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480-508-5252
Pediatric Occupational, Physical, Speech Therapy & Dyslexia in Gilbert, AZ

What We Do!

Pediatric Occupational Therapists (OT), Physical Therapists (PT) and Speech Therapy (ST) 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, PT and ST 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!

Areas of Focus

• Fine and gross motor skills
• Upper body strength and coordination
• Postural stability and balance
• Motor planning
• Visual motor skills
• Visual perception
• Eye-hand coordination
• Activities of Daily living (dressing, grooming, bathing, etc.)
• Attention difficulties
• Sensory processing difficulties (tactile, auditory, visual, vestibular and proprioception)
• Executive function, time management and organization
• Handwriting difficulties
• Feeding issues
• Upper and lower extremity strength
• Range of motion
• Balance and coordination
• Trunk strengthening for postural control and stability
• Gait deviations
• Mobility skills 
• Communication
• Speech Difficulties
• Apraxia
• Phonemic Awareness
• Pragmatics
• Working Memory
• Reading Comprehension
• Written Expression

Diagnosis Treated

• Developmental Delays
• Autism Spectrum Disorders
• Dyspraxia or motor incoordination
• Sensory Processing Disorder
• ADD/ADHD
• Cerebral Palsy
• Spina Bifida
• Down's Syndrome
• Erb's Palsy
• Neuromuscular Disorders
• Torticollis and Plagiocephaly
• Idiopathic toe walking and other gait abnormalities
• Hypotonia /hypertonia
• Juvenile idiopathic arthritis 
• Childhood Apraxia of Speech
• Articulation Difficulties
• Stuttering
• Phonological Disorders
• Expressive and Receptive Language Disorders
• Auditory Processing
• And more

Who We Are!

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 Metro-Phoenix, AZ. Occupational, Physical and Speech Therapy services are currently available from birth to age 16 yrs. Currently we provide out-patient, clinic-based services at 2715 S. Alma School Rd., Suite #3.  School services are provided though contract only.


Occupational Therapy Team

Heather Baumgartner OTR/L, Owner

Heather Baumgartner, B.S. OTR/L, Owner

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!


Kylie Wethered

Kylie Metherd, M.S. OTR/L

Kylie joined the Way To Grow team in July of 2021 as a registered occupational therapist. She graduated with her Master's of Occupational Therapy from Mount Mary University in Wisconsin. Originally from Colorado, Kylie recently moved to Arizona to start work at Way To Grow. She has always had a passion for working with children and believes that each child can thrive when provided with the right environment and supports to help them grow. She loves working with families throughout the therapeutic process to facilitate building confidence in advocating for their child. In her free time she enjoys getting together with friends and family and going on hikes.


Marianne Sword, COTA/L

Marianne Sword, COTA/L

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, Arizona 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.


Samantha Baker COTA/L

Samantha Baker, COTA/L

Samantha Baker joined Way to Grow Pediatric Therapy in August of 2018 as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA). Originally from Southern California, she moved to Arizona in 2014 shortly after graduating from the Occupational Therapy Assistant program at Mercyhurst University of Pennsylvania. Samantha has experience working with patients aged 2-25 in both clinic-based and home-based settings. She has continuing education in Effective Sensory Diets, Executive Functioning and Self-Regulation, and Visualizing and Verbalizing. Samantha has a passion for working with children with sensory processing disorders, Cerebral Palsy, Down’s syndrome, feeding disorders, and teens transitioning into adulthood. She believes that when a child is given the tools, encouragement, and the right challenges, they can grow into confident, successful, and functionally independent adults. When she is not working, Samantha enjoys spending time with her family, travelling, and crafting.


Kaylee Finnigan MOT, OTR/L

Kaylee Finnigan MOT, OTR/L

Kaylee joined the Way to Grow team in May 2022 as an occupational therapist. Originally from Southern California, Kaylee attended Colorado State University to pursue her master’s degree. After completing her coursework in 2016 she began practicing in variety of pediatric settings, working with kiddos ranging in age from birth to 21. Kaylee has additional training in sensory integration, NDT, feeding, and emotional regulation among other areas. She is passionate about working with all children and their families, helping them discover tools to thrive. When she is not working Kaylee enjoys spending time with her family, being outdoors, or finding a new coffee shop.


Lynsie McLenna

Lynsie McLenna, COTA/L

Lynsie recently joined the Way to Grow team in August as a Licensed Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant. Lynsie graduated with her degree from Pima Medical Institute in 2015, and began practicing at a Sensory Integration clinic shortly after. She has worked with children ages 2-21, with hands-on training and experience in sensory integration and feeding therapy. Lynsie has worked with a variety of different diagnoses and is passionate about helping children and families to gain the tools they need to support all aspects of daily life. She has completed a variety of continuing education courses including “Implementing Sensory Integration into Practice”, “The Get Permission Approach to Anxious Eaters/Anxious Mealtimes” and “Assessment and Treatment of the Baby via NDT”. In her free time, Lynsie enjoys being outdoors through hiking and paddle-boarding, as well as crafting and spending time with her friends and family.


Speech and Language Team

Erin McBride  M.A., CCC-SLP

Erin McBride, Team Lead, M.A. CCC-SLP

Erin joined the Way to Grow team in January 2021 as a Speech Language Pathologist. Erin earned her bachelor's degrees in Speech Language and Hearing Sciences (BS) and Creative Writing Poetry (BA) at Arizona State University in 2015. Erin earned her masters in Communication Disorders (MA) at New Mexico State University in 2017. Through her 3+ years experience in clinic based pediatric therapy, Erin has gained experience in evaluating and treating a wide range of disorders and diagnoses. Erin is passionate about early intervention and play based therapy, as well as feeding therapy and articulation therapy. Erin is hoping to further her career by looking into orofacial myology to further her experience with treating and evaluating tongue thrust.

Erin was born and raised in Arizona. In her free time, Erin enjoys reading, writing, cross stitch, gardening, and playing with her dogs. She is very proud that she has had the opportunity to travel to 13 different countries.


Kayleigh Jones CCC-SLP

Kayleigh Effron-Jones, M.S. CCC-SLP & Creative Coordinator

Kayleigh joined the Way to Grow team in June 2021 as a Speech Language Pathologist. Kayleigh earned her bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders (BS) at University of Nebraska Kearney in 2015. She earned her masters in Speech Language Pathology (MS) at Midwestern University – Glendale. Through her 3 years experience in clinic based pediatric therapy, she gained experience in evaluating and treating pediatric speech and language disorder and diagnoses. Kayleigh is passionate about alternative and augmentative communication, social communication, sensory integration in speech and language intervention, play based therapy and feeding therapy.

In her free time, Kayleigh enjoys running and hiking with her fiancé and dog.


Sarah Westrick, MS, CF-SLP

Sarah Westrick, M.S. CCC-SLP

Sarah joined the Way to Grow team in September 2020 as a Clinical Fellow-Speech Language Pathologist (CF-SLP). Originally from Southern California, she moved out to Arizona for college in 2013. She completed her BA at Northern Arizona University, took a year off, and then went back to Northern Arizona University and completed her MS in Clinical Speech-Language Pathology. Throughout her program Sarah gained knowledge in evaluating and treating a wide range of disorders in school and clinical settings. Sarah has a passion for working with kids with language and literacy disorders, especially Dyslexia. In her free time, Sarah enjoys spending time with family, reading, hiking, and traveling.


Brodi Blomdahl, SLPA

Brodi Blomdahl, SLPA

Brodi joined the Way to Grow team in May 2022 as a Speech-Language Pathologist Assistant. Originally from Southern California, Brodi moved to Arizona in early May of 2022 after graduating college.

Brodi earned her bachelor’s degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences and Disorders (BS) and received a Speech-Language Pathology Assistant Certification from California Baptist University in 2022. Brodi has a passion for the autistic community as well as early play-based language intervention, social communication, and phonological disorders. She plans to expand her interests as she works within the Speech and Language Pathology field.

Brodi is excited to be a part of the Way to Grow team and is eager to build relationships with not only those receiving treatment but also with their families. Brodi wants to ensure that everyone's experience at Way to Grow is positive and rewarding.

Brodi was born and raised in Riverside, California. Although Brodi is new to Arizona, she is excited to explore the wonderful things the state has to offer. In her free time, Brodi enjoys playing soccer, drawing, road trips, and spending time with her family, friends, and dogs.


Physical Therapist Team

Cassie Laughrey

Cassie Laughrey, PT, DPT

Cassie joined the Way To Grow team in October of 2021. She graduated from the University of Arizona in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science in Physiology and a minor in Spanish language. She continued her education at the University of St. Augustine where she graduated with a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in 2019. As a PT Cassie has worked in both the pediatric and geriatric settings. Specifically, her pediatric experience includes working with clients from birth to 21 years of age with a variety of diagnoses including Down Syndrome, Cerebral Palsy, Autism Spectrum Disorder, general developmental delay, torticollis, and more. Cassie is very passionate about working with the Down Syndrome and blind and visually impaired community; volunteering as a member of the Chandler Lions club and Arizona Center for the Blind and Visually Impaired and is currently on the executive board of directors for Down Syndrome Network of Arizona.

In her free time Cassie enjoys spending time with her husband, daughter, and their three dogs. She is an avid crafter and Netflix watcher.


Kim Ellison, PT, DPT

Kim Ellison, PT, DPT

Doctor of Physical Therapy, Kimberlee (Kim) Ellison re-joined the team at Way to Grow Pediatric Therapy in September 2022, after an extended maternity leave.

Kim completed her undergraduate degree at the University of Miami and graduated Cum Laude in 2007. She spent time working as a project manager before realizing her career was in physical therapy. She graduated from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions with a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in 2013. Kim received her Neurodevelopmental Treatment Certification in 2018, and completed her NDT Advanced Baby Training in Santiago, Chile in 2019 to specialize in the treatment of infants. Kim has a multi-system approach to treatment, with a special interest in how breathing affects everything we do. She has served as a teaching assistant for Mary Massery’s courses on Breathing & Postural Control as well as Proprioceptive Neuromuscular Facilitation (PNF). She has worked with all ages of patients though her primary interest and specialty is working with infants and toddlers. She has worked both in Early Intervention and Clinic-based pediatric therapy and is particularly motivated by collaborating with and empowering parents and children to celebrate every change, big and small, and to work toward their highest potential.

Kim is originally from Seattle, Washington, and moved to Arizona in 2019. She enjoys hiking, cooking, and spending time with her husband, son, dog and two cats. Kim speaks both English and Spanish.


Office Administration Team

Nikkie Procter

Nikkie Procter - Practice Manager

Nikkie joined the amazing Way to Grow team in July 2021 as the Practice Manager. She made the decision to start a career in the medical field in 2005 and has developed an extensive background in many aspects of patient care ever since. She started her journey as a Medical Assistant and Phlebotomist and worked her way up to Management in 2007. She opened and managed multiple Urgent Care facilities in her hometown in California before moving to Arizona. Nikkie is excited to be a part of this exceptional group of individuals who love what they do, and she is eager to help ensure that everyone's experience at Way to Grow is a positive and rewarding one.

In her spare time, Nikkie enjoys spending time with her family and friends, watching her kids play sports and going to the gym.


Stephanie Tripp - Billing specialist/Patient Care Coordinator

Stephanie Tripp - Billing Specialist

Stephanie joined the way to grow team in November of 2018. Originally from Providence, Rhode Island, she moved to Chandler, Arizona in 1991, at the age of 7, and has made it her home ever since. In 2013, she started her medical billing career journey and 7 years later, she still enjoys behind the scenes work. When she is not at work, Stephanie enjoys spending time with her six kids (four girls and two boys) and her three dogs.


Ashley Baumgartner

Ashley Baumgartner - Receptionist

Ashley is a new receptionist who joined Way to Grow in September of 2022, and she is very excited to get to know all the families at Way to Grow, by greeting everyone with a smile when they come in! Ashley is beyond eager to get to know everyone, all new and existing families. Ashley has just finished Cosmetology School! She loves making new friends and making people smile. Currently she is working toward helping others and becoming a hairstylist.

When she is not working at the front desk, Ashley can be found going on adventures, reading a good book, hanging out with family or friends, and playing with her dogs.


Jaden Coules

Jaden Coules - Receptionist

Jaden joined the Way to Grow team in September of 2022 as a receptionist. He lived in Southern California for 12 years until moving to Gilbert, Arizona. He graduated from Higley High School in 2022 and is now attending college at Chandler Gilbert Community College. Jaden is in school learning about business management in hopes of owning a successful business in the future. He has a background revolving around customer service and strives to ensure the patients and parents are pleased with our services. Jaden is excited to work at Way to Grow and looks forward to getting to know the patients and parents along the way.

In his free time, Jaden enjoys spending time with family, playing soccer, hanging out with friends, and listening to music.

Kudos

Here's what families are saying about Way to Grow

"My kids have grown exponentially with the help of these ladies!!! They are warm, inviting and extremely good at what they do! The office/paperwork side of the business is very responsive and super professional! I would highly recommend Way to Grow!!!

-Laura M.

"The staff is warm, loving, knowledgeable and simply amazing. We are so lucky to have WTG in our lives. WTG has been a "game changer" for our son. I am so thankful for all they have done for our son and family.

-Megan B.

Pediatric Occupational, Physical, Speech Therapy & Dyslexia Services in Gilbert, AZ, Phoenix,Tempe, Chandler, Mesa,Gilbert, Ahwatukee, Mesa,Scottsdale, Glendale, Peoria, Paradise Valley, Maricopa, Casa Grande, SanTan Valley, Queen Creek, Phoenix Metro area, East Valley

We Accept

Blue Cross
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Contact Information

2715 S. Alma School Rd., Suite #3
Chandler AZ 85286

Phone: 480-508-5252

Email: reception@waytogrowaz.com

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