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Therapists

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Jodi Prupis
Owner & Occupational Therapist 

Jodi has been a practicing occupational therapist since earning her Bachelor of Science degree from Quinnipiac University in 1999. In 2006 Jodi graduated from Montclair University with a Master’s Degree in Education with a focus in Learning Disabilities. Throughout her career, she has worked in outpatient clinics, early intervention, and various school settings. Jodi has been an adjunct professor at Seton Hall University teaching pediatric courses in the graduate program.  In July of 2108, Jodi became owner and director of Sensational Therapies. Her practice uses a holistic approach involving the entire family, not just the child. Jodi enjoys collaborating together with families to achieve the best possible outcomes for their child. She is certified in the sensory integration and praxis test and is also a certified provider for the listening program and interactive metronome. She has attended numerous continuing education courses including courses on The Alert Program, Zones of Regulation, Brain Gym, The Wilbarger Deep Pressure and Proprioceptive Technique (DPPT), and Handwriting Without Tears. Jodi is certified as an Advanced Mentored Clinician in SPD Level 1, having completed the Advanced Intensive Mentorship from the Sensory Processing Foundation. Most recently Jodi has complete a basic training in the SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory Approach) to Feeding and has begun training in the Masgutova Method®, a comprehensive set of programs that focus motor reflex and sensory system integration.

When not at the office, Jodi is spending time with her husband, Jason and her three daughters Jordyn, Leah and Adele.  She will also tell you that one of her favorite things to do is go for walks with her two dogs, Zuri and Xander.

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Riki Newman,
Occupational Therapist

Riki received her Master's in Occupational Therapy at New York University in 2006. She received her undergraduate degree at Syracuse University where she majored in Child & Family Studies with a minor in Psychology. She loves working with and helping babies to school age children achieve their fullest potential. 

 

Her career began at New York Presbyterian Hospital where she was the neurology clinical specialist. She was a teacher's assistant at Columbia University. She is currently trained in Handwriting without Tears, Sensory Integration, Reflex Integration, Neuro IFRAH, DIR Floortime, Vision Rehabilitation, and Cognitive Therapy.  Riki is a Certified Lactation Counselor.

 

When Riki is not working she enjoys spending time with her husband and two daughters. She loves spending time at the beach, hiking, and enjoys yoga. 

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Elissa Pullman,
Occupational Therapist

Elissa has been a part of Sensational Therapies since 2017. She received her Masters degree in Occupational Therapy from New York University in 2011 and her Bachelors degree in psychology from the University of Delaware. Prior to joining our team, Elissa treated children at a sensory gym as well as various schools in New York City. She is a Handwriting Without Tears Level 1 Certified Handwriting Specialist and also has experience running social skills groups and small summer camps for children with motor, sensory, and social delays. 

 

Elissa loves being able to work with and help children of various ages and their families. She feels that improving a child's ability to feel more confident in his or her body is a crucial part of their development. 

 

After living in the city for almost 10 years, Elissa is happy to be raising her family in New Jersey, where she grew up. When she is not working, she loves spending time with her husband and two children. Elissa is passionate about food, cooking, and living a healthy lifestyle with her family. 

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Sara Loesch,
Occupational Therapist

Sara Loesch has been a pediatric occupational therapist for 10 years. She received her undergraduate degree in psychology at Elon University and my Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy from Columbia University.  Sara has training in sensory integration, neuro-developmental treatment, and DIR/Floortime strategies.She has worked with the early intervention, preschool and elementary school population. I also have taken courses in Myofascial Release, feeding, torticollis, Handwriting Without Tears, rib cage facilitation, Therapeutic Listening and am certified in Kinesio taping.  

 

Outside of being an occupational therapist I love spending time with family and friends, cooking, and enjoying the outdoors. I like to keep active playing soccer, doing yoga, hiking, water sports and snowboarding. 

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Kristen Birnbaum,
Occupational Therapist

Kristen received her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Columbia University in 2016 and a Bachelor of Arts in Elementary Education and Human Development from Boston College in 2011. Kristen began her career as a first grade teacher in New York City and went on to work as in OT in schools, hospitals, and in private practice.  Kristen also founded and has supervised the Occupational Therapy Department at an independent school in Manhattan for the past 5 years.  Kristen is trained in the Astronaut Training Protocol, Learning Without Tears’ handwriting instruction, and has received additional training focused in vestibular rehabilitation and visual skill development.

 

Kristen believes in the power of early intervention, and starting important work when kids are young and at play. She is passionate about success in the gym translating to school and home so that progress is meaningful for the children she works with and their families.

 

In her free time, Kristen loves practicing yoga, spending time with her husband and daughter, and staying active with family and friends.

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Bridgette Shallcross
Physical Therapist

Bridgette is a dedicated pediatric physical therapist who believes in facilitating growth through activities that are fun and engaging. Bridgette received her Bachelor’s of Science in Rehabilitation Science and Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Northeastern University. Prior to working with Sensational Therapies, Bridgette’s previous pediatric physical therapy experiences include working for Perkins School for the Blind, Cambridge Public Schools, and the New Jersey Early Intervention System. In her spare time, Bridgette enjoys bike rides with her family, taking her dogs for long walks, and reading with her 2-year-old daughter.