Occupational Therapy

Occupational therapists (OTs) look at what elements support or hinder successful participation, which often includes the environment, sensory processing, behavior, motor skills, language and cognitive skill development and then tailor individualized activities for each consumer (AKA clients, patients) to help them achieve independence and well-being.

Occupational therapists and certified occupational therapy assistants implement these therapeutic activities to target identified concerns. For example, they may work on hand muscle strengthening using putty so that a consumer can successfully button a shirt. They also recommend assistive technology devices such as writing tools to improve independence with drawing and writing skills and teach consumers and caregivers how to use them.

How can occupational therapy help?

Occupational therapy helps people with sensory processing, behavior, motor skills, language, and cognitive skills.

OCCUPATIONAL THERAPY TEAM

ANGELA OLSON
ANGELA OLSONOccupational Therapist, (OTR/L)

Education:

  • M.A. in Occupational Therapy, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, North Dakota, December 2007

Special Certifications:

  • Therapeutic Listening Program Provider Certification Course 2013
  • Interactive Metronome

Specific Treatment Strategies, Equipment, or Expertise Utilized:

  • Yoga and Gymnastics
  • Neurodevelopmental Treatment (NDT)
  • Aquatic Therapy (during aquatic season)
  • Hippotherapy (when program available)
  • Handwriting without Tears and Size Matters writing programs

Career History:

I began working at L.I.F.E. in January 2008 and have been employed with L.I.F.E. ever since. Prior to working at L.I.F.E. I completed clinicals at the Arizona State Hospital and inpatient rehab working with adult and children with physical disabilities. In college I worked for Easter Seals Goodwill and worked under a BCBA working with children with autism. I have over 10 years of experience teaching gymnastics, cheerleading and swim to children with special needs and currently work with some L.I.F.E. clients on Fridays doing occupational therapy in the gymnastics setting at Aspire Kids Sports Center in Chandler.

Personal:

I grew up in Bismarck, North Dakota. I moved to Arizona to complete my last clinical rotation for Occupational Therapy at the Arizona State Hospital in 2007. I volunteered a short time at L.I.F.E. and fell in love with the family like atmosphere at L.I.F.E. and the organization’s philosophy. I enjoy staying active with yoga, dance, martial arts and competing in American Ninja Warrior competitions. I also volunteer coach the Arizona State University (ASU) women’s club gymnastics team during the school year.

KATRENA (KATIE) PRICE
KATRENA (KATIE) PRICEOccupational Therapist, (MS, OTR/L)
Education:
  • M.S. in Occupational Therapy, AT Still University, 2014
  • B.A. in Psychology, B.S. in Family & Human Development, Arizona State Univ., 2006.
  • Public Ally- Americorps term of service; trainings in leadership, non-profit management and volunteer recruitment and organization, 2010-2011
Career History:
  • I began working at L.I.F.E. in March 2014, after completing one of my graduate level internships at L.I.F.E. in spring of 2013. Prior to working as an occupational therapist (OT), I had the pleasure of doing habilitation and respite work for several years during college, which is how I discovered occupational therapy in the first place! During a year of service through Americorps in 2010 through 2011, I also had the opportunity to work with low-income youth through another local non-profit called UMOM New Day Centers doing program management for youth and families, which included creating and running a toddler program.
Continuing Education and Certifications:
  • Since becoming a licensed OT in 2014, I have taken several continuing education courses to expand my “tool box” and increase my ability to use a wide variety of treatment strategies. These trainings/courses have included:
    • The Listening Program (2015)
    • Intro to Assistive Tech for Pediatrics (2017)
    • Aquatic Therapy (2017)
    • The Out of Sync Child (2017)
    • Primitive Reflexes and Integration (2018)
    • Trauma-Informed Intervention (2018)
    • Sensory-Motor Based Feeding Approach (2018)
    • SOS Approach to Feeding Therapy Intro Course (2019)
    • DIR Floortime (2020)
    • Learn, Play, Thrive Approach to Autism (2020)
    • Neurological Approaches to Self-Regulation and Sensory Processing (2021)
Personal Treatment Philosophy:
  • My personal treatment philosophy is always evolving and changing, as I believe it should. When we learn better, we do better! I do strongly believe that our best therapeutic tool is ourselves; our relationship with each child and family is key. Through strong, safe, supportive, and loving relationships is where growth and development flourish. I am also a very big proponent and advocate for treating from the perspective of Neurodiversity and strength-based interventions.
Personal: 
  • I am happily married to a fellow L.I.F.E. therapist (Zach). We have a daughter, Melody, and a few furry family members at home- a pug and 2 guinea pigs. I love to spend time with my family, read, watch movies, and cook!
MILDRED (MILLY) PANGILINAN-FLORES
MILDRED (MILLY) PANGILINAN-FLORESOccupational Therapist, (OTR/L)
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.
Personal:
  • 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.
DONNA EVANS
DONNA EVANSCertified Occupational Therapy Assistant, (COTA/L)

Education:

  •  A.A. of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy, Apollo College, November 1995

Specific Treatment Strategies, Equipment, or Expertise Utilized:

  • I use of variety of strategies and techniques acquired over my 20+ years in OT.
  • Experience with assistive technology for the visually impaired

Career History:

I started at L.I.F.E. in March 2018. Previously I worked in hospital based inpatient, outpatient, aquatic therapy, acute rehab, subacute rehab, skilled nursing within the Banner Health and Scottsdale Healthcare systems, as well as home based pediatric OT. I have served many populations including all age groups with physical (orthopedic and neurological) disorders, multi-trauma victims, various genetic disorders, and autism spectrum disorder.

Personal Treatment Philosophy:

I believe in getting to know each individual client and what they enjoy and respond best to. I then use their likes and interests to help build on their skills in ways that address their individual goals.

Personal:

I live in Mesa, Arizona with my husband and two dogs. I have two adult children and one granddaughter. I volunteer three hours a week since 2008 with Lutheran Braille Workers, providing Braille and large print materials for the visually impaired throughout the world. I also enjoy singing in the church choir, and riding my Harley Davidson Tri-Glide.

ERIN KAHOVER
ERIN KAHOVERCertified Occupational Therapy Assistant, (COTA/L)
Education:
  • A.A. in Occupational Therapy Assisting, July 2017, Brown Mackie College
  • B.S. in Biology, May 2012, Northern Arizona University
Career History:
  • I began working at L.I.F.E. in November 2017 as my first OT position out of school. My internship experiences included skilled nursing and home health pediatrics, where I found my passion for working with children and their families.
Personal Treatment Philosophy:
  • I was drawn to L.I.F.E. by the supportive, community-driven environment and the emphasis on treating all aspects of a child’s health and innate abilities. I love working with my clients to help them achieve their goals and learning along with them. I also greatly value the input and knowledge shared by my colleagues across all therapy disciplines as well as the Academy and behavior staff. I try to infuse that collaborative approach into therapy sessions by addressing goals with a fun, integrative, and structured set of games, activities, crafts, sports, and sensory play.
Personal:
  • I am an Arizona native with deep community and family ties to the Phoenix metro area. I love exploring the state and hiking in the mountains. I also love to cook and bake, wander arts festivals, and spend time with family and friends.

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