OT, Kelsey enjoys spending time with her friends and family, volunteering with therapeutic riding, and hiking with her dog, Dakota!

Danielle

Danielle Wunschel

COTA/L

Occupational Therapy Assistant

Lead Occupational Therapist

New Staff Onboarding and Training

Danielle has been a certified occupational therapy assistant since 2014, after graduating from Bristol Community College.  Danielle previously had worked as a COTA at Kids OT Inc. in Charlton, MA refining her knowledge in sensory integration therapy as well as a developmental approach to learning.  Danielle believes in a positive reinforcement treatment approach. She greatly values the importance of movement play and incorporates this into her treatment sessions as a means to build confidence and control of self in children. Outside of kidSHINE Danielle enjoys rock climbing, running, Spartan Races, hiking, painting and reading. Danielle shares the same core values as kidSHINE and excited to contribute to a great team.

Melissa

Melissa Silva

COTA/L

Occupational Therapy Assistant

Melissa has been a certified occupational therapy assistant since 2017, after graduating from North Shore Community College.  Melissa also has a Bachelor's degree in Sociology from the University of Massachusetts, obtained in 2005.  Melissa worked as a COTA in the Methuen Public School system gaining experience and knowledge working with children with strength and FM needs as well as various diagnoses, including ASD, ADHD, CP and others.  Melissa also worked as a lead teacher in a Montessori style preschool from 2007 - 2014 and taught children's yoga from 2009 - 2014.  Melissa brings with her a passion for meeting children where they are at and offering that just right challenge, noting that empathy and understanding are integral for creating a bond and a base needed for lasting impressions on her clients.  She values exercise and movement for the health of mind and body and enjoys running, hiking, yoga, dancing and any activities that involve moving.

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Lauren Bernier

COTA/L

Occupational Therapy Assistant

Lauren has been a certified occupational therapy assistant since 2017, after graduating from South College in Asheville, North Carolina. Lauren also has a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from the University of Massachusetts, obtained in 2006. Lauren has worked as a COTA primarily in pediatric and mental health settings. Through these years she has trained and honed her interest to provide interventions to address such areas as self-regulation, executive functioning, and motor planning through the use of movement, play, and sensory integrative techniques. She also became a certified yoga teacher in 2020. It was through this training that she was able to explore the greater span of how yoga benefits physical bodies, sensory processing, cognitive abilities, and emotional wellbeing. Lauren plans to incorporate these principles along with compassion, empathy, and inclusion to help her clients achieve their fullest potential to grow, learn, and thrive. In her free time Lauren enjoys spending time in the sunshine with friends and family, dancing to live music, hanging with her kitty, and experimenting with all kinds of flavors in the kitchen.  

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Marissa Dunn

COTA/L

Occupational Therapy Assistant

Marissa is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant and recent graduate of North Shore Community College. Prior to becoming a COTA, Marissa’s flair for creativity led her to complete her Bachelor’s of Fine Arts in Photography from Massachusetts College of Art and Design. For over 10 years, Marissa had worked with children of all ages who had a variety of diagnoses as an adaptive horseback riding instructor. As well, Marissa has taught yoga, palates and a variety of visual art classes in community and summer programs. In her free time Marissa enjoys weaving, spending time outdoors, horseback riding, kayaking, rock climbing and hiking. Marissa finds great joy in sharing her passions with others, and seeing children achieve their goals as they partake in all that KidShine has to offer.

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McKenna Coulburn

MS, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

McKenna is a licensed and registered Occupational Therapist who received her BS/MS at the University of New Hampshire in 2015. Her passion to help children of all abilities initially derived from experiencing her own set of sensory and learning challenges for many years as a child and adolescent.  With the help of an OT, she developed tools that utilized her strengths as keys to learn, grow and accomplish whatever goals she set her mind to. It was this experience that eventually inspired her to become a pediatric Occupational Therapist, in hopes of helping other children reach their greatest potential as well. McKenna brings this empathy and empowerment to the families and children she works with, both as a full time therapist in early intervention as well as a per diem clinician here at KidSHINE. McKenna is a firm believer in the power of movement and a positive mindset, which she integrates into her practice both in and outside of the clinic. In her personal time, you can find McKenna road biking through Cape Ann, trail running through the local state parks, doodling in her sketchbook or riding the waves on her boogie board. 

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Maura McKnight

MS, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

Maura is a licensed and registered Occupational Therapist who received her degree at the University of New Hampshire in 2017. Since then, she has been working in early intervention with children and their families. While working in this setting, she learned the value of client and family centered care. She believes that the success of a child can be exponential when they have a team of therapists and family members collaborating behind them. Maura has known she has wanted to work in pediatrics from a young age. Her love of occupational therapy stems from the unique perspective of taking each client’s individual interests and utilizing them to create meaningful activities during treatment sessions. Maura fully supports kidSHINE’s model of utilizing a play-based approach to create lasting progress, both in and out of the clinic. Her favorite part of working with children is helping them reach their fullest potential to thrive in their natural environments. In her spare time, Maura enjoys staying active outside through walks and runs, reading, and gathering with friends and family.

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Cara DeNisco

MS, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

Cara is a licensed and registered Occupational Therapist who received her bachelor’s degree in Occupational Studies in 2007 and her master’s degree in Occupational Therapy in 2008 from Worcester State University. Cara has clinical expertise in acute and subacute rehabilitation, working with adults with a variety of conditions including neurological, orthopedic, cardiopulmonary, and cognitive disorders and impairments. During her time as a clinician, Cara has valued client centered practice and evidence-based interventions in order to provide her clients with the skills they need to perform activities of daily living and engage in meaningful occupations. Immediately prior to joining KidSHINE, Cara was providing occupational therapy services to north shore seniors in local skilled nursing facilities throughout the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. With a growing need to provide children in the community with the tools they need to participate in activities of daily living, while navigating the world during these unprecedented times, Cara was recently called to leverage her clinical skills within the pediatric field of practice, leading her to KidSHINE. Cara is so excited to join the KidSHINE team and is motivated to make a positive impact in the lives of her clients. Outside of KidSHINE, Cara can be found crafting, party planning, exercising, cooking, walking her rescue dog Abby on the local bike path, and spending time with her friends and family- particularly with her three children, Lia 8, Andrew 6, and Brooks 2.

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Meagan Berry

ExerSHINE Kids POWER Bootcamp Instructor

Occupational Therapist Aide

Meagan is a recent graduate of Endicott College, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Biology/Biotechnology in May of 2021. As part of her education at Endicott College, Meagan completed a semester-long internship at KidSHINE and fell in love with the clinic and pediatric occupational therapy. She plans on continuing her education to become an OT in the fall of 2022, but in the meantime she continues to spend her time here at KidSHINE. Meagan has experience working with children with autism and also  mentoring adults with disabilities. Meagan loves spending her time outside and some of her favorite outdoor activities include hiking, camping, paddle boarding, and snowshoeing.

Ashley

Ashley Althoff

OT/s

ExerSHINE Kids POWER Bootcamp Instructor

Occupational Therapist Aide

Ashley graduated from Simmons College in 2016 with a degree in Exercise Science, with the goal of becoming an Occupational Therapist. Ashley is currently pursuing her Masters in OT at Salem State University. She is a fitness instructor with experience designing exercise programs for kids, and an OT intern who has been training full time under Amy on the ExerSHINE Kids POWER Bootcamp program since September 2018. Ashley has experience with personal training and teaching preschool and elementary aged bootcamp classes at KidSHINE. In her free time, Ashley loves to go hiking with her dog as well as spend time with friends and family. She is so excited to be a part of the KidSHINE team and believes that working at kidSHINE has confirmed her passion to be a pediatric OT!

Terri

Terri Lee

Office Manager

Terri is kidSHINE's office manager, scheduler, insurance specialist, and sanity keeper.  She is a medical billing specialist and certified bookkeeper with over 20 years experience working in medical offices. Terri can answer any questions that current and prospective clients have, and she keeps kidSHINE running smoothly. Terri has a passion for helping families to navigate insurance complexities so that their children can receive all the services they require. In her free time, Terri loves spending time with her daughters, her two grandchildren and her grand fur babies.