The Occupational Therapists at Kids-
ROBBYN LAUFER, OTR/L
Robbyn is co-founder and clinical director of Kids Can Therapy Services. She co-founded the practice in 2000 with a passion for helping families overcome the challenges associated with Sensory Processing Disorder.
Robbyn discovered her desire to become a Pediatric Occupational Therapist in high school when her parents adopted a baby with Down syndrome and she assisted with his therapy. He experienced many Sensory Processing difficulties which propelled her further into pursuing that area of expertise.
Robbyn was able to pursue that passion after graduating Magna Cum Laud with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Occupational Therapy from the Medical College of Virginia. In her 24+ years in practice she has worked as a Pediatric Occupational Therapist in early intervention, hospital, private schools, and private practice settings and over the years has had the pleasure of expanding her practice to include the treatment of adults who have experienced sensory processing challenges since childhood.
Robbyn has received extensive training in the treatment of individuals with Sensory Processing Disorder. She and her staff remain continuously up-to-date on new and emerging concepts and trends. She provides ongoing continuing education opportunities for all her staff members to sustain the highest level of skills and training needed to produce meaningful outcomes for our families.
Robbyn is passionate about educating members of the community and conducts frequent training workshops for parents, educators, counselors, psychologists, and medical professionals who are interested in learning more about normal Sensory Motor Development and the impact of Sensory Processing Disorders on the function of our children, students, patients, and families. She has presented at the Georgia Psychological Association and Georgia Speech and Hearing Association annual conferences and has published in the Kids Enabled Magazine- a national, award winning digital magazine dedicated to children of different abilities and in Atlanta Mom Magazine.
Robbyn has specialty trainings and certifications in a variety of clinical techniques, therapeutic approaches, and evaluation tools including:
- The Sensory Integration and Praxis Test (SIPT certified)- for the evaluation and diagnosis of children with Sensory Integration Dysfunction
- Therapeutic Listening and Integrated Listening Systems (iLs) for the treatment of sound sensitivity, self-regulation, attention and coordination difficulties
- The Wilbarger Touch Pressure Protocol for the treatment of sensory defensiveness and self-regulation challenges
- Astronaut training Protocol for integration of vision, sound, and movement
- Various Handwriting Programs including Handwriting Without Tears, Loops and Other Groups, and First Strokes for the remediation of handwriting deficits
EMILY VENABLE, OTR/L
Emily began practicing Occupational Therapy after receiving her Master of Heath Science from the Occupational Therapy Program at the University of Florida. She has been practicing in the area of pediatric occupational therapy for the past 20 years. Her work experience includes the schools, outpatient – hospital, and private practice settings.
Throughout her career, Emily’s work experience and continued education have been concentrated in the treatment and assessment of children and adolescents with Sensory Processing Disorders. In 2016 she attended a week long mentorship program with the STAR Institute for Sensory Processing Disorders. This was an amazing opportunity to receive instruction and mentorship from prominent leaders in both research and therapeutic intervention for Sensory Processing Disorders.
Emily has many tools in her tool box for improving the function of her clients. She is certified in the Therapeutic Listening Programs, Quick Shifts Listening Program, Integrated Listening Systems (iLs), the Safe and Sound Protocol from iLs, and Interactive Metronome (IM). She is trained in the Astronaut Program and the Wilbarger Touch Pressure Protocol. She has additional professional training in Vestibular Processing, Praxis/ Motor Planning, Visual Processing, Handwriting Without Tears, and rehabilitation focused on Integrating Primitive Reflexes.
Emily’s extensive training and experience in the area of Sensory Processing Disorders allow her to identify sensory and motor weaknesses, which may limit children from reaching their full potential- behaviorally, socially, academically. She greatly enjoys using her creativity and clinical reasoning to find the “just right” challenge that makes therapy fun and rewarding. In this treatment environment, children build important life skills, as well as confidence and self-esteem. She believes that family participation and education are key factors to client success.
In addition to working with children and adolescents, Emily has had the opportunity to work with adults who have had life-long sensory processing challenges. She has found it quite rewarding to provide a new perspective for these clients, as well as help them feel empowered to engage with the world in a more positive way and have more control over their physiological responses to sensory input.
RACHEL LAU, OTR/L
Rachel began her Occupational Therapy career in Miami Florida, after completing her Bachelor of Science degree in Health and Physical Education at Georgia State University and earning her Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Barry University in Miami. There she predominantly worked with children on the Autism spectrum. Originally from Atlanta Georgia, she relocated back home in January 2011 and has been a part of the Kids Can team since then.
Rachel has experience working with children with a variety of diagnoses; however, over the past 11 years she has become specialized in working with children that have challenges associated with Sensory Processing Disorders. Prior to working as an Occupational Therapist, she was trained to provide behavioral intervention to children with Autism and other related diagnoses.
In addition to working with Kids Can, Rachel currently works as a part time professor teaching Occupational Therapy courses at Barry University. She currently teaches Development and Intervention, Conditions across the lifespan, and a special topics Sensory Integration Course. She is just completing her 10th year of teaching.
Rachel completed additional specialty training in Sensory Processing Disorders through the Star Institute in 2009, after successfully completing their level one mentorship program. She has certifications with Interactive Metronome (IM), Integrated Listening Systems (iLs), and Therapeutic Listening and Quick Shifts Programs. She has also completed extensive professional training courses related to Sensory Processing Disorder, Vestibular Processing, Visual Processing, Handwriting Without tears, Brain Gym, rehabilitation focused on Integrating Primitive Reflexes, and Executive Dysfunction. She is trained in the Astronaut Training Protocol and The Wilbarger Touch Pressure Protocol. Her passion is working with children and their families and seeing the children she works with reach their full potential.
RACHAEL CANTRELL, OTR/L
Rachael’s career in Occupational Therapy began after completion of her Masters of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Brenau University. Her Masters’ thesis was focused on Sensory Integration and a new listening program called EASe, which furthered her passion for Sensory Integration based therapy. Her love for working with children stemmed from teaching swim lessons to children with special needs.
Rachael is dedicated to pursing additional training and keeping current on the latest therapy practices and techniques. She is certified in Interactive Metronome (IM), Quickshift Listening program, Integrated Listening Systems (iLs), Therapeutic Listening, and Handwriting Without Tears. She is also trained in using the Astronaut Program and rehabilitation focused on Integrating Primitive Reflexes. Rachael also has clinical experience with adult TBIs and Hippotherapy.
Rachael’s expertise and experience in the area of Sensory Processing Disorder allows her to identify sensory processing and motor weaknesses, which may limit children from reaching their potential – both socially and academically. Rachael is passionate about improving foundation skills and independence so that children can participate in daily life activities at home, school, and in the community. She uses fun and functional activities in therapy sessions to motivate the child and improve the child’s abilities and works closely with parents to teach strategies and techniques that they can integrate into their lives for day to day improvements.
AMY DOHNER, OTR/L
Amy received her Master of Health Science degree from the Occupational Therapy program at The Medical College of Georgia and her Bachelors of Science degree in Exercise Science from Georgia State University.
She joined the Kids Can team in 2016 with a well-rounded and strong background in Pediatric Occupational Therapy; having worked in a range of pediatric settings, including outpatient, home health- early intervention, aquatics, and private practice.
Her work experience and continuing education have been concentrated in treating a wide variety of pediatric diagnoses including children with Sensory Integration Dysfunction/Sensory Processing Disorder, Autistic Spectrum Disorders, neurological disorders, developmental delay, genetic disorders, and orthopedic disorders. She holds a special passion for working with families impacted by Sensory Processing Challenges and has focused much of her professional training in that specialty.
She is trained in the Astronaut Training Program- designed to integrate the senses of vision, hearing and movement. She is also a certified provider for Therapeutic Listening Programs and Integrated Listening Systems (iLs) – designed to address sensory modulation, auditory sensitivity, auditory processing, vestibular dysfunction, and coordination. She has additional specialty trainings in “The Alert Program for Self-Regulation,” Interactive Metronome (IM), and Physical Agent Modalities.
Her passion for both children and her career help create a fun, yet challenging clinical environment for kids that promotes success and improvement in the everyday life of a child.
MEREDITH KAVANAUGH, OTR/L
Meredith began her career as an Occupational Therapist after earning her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Wilmington and her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy at East Carolina University. She has been practicing in the area of pediatric occupational therapy for over 11 years with work experience in the private practice and k-12 school settings. Meredith is one of the rare few who found her calling early on, realizing she wanted to be a pediatric OT while in the 7th grade.
Meredith’s career as a pediatric OT has included extensive training and experience in the area of sensory processing disorders which allows her to identify areas of sensory motor weakness that often inhibit a child’s ability to reach their full potential. Meredith is a certified Therapeutic Listening provider, trained in the Astronaut Training Program and Wilbarger Brushing Protocol, and is certified in the administration and interpretation of the Sensory Integration and Praxis Test (SIPT Certified).
Meredith loves the ability to couple creativity and clinical reasoning to present each child with their unique “just right challenge” to promote motivation and skill development for improved independence across all areas of life. Meredith uses creative and fun activities to motivate the child and improve their areas of need including self-regulation, life skills, confidence, and self-esteem. She is dedicated to the training and education of families so they can support therapy progress at home.
ANN TUEMLER, OTR/L
Ann (Dr. T) specializes in assessments and interventions for children, adolescents, and young adults with complex profiles. This includes those with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), emotional and behavioral challenges, sensory processing challenges, learning delays, social-emotional difficulties and motor coordination challenges, as well as twice exceptional students.
Her career has been dedicated to the unique needs of individuals as they transition to their adult roles, as she believes it is never too early to start! She is well-versed in the development of emotional skills that are critical to getting (and maintaining) a job, enrolling (and staying) in college, and creating (and sustaining) friendships. In line with the mission at Next Right Steps, Ann has spent her career helping her clients build sustainable independence across all domains of life. She is passionate about providing family-centered, community and home-based Occupational Therapy coaching, as well as environmental supports. She emphasizes client-specific goals for a lifetime of achievement.
Ann received her Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from Brenau University. She has worked in public schools and private clinics. She lives in Atlanta with her 3 children and enjoys Zen-tangling in her spare time.
COURTNEY SCHULER, OTR/L
Courtney began her career as an Occupational Therapist after earning undergraduate degrees in Psychology and Child Development and Family Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy at East Carolina University. She has been practicing in the area of pediatric occupational therapy for 12 years with experience primarily in private practice, but also home health and school settings.
Courtney’s career as a pediatric OT has focused on the evaluation and treatment of Sensory Processing, as it can impact every aspect of a child’s daily life. She has completed extensive training in the treatment of Sensory Processing Disorder, with professional development in Zones of Regulation, Astronaut Training, Praxis/ Motor Planning, Visual Perception, Ocular Motor Skills, Fine Motor Development and Handwriting Skills, MNRI reflex integration, and NDT upper extremity treatment in Pediatrics. In addition, she is a certified provider of Therapeutic Listening and the Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Approach to Feeding.
Courtney has a passion for sharing her knowledge of sensory processing and how it impacts the daily functioning of everyone. She has been a presenter twice at the North Carolina Occupational Therapy Association Conference, as well as presenting workshops in the community to teachers, parents, and other professionals. In addition to being an OT, she has been a registered yoga teacher (RYT-200) for 7 years, which has taught her the importance of mindfulness for self-awareness and regulation. It has also taught her practical strategies for use in her own life as well as when working with children.
Courtney strives to make therapy fun and motivating for the children she works with. She believes that collaboration with families is key to helping them develop individualized home programs in order to maximize positive and functional outcomes. It brings Courtney so much joy to witness the progress of the children she works with and the positive impact that therapy has family’s daily lives. She feels fortunate to have a career that helps children to thrive in all environments.
MARISSA GOODMAN, OTR/L
Marissa’s passion for Occupational Therapy began in high school when she babysat and assisted in the care of a neighbor’s child with special needs. She achieved her goal of becoming a Pediatric Occupational Therapist after earning her Master of Health Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Georgia Regents University (Medical College of Georgia).
She has had the opportunity to participate in some amazing professional experiences and has worked with babies and children with Autistic Spectrum Disorder, Sensory Integration/Sensory Processing Disorder, Down Syndrome, challenges stemming from prematurity, neurological disorders, and developmental delays.
Marissa is committed to pursuing additional training and continuously adding tools to her therapy tool box. She holds specialty training in Primitive Reflex Integration and Neuroplasticity Techniques and The Astronaut Training Program – designed to integrate the senses of vision, hearing and movement. She is also certified in The Therapeutic Listening Program – designed to address sensory modulation, auditory sensitivity, auditory processing, vestibular dysfunction, and coordination and is trained in fine motor, gross motor, and handwriting skill development.
Marissa is a kind and compassionate therapist whose creative and fun approach to therapy keeps her clients engaged and motivated to participate. She is focused on improving the day to day function of her clients through thorough evaluation and treatment of sensory processing and sensory motor challenges as they impact every aspect of life and on education of the families she works with to empower them to implement strategies and tools that maximize success.