At Growing UP Therapy we, your occupational, physical and music therapists, believe in partnership. Together we collaborate with you and your child to achieve developmental goals through playful interventions, sharing of knowledge and a nurturing environment.
While attending the College of St. Scholastica in Duluth Minnesota, I earned a Bachelors of Arts in 2010 and then my Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy in 2011. First I explored being a travel occupational therapist, before finding my true calling in pediatrics. Over the past several years, I have been able to hone and develop my clinical skills. I have advanced training in the areas of Sensory Integration, visual-motor, ocular motor and visual perceptual development. I am also a certified SOS (Sequential Oral Sensory) feeding therapist as well as a DIRFloortime practitioner.
I have been an Occupational Therapist since 1996 and have specialized in Pediatrics for 23 of those years. Stateside I have worked in New York, Massachusetts, Connecticut and New Mexico in early intervention, school therapy and at the Center for Development and Disability at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. Most recently, I have spent the past 10 years working here in Germany for the EDIS program through the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center in early intervention and in multiple schools: Ramstein Elementary, Vogelweh Elementary and Sembach Elementary and Middle Schools as well as several schools in the Stuttgart area. I earned my Master of Occupational Therapy degree at Texas Woman’s University and have extensive continuing education in the areas of sensory integration and praxis, autism, ADHD, developmental and motor coordination disorders, various manual therapies and orthotics. My philosophy as a therapist is to build off a child’s strengths and to help him/her feel safe and comfortable when facing challenges. Finding a “just right” challenge is key, so that the therapeutic process is fun while attaining one’s goals.
After completing my Bachelor in Occupational Therapy in 2001 at the University of the Free State in South Africa I started working in peadiatrics. This has been my passion ever since. I embarked on my Masters degree at the University in Witwatersrand, with a special interest in peadiatrics, neurology, developmental visual perception and Ayres Sensory Integration. I have worked at private practices, schools for children with special needs and remedial schools. I enjoy furthering my “OT toolbox”, and I am a certified Interactive Metronome practitioner, and currently busy with my Trauma Releasing Exercises qualification. I completed my training in functional capacity assessments and did pediatric functional capacity assessments for the road accident fund in South Africa. Later, I also started assessing adults. I have designed developmental programs for children with limited access to resources in South Africa, and I am currently writing up my PhD, investigating the sensory profiles of children from adequately resourced backgrounds, compared to those without access to resources. My family has recently embarked on our European adventure, and I am thrilled to be able to continue working and helping children to achieve success in every-day life through building their skills in a playful and meaningful way, as well as working closely with the family and therapy team.
JULIE BRANNON SCHOENEFELD
I have been a pediatric Occupational Therapist since 1997. My career started in private practice and school therapy in Albuquerque, NM. Since 2001 I have worked for the Educational Developmental Intervention Services (EDIS) program as an Early Intervention OT, focusing on partnering with parents to help their infant or toddler grow and develop in the context of their everyday activities together. Understanding autism, and helping families understand it, has been a long-term interest of mine. For this reason I decided to pursue specialized autism training with the PLAY Project. It’s exciting to begin 2022 as a new team member at Growing Up Therapy. I’m ready to join this team that values and focuses on partnering with parents (the experts on their child) in order to help their child reach his or her developmental potential.
After enlisting in the Army out of high school I returned to my home state and completed my professional education. I attended the University of Montana where I earned a Bachelors of Science in Health and Human Performance in 2011 and my Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in 2014. Since then I have treated children in outpatient, early intervention, home health and school based settings. I continued my military career after college by commissioning as a physical therapist in the Army Reserves. With my husband being active duty for the Army, we have been a family on the go, and I have held licenses in the states of Washington, Idaho and Texas. Along the way we have welcomed 2 amazing children, one of whom was born here in Germany. Living overseas is an amazing opportunity but also adds an increased challenge. My goal is to use my experience, both professionally and as a mother and military spouse to help families navigate the unique health care system in the Kaiserslautern Military Community and ensure each child’s success!
ABILENE CUEVAS GUAJARDO
Born and raised in a little town in Mexico, I soon learned the unmet needs of children with developmental challenges or autism. And so, my Music Therapy journey began by getting my Bachelor’s degree in Music at the Conservatorio de las Rosas. During this time, life brought me into a classroom not as a student, but as a teacher. This encounter reassured my passion for working with children, a calling I have answered to for more than 10 years now. In order to serve better I started my first Master’s in Psychopedagogy which gave me the tools to understand and help others understand the needs of those with developmental disorders and autism. Plus it helped me to connect better with the children and their families. As a mother, this is something I believe is the key to any treatment/teaching plan. Adding my musical background and the Master’s in Psychopedagogy was the stone upon which my husband and I founded and led our very own music therapy practice in Mexico. In my never ending quest of professional development, I find myself in Germany finishing my second Master’s degree, but this time in Music Therapy. I was also recently certified as a Neurologic Music Therapist. As a therapist, working with the kids from their strengths to build up their abilities and together face their challenges, is a must that I follow diligently. Long story short, I couldn’t be happier to be part of Growing Up!
Sarah and Lisa knew of one another through the school channels in the KMC area, sharing students in common. Sarah’s business was growing and Lisa was looking to shift gears. Their dear mutual friend, Julie, recognized a great opportunity. Knowing Sarah and Lisa shared a common work ethic and therapeutic styles, she made introductions and the rest is history!