Meet the Team
Maria graduated from Thomas Jefferson University with a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy degree in 2014. Since then, Maria has been providing pediatric occupational therapy services to children in both school and clinic settings. Maria has previous experience working with children with Autism Spectrum Disorder using a transdisciplinary model approach to treatment.
She has received an Advanced Practice Certificate in Autism Practice & Research from Thomas Jefferson University, and most recently, she received her Certification in Ayres Sensory Integration through CLASI.
Maria is passionate about Sensory Integration, child development, and research, and has relevant experience as a research assistant. She enjoys continuous learning opportunities, as well as educating others – some of her favorite “occupations” are learning and teaching!
Kelsey graduated from Montclair State University in 2015 with a bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and in 2017 from Sacred Heart University with a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy.
As a student Kelsey traveled to Guatemala as part of an interdisciplinary team treating both children and adults with a variety of diagnosis in a school setting, wheelchair clinic, and outpatient setting.
Kelsey then went on to receive a certification as a Certified Stroke Rehabilitation Specialist through the National Stroke Association in 2019. Kelsey has experience working in a hospital-based outpatient pediatric setting as well as working with adults in acute rehab, subacute, outpatient, long term care and assisted living.
Kelsey has furthered her knowledge in the field of pediatrics through continuing education courses including but not limited to Practical Sense in Sensory Integration 1-2, Reflex Integration to Support Education as well as How to Become a Sensory Chef. During her spare time, Kelsey enjoys spending time with her family, friends and dog, reading, going for hikes and relaxing at the beach.
Maia is a New York State certified and licensed Occupational Therapist, having earned her master’s degree from New York University.
She has extensive training and experience working clinically with a variety of challenges ranging from (but not limited to) sensory integration, autism, ADD/ADHD, brain injury, as well as developmental delays and executive function deficits.
Throughout her career, Maia has focused evaluations and treatment plans to the entire continuum of care from newborns to geriatrics, in addition to supporting families/caregivers and providing education and support. Maia has completed various specialized competencies including both basic and advanced vision competency as well as cognitive/perceptual competency.
She is a certified Early Intervention provider and has worked in adult acute care, pediatric in-patient care, pediatric out-patient, home care and private clinics.
Julianne graduated from Long Island University- Brooklyn with her Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy in September 2020. Julianne completed both her Level I and Level II fieldwork rotations at Sensational Development and excitedly returned to become an employee in February 2021.
As a student, Julianne traveled to Belize on a service trip with OT/PT students as well as a child neurologist whom she worked alongside to provide children and their families with the therapeutic services they traveled from all over the country to receive.
While initially starting her career off in hand therapy, Julianne’s passion has always been working with the pediatric population and child development. She currently works in pediatric home health as well and is looking forward to taking more continuing education courses and becoming certified in different areas of pediatric occupational therapy.
BILLING AND FINANCE, INSURANCE COORDINATOR
Jeanine obtained her Master’s Degree in Liberal Studies/Creative Writing from SUNY Stony Brook and her Bachelor’s Degree in English/Secondary Education from Hofstra University.
Prior to joining our practice, Jeanine was the surgery coordinator and office manager for an orthopaedic office on Long Island for more than 17 years. She also worked for Nassau County in Child Protective Services and specialized in child support collection.
Laura graduated from Ithaca College with her Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy in December 2021. She completed her Level II Fieldworks in a school-based setting and in outpatient rehabilitation. Although she enjoys working with clients of all ages, Laura has always been passionate about working in pediatrics.
During her time at Ithaca, Laura was a member of the honor society for occupational therapists. She also volunteered at HorseAbility during the summers, working with children and adults who have special needs.
In her free time, Laura loves spending time with her family and her dog Sydney, as well as traveling with her friends. She is so excited about starting her career and feels lucky to be part of the Sensational Development team!
Vanessa graduated from Iona College with a Bachelor’s Degree of Arts in Psychology and an Associates Degree in Applied Science for Occupational Therapy.
Since 2017, Vanessa has been working in the field of occupational therapy in both clinical and school-based environments. She has had the opportunity to work with preschool and school aged children with varying diagnoses in both individual and group-based therapy.
Witnessing her clients’ journey in achieving skills that maximize their functional independence and in turn, experience a higher quality of life, serve as a positive reminder of why Vanessa chose this profession. Continuous learning is also a top priority for her. She is always looking for ways to improve her treatment ideas and implement evidence-based research.
Lynne graduated from Stonybrook University in 2010 with a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy. Since then, she has followed her passion for working with children and has worked primarily with the birth to 5 population through EI, CPSE, and CSE as well as in private practice. She also has experience working in public schools on the elementary level. Lynne loves that she gets to be imaginative and playful daily.
Lynne has had many years of training and clinical experience in addressing sensory processing and neuromuscular difficulties through SI, NDT and DIR/Floortime treatment approaches. Some of the various continuing education courses taken over the past ten years include; Lois Bly’s Components of Movement and Principles of NDT, NDT Infant treatment, Kinesiotaping: KT1, KT2, KT3 and KT4 (Specialty Pediatrics), Talk Tools’ Feeding Therapy: A Sensory-Motor Approach, Astronaut Training-A Sound Activated Vestibular Visual Protocol, Therapeutic Listening, and DIR 101 and 201-Promoting Basic Functional Emotional Capacities.
In her free time, Lynne loves spending time outside and eating out with her husband and two kids.
MS, OTR/L, RYT, RCYT
Christine Lichtenberger (Chrissy) graduated from Dominican College in 2009 with a BS/MS degree in Occupational Therapy. Chrissy has 10+ years of experience working in school-based, clinic, and home care pediatric settings. She has extensive experience working with children who present with multiple and complex physical, cognitive, and/or sensory needs. She has completed trainings in Handwriting Without Tears, Therapeutic Listening, Bal-a-Vis-X, Assistive Technology, and the use of Multi-Sensory Environments.
Chrissy’s love for the practice of yoga and appreciation for its natural alignment within the scope of Occupational Therapy, lead her to pursue her 200-hour yoga teacher certification in 2015. With the intention of integrating yoga into her OT skillset, she has since completed a range of trainings and certifications in aerial and mat styles of yoga. Aerial trainings include AntiGravity Fundamentals 1&2, Yoga 1, and Just Kids 1&2 with the Christopher Harrison Lab in NYC. In 2019, Chrissy travelled to Austin, Texas and completed Level 1-3 in Yogapeutics Aerial Yoga, Movement, and Sensory Processing, instructed by yoga/occupational therapist, Lindsey Beil. Chrissy has completed mat based trainings including her 95-hour Children’s Yoga Certification with Yoga for The Special Child, the Sonia Sumar Method. She has completed several continuing education modules under the instruction of Sonia Sumar and Renata Sumar at Integral Yoga in NYC and South Shore Conservatory in Massachusetts. Additional trainings include YogiBeans 25- hour Children’s Yoga Teacher Training for Ages 2-10, and Mindful Resilience for Trauma Recovery Level 1 through the Veteran’s Yoga Project. Through the Childlight Education Co., Chrissy has completed Yoga for Babies and Toddlers as well as the 85-hour Prenatal Yoga Teacher Certification. Chrissy is also a Radiant Lotus 2nd Degree Reiki practitioner.
Chrissy is forever a student of yoga and OT, and always looking to learn. Chrissy utilizes her knowledge of human anatomy and development, her experience and skills as an occupational therapist, and her extensive training in yoga, aerial yoga, and mindfulness to create playful and intention-based group activities, classes and individual treatment sessions that target the mind-body connection. She has had the opportunity to present on wellness topics including stress reduction techniques to prevent burnout in special education staff, implementing yoga for sensory integration, and the use of mindfulness and Social Emotional Learning for students with multiple and complex needs. Chrissy encourages a sense of curiosity and exploration with mindful attention practices that are easily accessible to both adults and children. In her free time, Chrissy can be found doing yoga, swinging from the flying trapeze, enjoying nature, playing with her bunny, Bodhi (BoBo) and/or her dog, Gracie, and enjoying the company of friends and family.
Diana graduated from Touro College School of Health Sciences in 2011 with a bachelor’s degree in Health Sciences and a Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy. Since 2012 Diana has worked with a wide variety of diagnosis in the following settings: hospital, nursing home, home care, preschool, autism program/school setting for 3-21 year olds and sensory based clinics. Through her experiences, she has become knowledgeable in Snoezelen rooms (a.k.a Multi-Sensory Environments). Diana met with Linda Messbauer to further her knowledge in the use of Snoezelen rooms for therapeutic purposes during her last year of college. She has provided staff training and has overseen the Snoezelen room at a school for 3 years until the room was closed due to the pandemic. In 2014 she engaged in Arnadottir OT-ADL Neurobehavioral Evaluation (A-ONE) training for adult care setting.
Diana brings a unique perspective as she was diagnosed with Dyslexia as a child. Her life experiences and passion to help others lead her to become an occupational therapist. She has spoken at a panel at Adelphi University to help provide awareness and understanding of the challenges faced in the school settings from childhood through college. During 2006-2012 Diana would periodically return to her high school to provide the seniors and parents with insight on her challenges and how she had advocated for herself in college and in the workforce.
In her free time Diana enjoys spending time with family, friends, her dogs and hedgehog. She has a passion for art, dancing, Pilates, and going to museums or car shows. Diana has participated in tribal fusion, veil and other dance classes/workshops to hopefully incorporate dance with occupational therapy. In 2019 she danced in a group performance for DJAM NYC/BellyQueen. Occasionally Diana engages in volunteering or partaking in fundraisers/walks for various causes/organizations.
Kayleigh graduated from Quinnipiac University in January of 2022 with her Master’s in Occupational Therapy.
As a student, Kayleigh volunteered at a virtual summer camp for children with limb differences, and participated in a Sensory Integration Therapy Capstone, which researched the correlation between sensory integration therapy and physiological responses in children with sensory processing disorder. Kayleigh also has a special interest in NICU Occupational Therapy, as well as Animal Assisted Therapy, and hopes to participate in continuing education in these areas.
She has always been passionate about working with children and she is extremely excited to have joined the Sensational Development team!
Jenna graduated from Alvernia University in August 2021 with her Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy. Jenna completed her Level II fieldwork at Sensational Development.
As a student Jenna was apart of bringing a Coalition of Occupational Therapy Advocates for Diversity chapter to her school. While in school, Jenna worked with kids at a local elementary school for extra school help and spent her summers working as a teachers aid in an extended year program for students with disabilities.
Jenna has previously worked as a respite and community habilitation aid for kids with disabilities. Jenna has always had a passion for working in the pediatric population. In her free time Jenna enjoys traveling, spending time with family and friends, and reading.
Amanda pursued a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology at Rochester Institute of Technology in 2016 and a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy at D’Youville University in 2020.
Amanda is a deaf Occupational Therapist who wears a hearing aid and cochlear implant. She brings unique experience and perspective when working with children in school and clinical based environments. Amanda believes every child deserves a unique approach to achieve multiple milestones.
Amanda has experience working in varied school-based settings and an outpatient sensory clinic. Last summer, she worked at a camp with Autism Spectrum Disorder children. She and her team were involved in fostering the campers’ experience through daily summer activities such as rock climbing, tubing, swimming, and many more.
Amanda is beyond excited to join the Sensational Developmental family. She looks forward to working with the team and taking continuous education courses. In her free time, she enjoys hiking, exploring, traveling, painting and spending time with her friends and family.
Client Services Coordinator
Julie is one of the front office coordinators at Sensational Development, OT. She obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and Sociology from Loyola University in Maryland.
Prior to joining our practice, Julie was a Client Service Supervisor and Quality Assurance and Food Safety Coordinator for a confectionery manufacturer on Long Island for more than 22 years.
In her spare time, she loves traveling, cooking, volunteering and boating on the south shore of Long Island. Her favorite sport is baseball. She is an avid New York Mets fan and loves attending as many games as she can with her family and friends.
James graduated from Rutgers University with an Associate’s in Applied Science for Occupational Therapy in January 2022. He completed his Level II clinical fieldworks in an out-of-district behavioral healthcare school for ages 5-21 and an outpatient facility primarily servicing adults that have experienced TBI and those that received services through New Jersey’s Division of Developmental Disabilities.
Since graduating, James has worked in both school and clinical settings in pediatrics with ages ranging from 11 months to 18 years, primarily providing services to children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder. James has also become an Interactive Metronome Certified Provider and received a Fieldwork Educator certificate via AOTA.
In his spare time, James is fixing up the house that he and his wife have recently moved into when they are not out camping and hiking.
Sam graduated from Quinnipiac University with her Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy in
January 2023. She completed her Level II fieldwork rotations in outpatient hand therapy as well
as in sensory integration here at Sensational Development in 2022!
Sam has a strong passion for yoga and mindfulness and loves to incorporate these strategies
throughout her sessions. During her time as a student, Sam completed her Level I yoga
certification and taught classes for students and faculty at Quinnipiac University. She aims to
expand her knowledge in this area to teach adult and pediatric classes here on Long Island.
Sam possesses a diverse range of interests, spanning from sensory integration and school-
based OT to anatomy and biomechanics. Her eagerness to blend these areas of expertise while
working in pediatrics underscores her commitment to delivering holistic and comprehensive
In her spare time, Sam loves to travel, take yoga classes, & spend time with her friends! She is
so excited to grow professionally as a part of the Sensational Development team!!
Tyler graduated from the University of Tampa in 2015 with a Bachelor Degree in Science and Long Island University in August 2022 with a Master Degree in Occupational Therapy. As a student, Tyler was a member of the occupational therapy honor society, Pi Theta Epsilon. She completed both my level I and level II pediatric fieldwork rotations at Sensational Development and soon returned to become part of the team.
Tyler always had a passion for working with the pediatric population and quickly fell in love with sensory integration once she started my fieldwork experience.
In my free time she enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling, and going to the beach. Tyler is looking forward to taking more continuing education courses and furthering my knowledge in different areas of pediatric therapy.