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!).

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.

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.

Jillian Johnson, COTA/L

Jill began her career as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA/L) at Ozark’s Technical Community College in Springfield, Missouri. She was motivated to become a COTA/L after working at a local special needs preschool as a Teacher’s aide and personal assistant to several children with Autism. After witnessing the positive effect OT had on her student’s, she decided to start the COTA program at her local college. In 2011, she graduated at the top of her class with honors. After graduation, Jill moved to South Carolina to work at a Skilled Nursing facility which also offered pediatric outpatient, pediatric home health, and school-based therapy services. Eventually, Jill moved on to work in an inpatient specialized Autism program at a local behavioral facility where she was exposed to children who exhibited very extreme behavioral challenges. In 2014, she returned to her home state of Colorado to be closer to family. There, she worked in a private practice Pediatric facility very similar to KTZ. In 2016, her Disney loving self-moved to Florida to build and develop a nonprofit she named Inside and Out Foundation. Her nonprofit focuses on providing resources for families that include a loved one on the Autism spectrum who are traveling to our world-famous theme parks. Jill is so excited to be a part of the Kidz Therapy Zone team. She has truly enjoyed being more plugged into our local community and getting to know our beautiful KTZ clients and families. Personally, she is engaged to another Disney loving nerd that she met at Epcot in 2018. Jill and her fiancé are parents to a silly black cat.

Heather Mesa, M.S. CCC-SLP, EI

Heather is a pediatric Speech-Language Pathologist who specializes in treating children with communication delays and disorders, as well as feeding and swallowing difficulties. Heather earned a Master’s Degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Nova Southeastern University in 2004 and holds a Certificate of Clinical Competency from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA). Since earning her degree, Heather has worked in a variety of settings including outpatient clinics, preschools, home environments, and centers for medically fragile infants and children. Heather has also recently obtained her Early Intervention certification. allowing her to not only treat as a Speech Language Pathologist but also as an Early Interventionist. Heather is dedicated to helping her patients reach their full potential. 

Danelle Crinion, 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.

Beverly Puritz MS, OTR/L 

Bev is the State of Florida licensed and certified Occupational Therapist. She was awarded her Master of Occupational Therapy from Nova Southeastern University in 2001, Davie. Fl. Bev has worked full time for the school system for the past 15 years (with both Polk and Orange County Public schools). She also has worked part-time as a pediatric occupational therapist in the home setting for the past 14 years. Bev has an additional degree with a Bachelor’s in Communication with an emphasis in Advertising to include a cognate minor in marketing and psychology from Florida State University (1988). Bev decided to change careers after a knee injury approximately 18 years ago. She had an opportunity to oversee and participate in both occupational and physical therapy. She finds Occupational Therapy to be a very rewarding career and really enjoys working with children. Bev specializes in the areas of developmental delay, fine motor skills, eye-hand coordination/visual motor skills, cerebral palsy, orthopedic impairments, sensory integration, ASD, learning/cognitive disabilities and brain injury. 

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.

Janice Lewis, ITDS

Janice has been in the classroom for over 20 years. She has been a lead teacher for the last 11 years teaching young children in both public and private schools. Janice earned her Infant Toddler Developmental Specialist certificate in 2018. She has a passion for seeing young learners grow and develop. She loves working with families and supporting them as well. She is excited be a part of the KTZ team.

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!