Charity Higgins, MOT, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist, Owner

Charity has been working in the pediatric OT field since 2007. Since getting her Masters in Occupational Therapy from Nova Southeastern University in Ft. Lauderdale, she has worked in a variety of pediatric settings including private practice, daycare’s, public and private schools, and homes. Puttential, Inc. was created in 2009 with the vision of integrating Occupational Therapy and the game of golf. Later, in 2013, Kidz Therapy Zone was established to better serve clients sensory and developmental needs. The therapy clinic allows for greater Sensory Integration interventions and co treating with Speech and Language therapists. KTZ offers services in a warm, friendly, and positive environment. With continuing education in Sensory Processing and Regulation, Therapeutic Listening, Interactive Metronome, Handwriting Without Tears, Vision Therapy and Reflex Integration principles, Charity and her colleagues treat children of all ages and skill levels with a holistic approach to maximize learning and development. Charity and her staff have a passion for helping children reach their highest potential. Outside of KTZ, Charity enjoys watching her son play baseball, and helping her daughter make slime (she is a slime guru!).

Kristy Gillham, OTR/L

Kristy is a national and State of Florida licensed and certified Occupational Therapist. She completed her studies at St. Ambrose University in Davenport, Iowa and became an OTR/L in 1998.  Since certification, she has worked in both the pediatric and adult populations. Kristy has worked with children in a variety of settings including outpatient clinic, schools, daycares, and home health.  Kristy and her family moved to Florida from Illinois in July 2019.  She was previously early intervention credentialed in Illinois and has recently become credentialed to provide early intervention services in Florida. Kristy has experience and training in Handwriting Without Tears, Sensory Processing Disorders, Sensory Integration, Autism, and ADHD.  Kristy loves helping families and children improve their daily life and achieve their goals.

Samantha Stern, MS, OTR/L, SIPT

Samantha has worked as an Occupational Therapist for the past seven years in New York, and Washington, D.C. She decided to pursue her therapy passion and her love of warm weather (and Disney) in Florida this past year. Throughout her career, Samantha has worked in private sensory clinics, Early Intervention services, and in an inpatient hospital with the focus to aid families in understanding how to make all areas of their child’s life positive and supportive. Her post-graduate education has focused on sensory integration and feeding therapy as she believes these primary areas to be integral in development. She is certified in the Sensory Integration and Praxis Test (SIPT) which has allowed extensive knowledge in the sensory system and has taken the Sequential Oral Sensory Course which focuses on feeding techniques for the picky eater. Samantha thoroughly enjoys when the confidence shines in each child as they progress.

Mariela Rivera, COTA/L

Mariela completed her studies at Keiser University and became a COTA/L in 2011. Since earning her certification, she has worked solely with the pediatric population, providing services in an outpatient clinic, home health and in school settings. She is trained in Interactive Metronome, and the Handwriting Without Tears programs. Other continuing education courses have focused on Sensory Processing Disorders and Sensory Integration. She has a passion for the profession and for helping children make improvements that will undoubtedly change their life. During her free time, she enjoys spending time with family and the outdoors. 

Janet Gussow, COTA/L

Janet completed her studies at Keiser University and became a COTA/L in 2014. Since certification, she has worked exclusively with pediatrics in outpatient clinical settings and provided services to children with a variety of diagnoses. Prior to her accreditation, Janet worked as a preschool teacher and decided to change careers after experiencing the accomplishment her students made after receiving occupational therapy. Janet is trained and certified in Interactive Metronome, Handwriting Without Tears and has training in Sensory Processing Disorders and Sensory Integration. Janet is dedicated to helping others improve their quality of life. Janet enjoys spending time with family and serving the community.

Danelle Canavan, M.S. CCC-SLP

Danelle is a national and State of Florida licensed and certified Speech-Language Pathologist. She graduated from the University of Central Florida with a Masters of Arts Degree in Speech and Language Pathology. Danelle specializes in the areas of Autism Spectrum Disorders, Developmental delays, Childhood Apraxia of Speech, Articulation/phonological Disorders, Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC), Receptive/Expressive Language Disorders, and Pragmatic Social Language Disorders. Danelle hold a certification in Core Vocabulary, a therapy technique used to develop vocabulary and language in children who have limited verb skills. She is also certified in social thinking and zones of regulation which is an intervention program designed to enhance children’s social communication as well as their ability to self- monitor and regulate their emotions. Danelle’s goal is to provide evidence-based treatments so that your child develops effective communication skills. She looks forward to working with you and your child to meet their goals.

Sharon Ramkarran, M.S. CCC-SLP

Sharon considers herself a Florida native although she moved here from New York when she was 4 years old. She grew up in the Central Florida area and always maintained the desire to give back to her community. Sharon graduated from University of Central Florida with her Master's of Arts in Speech-Language Pathology in 2011 and completed her Clinical Fellowship at a skilled nursing facility in St. Augustine, Florida. She has worked in both the pediatric and adult settings with various populations including: traumatic brain injury, strokes, dysarthria, apraxia, head and neck cancer, autism, Alzheimer's disease, and Down's Syndrome. She is licensed in Florida, a member of the American Speech and Hearing Association, and is certificed in Vital Stim. She is currently pursuing a certification in feeding and swallowing to better serve her clients' needs.

Mallory Creekmore, M.eD, ITDS

Mallory graduated from Capella University with a Masters in Early Childhood Education in 2013. Mallory earned her Infant Toddler Developmental Specialist certificate in 2014 and provides Early Intervention services to children in their homes and schools. She has experience as a teacher both in a traditional private school and a special needs school setting. She also works with a variety of diagnoses including Autism Spectrum disorders, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, speech delay, and other related disabilities. She is excited to be a part of the Kidz Therapy Zone team and has a passion for children.

Susan Mayton, ITDS

Susan is a certified Infant Toddler Developmental Specialist (ITDS), with 25+ years’ experience in Early Childhood service. She has served as Social Worker, Home & Center Based Teacher/Lead Teacher, Program Director, COO, and Independent Contractor. Her favorite role has always been Early Educator/Family Mentor. She considers it an honor to be invited into a home and trusted to support the family as their child’s best teacher, developing interventions that will shape a young child’s love for learning. Susan has a BSW degree in Clinical Social Work from SUNY Albany; and, a special certificate Masters in Early Education Visual Impairment from FSU. She has worked with children experiencing a range of DD, such as Cerebral Palsy, ASD, Down Syndrome, Communications Disorder, Cognitive Delay, Motor Delay, Medical Fragility with Delay, Vision Impairment & Blindness. She believes that the best teaching begins with the best evaluation, and so has pursued extra training in this. Together with a team, she published a family friendly process for evaluating young children with DD, and trained this process to teachers and evaluators throughout Florida under contract with the Florida Department of Education. This has led to her special passion for working with children who are coping with highly unique challenges, calling for innovative teaching strategies. Susan is inspired and humbled on a daily basis by her very own superhero, her son Joshua who lives joyfully, while coping with Tuberous Sclerosis!

Shelley Lisko, office administrative assistant

Shelley is a native of Orlando. As a “graduate” of twelve years of homeschooling, proud Navy wife and a recreation therapist she is excited to be part of the Kidz Therapy team.

Shelley likes porch sitting and odd looking dogs.