Improving feeding skills.

Feeding therapy is provided by occupational therapists or assistants (OT/OTAs) or speech therapists or assistants (SLP/SLPAs) that have obtained additional training in the specialty of feeding therapy.

They use carefully chosen interventions to improve oral motor skills to reduce concerns like gagging, choking, or aspiration and improve the ability to chew and swallow. They also provide interventions that address concerns such as only eating a very limited number or type of food.

Our therapists embrace a transdisciplinary approach and communicate with other members of a treatment team to support the whole individual and best outcomes. Families are always welcome and encouraged to attend therapy sessions, are provided a home program to assist with skill acquisition across environments, and are provided quarterly reports from the therapist to keep them informed of progress.

Feeding Therapy Team

KIM BETANCOURTOccupational Therapist, (OTR/L)


  • Master of Science, Occupational Therapy, 2009
  • Bachelor of Science, Health Science, 2006
  • Associate of Science, Early Childhood Education, 2000

Continuing Education and Certifications:

  • How Does Your Engine Run? 2012
  • The Listening Program Provider Certification Course, 2015
  • Water-Based Interventions for The Pediatric Client, 2016
  • An Introduction to Assistive Technology for the Pediatric Population, 2017
  • Out-of-Sync Child: Sensory Challenges and Sensible Solutions, 2017
  • Sensory-Motor Based Feeding Approach, 2018

Career History:

I started working at L.I.F.E. in August of 2013. I provided direct occupational therapy (O.T.)  services until October of 2018, when I became the Transition Program Facilitator.  In September of 2021, I rejoined the therapy team full-time to continue my passion in O.T.   I started my career working with the geriatric population at a skilled nursing facility, however I knew my passion was working with pediatrics/adolescents.   I switched gears and went on to work as a school district Occupational Therapist for three years prior to joining the L.I.F.E. family.


I am a NY transplant. I moved out west in 2009. I am a wife and a mother to a multi-talented young man. My son is a competitive street styles dancer and an aspiring music producer. I am a lover of nature. On the weekends you can find me either off roading in my Jeep, hiking, camping or paddle boarding in the beautiful state of Arizona. I am a wanderlust; I will catch a flight or board a ship any chance I get.

CASSANDRA (CASSIE) LEGGERSpeech-Language Pathologist (M.S., CCC-SLP)


  • M.S. in Speech-Language Pathology, Northern Arizona University, with Distinction, 2016
  • B.S. in Speech and Hearing Science, Arizona State University, Summa Cum Laude, 2013
  • A.A. in General Studies, Mesa Community College, with Highest Distinction, 2010

Specific Treatment Strategies, Equipment, or Expertise Utilized:

I received training on the SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) feeding approach by Kay Toomey and Associates as well as received hands on experience with feeding therapy at an outpatient children’s hospital setting. I use various speech/language tools such as shared storybook reading, Expanding Expressions Tool (EET), articulation therapy, Augmentative Alternative Communication (AAC), and Social Thinking. 

Career History:

I began working at L.I.F.E. in January 2019. I previously worked in home health, outpatient, and school settings. I have enjoyed working with children in all settings. 

Personal Treatment Philosophy:

I believe it is important to create a fun therapy environment that is welcoming and follows the lead of the child.


I currently live with my husband and adorable, fluffy, beautiful cat named Mr. Turdington. I enjoy watching and discussing movies, baking, cooking, traveling, and creating artwork in various forms such as ceramics and sewing. I am one of five kids and I love to spend time with my family.

MILDRED (MILLY) PANGILINAN-FLORESMentor Occupational Therapist, (OTR/L)


As a Mentor Therapist, in addition to my caseload, I help manage my discipline’s team. I assist the Director of Therapy Services with onboarding new therapists, overseeing assistants, maintaining documentation and session quality, leading discipline-specific meetings, and advocating for my team.

Education and Special Certifications:

  • M.A. in Occupational Therapy from California State University, 2002.
  • SIPT (Sensory Integration & Praxis Test) certified, 2003.

Specific Treatment Strategies, Equipment, or Expertise Utilized:

  • I have always been interested in sensory integration and in treating sensory processing deficits. Most of the training and courses I have taken over the years was to expand my knowledge base in this area. I have received mentorship on sensory integration from Lorna Jean King who collaborated with Jean Ayres on sensory integration. I have taken several courses on sensory integration, on sensory-motor including Neurodevelopmental Treatment from Lois Bly, sensory modulation and self-regulation including How Does your Engine Run, Diana Henry’s Tool Chest, Carol Kranowitz’s Out of Sync Child, The Listening Program, Zones of Regulation, Julia Harper’s RISE (Reflex Integration to Support Education) and How to be a Sensory Chef, and other courses on the Wilbarger Brushing, sensory diets, and other sensory-based courses. From there, I naturally progressed to taking courses on feeding as eating is highly sensory in nature. I recently received training on the SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) Feeding Approach by Kay Toomey and Associates. I have also taken courses on feeding and oral-motor assessment and treatment through Lori Overland’s Sensory-motor Approach to Feeding, Debra Beckman’s Oral- motor Treatment, and Jessica Hunt’s Complex Feeding Issues. Currently, I am focused on increasing my feeding skills and will be taking more feeding courses in the future. Having worked and trained for many years, I have found that my best training instructors have been my clients. I have honed my skills and have become the occupational therapist that I am today because of them.

Career History:

  • I started at L.I.F.E. when it first opened in July of 2007 and was one of the 2 occupational therapists. From there, I worked my way up from a mentor to eventually a Clinical Director until 2018. I have treated, created programs, and managed therapists for L.I.F.E. since then. I recently returned to treating full-time in September of 2018 and enjoying every minute of it. My very first job as an occupational therapist was at a pediatric outpatient clinic at Simi Valley Hospital in California in 2002 where I did my pediatric rotation. When I moved to Arizona, I worked at a skilled nursing facility for a few months and at the Children’s Center for Neurodevelopmental Studies working in their private school and clinic for a year. Following that, I worked for Horizon Pediatric Therapy at their clinic and in clients’ homes until 2007. I also worked at a rehabilitation hospital in Mesa in their in-patient unit to work with adults and the elderly for a year on the weekends while working at L.I.F.E.

Personal Treatment Philosophy:

  • I see every child I treat as a child of God and deserves my utmost respect, compassion, love, and patience. I believe in gaining their trust and meeting each client at their level and pace and being part of the therapy process and environment, which we call the ‘therapeutic use of self’. I also like to have fun as I am silly and playful in nature. But more importantly, I believe in having the parents and family members as my treatment partners especially when coming up with goals that are relevant, functional, and meaningful to them and their children.


  • I have been happily married since 2005 to my husband who is my best friend. I spend my free time teaching the faith to typical and children with special needs at my church, volunteering for my church and the community, spending time with my husband, and living my Catholic faith to live a holy life.

Contact Us for More Information About L.I.F.E.

call us at 480-621-8361 EXT 136 or complete this form

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