Pediatric Occupational Therapists (OT) and Physical Therapists (PT) help children to restore or develop their functional performance in a variety of areas. For children, some of the areas include play, self-help skills, functional mobility, school performance, and social skills. At Way to Grow, LLC, we provide individualized, play-based and child-centered OT and PT services. Our treatment sessions are provided in a clinic setting with a sensory based gym, featuring a wide variety of equipment, toys and activities to motivate, encourage and provide each child with a "just right" challenge to foster maximum skill development. Your child will love to grow and learn with us in our fun, safe and supportive environment!
Way to Grow, LLC is a therapist owned and operated, Pediatric Therapy clinic serving children and their families in the Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa and Tempe areas of Phoenix, AZ. Occupational and Physical Therapy services are available to children from birth to 15 yrs. Currently we provide out-patient, clinic based services at 4100 S. Lindsay Rd., Suite 114 (Located in the Foundations Developmental House). School services are provided though contract only.
Heather Baumgartner is the founder, owner, and supervising Occupational Therapist at Way to Grow, LLC. She graduated from the University of North Dakota in 1995, with a Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy. Through the years and scope of practice, she has had a wide range of experience in pediatrics through home health, clinic based, hospital, and school settings. Heather specializes in the treatment of pediatric clients (birth to 18 yrs.) with emphasis on SPD (Sensory Processing Disorders) and SI (Sensory Integration), NDT (Neurodevelopmental Theory) and Motor Learning theories. She also has an abundance of experience with childhood development as a SAHM for 10 years while her 4 girls were young and attending elementary school. Heather has also dedicated many hours of study and continuing education to keep up with the latest information on SPD research, Autism and Pediatric information by attending conferences, completing continuing education course work, participating in mentorship programs and independent study. Heather is certified in the “Handwriting Without Tears” program, the “Integrated Listening Program” (iLs) and recently became certified as a provider for the S.O.S feeding program (Sequential Oral Sensory Feeding Program) through Dr. Kay Toomey. She also had the honor and privilege to become an Advanced Level 1 Mentored Clinician in SPD through the mentorship/training program at the STAR Center (Sensory Treatment and Research Center) in Denver, Colorado, June 2015. Heather also recently received formal training in the “Bal-A-Vis-X” program,Sept. 2016 and is currently a member of both state (Arizota) and national (AOTA) OT associations.
When she’s not working, Heather enjoys time with her husband (Jimmy), and their family either at the gym or going on vacations where there’s warm water and sandy beaches! She also has 2 boxers dogs, and has a love for decorating, creating jewelry and shopping with her 4 daughters!
Kate Moss joined Way to Grow Pediatric Therapy in December of 2014 as a licensed Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant. Originally from California, she moved to Arizona in the early 1990’s. Married for 19 years, she and her husband Bill have three active teenage children and two very spoiled dogs. After spending 10+ years as a full time mom and Preschool Teacher, Kate continued her education and completed the Occupational Therapy Assistant program at Pima Medical Institute earning a degree in Associate of Applied Science of Occupational Therapy and went on to pass the National Certification Exam for Occupational Therapy Assistants. Kate recently gained continuing education through the “Handwriting Without Tears” and “Alert” programs. She is also a current member of the state OT association (Arizota). Kate believes that children learn by doing. When physical, cognitive or social challenges exist, natural development and opportunities for learning can be hindered. Through purposeful play and activities, independence and confidence will grow allowing the patient to tap into their natural curiosity about the world they live in. It is from these experiences that new learning and growth can occur.
When not at WTG, Kate enjoys spending time with her family, bike riding, hiking and boating on our beautiful Arizona lakes.
Edna Yepez joined Way to Grow Pediatric Therapy in March of 2016 as a licensed Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant. Her passion to help others and admiration for children brought her to the field of OT. She received her degree from Pima Medical Institute in August of 2015. Edna is a member of “Arizota”- Arizona State Occupational Therapy Association and has received continuing education in the “Bal-A-Vis-X” exercise program in September 2016, “Handwriting Without Tears” in February 2017, and “Practical Sensory Motor Strategies” in April 2017. Edna believes children are resilient and very positive spirits, and she believes children teach us what’s important in life. She wants to help children accomplish their goals through their main occupation: play.
When not at WTG, Edna enjoys spending time with her family, traveling, listening to music, attending concerts, and baking. Edna and her husband are expecting their first child: a sweet boy due in December, 2017. They also have a very sassy cichlid fish pet named Lily.
Marianne Sword joined Way to Grow, LLC in December 2014 as a Licensed Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant. She received her degree from Brown Mackie College Phoenix in 2012 and completed her fieldwork rotation at a specialized Sensory Integration outpatient clinic where she was hired as a full time COTA/L after graduation. She has had hands on training and mentorship from talented therapists whom she still collaborates with regularly. Marianne has also completed several continuing education courses including Sequential Oral Sensory (S.O.S.) Approach to Feeding with Dr. Kay Toomey, Pediatric Feeding: Big Picture I &II with Jennifer Meyer, Brachial Plexus education, as well as attending several conferences including the SPD Foundation 3S Symposium with Dr. Lucy Jane Miller, Arizota Spring Conference Linking Play to Function through NDT and SI with Lezlie Adler. She has also completed the CPI (Non-violent Crisis Intervention) training. Her passion lies in working with children with sensory processing difficulties, Autism, Downs Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, developmental delays and children with feeding challenges. She has also completed intro and advanced conferences in the Applications of Kinesio Tape and is a practicing Kinesio Taping provider.
Marianne is from the mid-west and has called Arizona home since 2000. When not working, Marianne enjoys traveling and spending time outdoors hiking, camping, and mountain biking with her family.
Lauren has over 6 years of pediatric occupational therapy experience. She graduated from Midwestern University with a Masters in Occupational Therapy in 2011. She has experience working in home health, clinic, and school based settings. She has taken numerous continuing education courses in the areas of: feeding therapy, therapeutic listening, handwriting without tears and sensory processing. In October of 2014 Lauren completed her SIPT training over the course of 6 months to become certified in Sensory Integration. She is passionate and energetic about using her experience and education to help children be the best they can be while having fun! She is married and has a dog named Bailey. She enjoys reading and traveling in her free time.
Brooke joined Way to Grow Pediatric Therapy in September 2016. She is an Arizona native but attended Colorado State University, graduating in 1999 with her Bachelor of Science in Occupational Therapy. As an occupational therapist Brooke has enjoyed working in several settings including hospital, home health, public schools, and a charter school. She has attended continuing education courses on topics such as Autism Spectrum disorders and treatment, primitive reflex integration, vision processing and therapy, sensory strategies for the school and home, and executive function skills. She has also attended specific courses for Interactive Metronome, The Alert Program for Self-Regulation, and Handwriting Without Tears. Brooke believes children learn and grow best when they are having fun and actively exploring their environment. She is so glad to be part of the Way to Grow team!
Outside of work, Brooke enjoys spending time with her husband and four young children. They enjoy being outdoors (riding bikes, hiking, swimming), traveling, and working on DIY home projects together. In her rare alone time Brooke enjoys running, pilates, reading, and baking.
Tracy Knight joined the Way to Grow staff as the office manager in January of 2015. She had known Heather for years and was excited to join the “Way to Grow” team when the opportunity presented itself. Tracy grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and attended the University of Iowa. She moved to the Phoenix area in 1997 when her then boyfriend was drafted to play football with the Arizona Cardinals. Even though his football career took them out of the state at times, they fell in love with Arizona and decided to make it their permanent home. Now married for 17 years, Tracy and Tommy have 2 children, Taylor and TJ. Tracy had the joy of being a stay at home mom for years and recently decided it was time to do something for herself. Joining Way to Grow, LLC has been the perfect fit, as she loves being around children, interacting with the families, as well as the office environment.
When not at WTG, Tracy spends most of her time supporting her children in their many activities.
Karen joined Way to Grow in October of 2017 as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant. She is originally from Maryland, moved to Colorado and received her BA, Special Education, from the University of Northern Colorado. She moved to Arizona in 1986 and began a rewarding teaching career which lasted 30 years. Karen also received an MA Ed, Educational Counseling, in 1995 from the University of Phoenix. Her teaching experience included grades K-12, Itinerant, Resource and Self –Contained classrooms. Many of her students included those with Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, Developmental Delay, Traumatic Brain Injury, Muscular Dystrophy and genetic anomalies. After retiring in December 2013, Karen spent the next year as a long-term substitute teacher in a special education preschool classroom in Sacaton, AZ. She attended and graduated from PIMA Medical Institute in September of 2016 with an Associate of Applied Science of Occupational Therapy, and passed the National Certification Exam for Occupational Therapy Assistants in December 2016.
When not working, Karen enjoys playing golf, spending time with family and friends, reading, gardening and traveling. She also treasures time volunteering with the homeless, the elderly and at GiGi’s Down Syndrome Achievement Center. It truly makes her heart happy to teach and play with kids, giving them the skills and tools required to always do their personal best, and watching them grow and develop into happy, healthy kids.
Dina Dogin is a physical therapist bringing 16 years of experience working with the pediatric population and their families. She is originally from Albuquerque, NM and graduated from the University of New Mexico Physical Therapy program in 2001. She moved to Arizona with her family in 2016. Her knowledge and background extend to having worked in multiple treatment settings including hospitals, home health, schools and outpatient clinics. The patient populations she has served have included infants and children ranging in age from birth to 18 years with a wide range of neurological, orthopedic and developmental diagnoses, disabilities and special needs. The majority of her career has been spent in early intervention with the birth to three populations but has also enjoyed branching out the past several years to working with older children as well.
Outside of work she enjoys spending time with her family, staying active with yoga, working out and outdoor activities including hiking and camping. Her family is also passionate about helping animals, volunteering with local rescue groups and fostering dogs in need of adoption.
Kara is excited to join the WTG team in the Fall of 2017!! Kara is an experienced pediatric Physical Therapist, and we’re excited for her to provide her experience and PT services to the clients at WTG! Kara is from New Hampshire and has 17 years of experience in the physical therapy profession initially as a Physical Therapy Assistant and in 2007 graduating from Northern Arizona University with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy. She remained in Arizona after graduating until the birth of her daughter when she travelled back East in 2012 to be closer to family. The summer of 2017 she returned to the desert to enjoy Arizona’s climate, sun, and lifestyle. Most of Kara’s Physical Therapy career has been with the Pediatric Population in a variety of settings (Birth-18) to include: Two Children’s Hospitals, NICU, PICU, General Pediatric Acute Inpatient, Pediatric Inpatient Rehabilitation, Outpatient, and Aquatic Therapy. Her outpatient specialty areas have been with birth to 3 with diagnosis such as developmental delay and torticollis utilizing land and water based therapy. Kara loves learning and believes we all have something to contribute to the team. In 2016 she was awarded by The American Physical Therapy Association the Recognition as A Board Certified Pediatric Specialist. This Certification is for physical therapists with advanced clinical knowledge, experience, and skills in a special area of practice such as Pediatrics. She is committed to her patients and is humbled and amazed by the honor to be a small part of a patient’s success and wellness. She has been a member of the American Physical Therapy Association since 2000 as well as the Aquatics, Pediatrics, and Orthopedic Sections.
Kara’s greatest joy is to be with her family (husband, daughter, and Black Lab Daisy) outdoors at the Beach, Mountains, or Lake running and swimming. She runs marathons and her voice is heard greatest when advocating for her daughter.
"Thank you for being a positive influence and amazing therapist in our son's life. It has been exciting to watch him improve in so many areas! We can now focus on what a smart and sweet boy he is with the tools you have taught him, and me as his mother. He always looked forward to coming to therapy and I was grateful that he trusted you and had fun with you. I now have a newfound respect for Occupational Therapists! Thank you for your patience with our son and your passion to help kids improve!"