KidVentures Therapy Services

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Therapy Services

5524 Bee Caves Road
Building L
Austin, Texas 78746
tel 512.327.4499
fax 512.327.4495

Our Staff

Angela R. Balmer OTR

Angie is the co-owner of KidVentures Therapy Services. She has over 25 years of experience as an occupational therapist in diverse therapeutic environments. She graduated from Elizabethtown College in Pennsylvania with her Bachelor of Science degree in Occupational Therapy. Angie has worked in the following settings: an acute inpatient psychiatric hospital, a state-funded school for children with social and emotional difficulties, and several private pediatric clinics. Angie has completed the Level 1 Intensive Mentorship through the SPD Foundation, taught by Dr. Lucy Jane Miller and Dr. Sarah Schoen. She is certified in the Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests (SIPT), The Print Tool by Handwriting Without Tears and the S.O.S Oral Sensory Approach to Feeding taught by Dr. Kay Toomey and Dr. Erin Ross. Angie and several colleagues at KidVentures have launched a Feeding Program and are providing both individual and group therapy work to children and their families. Angie’s approach to therapy is a product of her wide range of experience with children and families in both individual and group atmospheres. Her areas of expertise and special interest include helping children with sensory processing disorders, helping children with feeding disorders, improving functional skills/independence for children living with autism and working collaboratively with the various needs of children and families. Angie was one of the founders of the TOPSoccer program for children with special needs in Austin and is a former board member at the Capitol School of Austin.

Jennifer Thomas MS, OTR

Jen is the co-owner of KidVentures Therapy Services. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Kinesiology from the University of Colorado at Boulder and a Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Jen has provided pediatric occupational therapy services for 18 years and has extensive knowledge in occupational therapy theory and intervention. Jen has completed the Level 1 Intensive Mentorship through the SPD Foundation, taught by Dr. Lucy Jane Miller and Dr. Sarah Schoen. She is certified in the Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests (SIPT). Jen works closely with the SPD Foundation in providing continuing education trainings to occupational therapy professionals. Her working environments include pediatric clinic-based and school-based environments. Jen specializes in providing intervention to children with sensory processing disorder, motor coordination difficulties, and functional skills difficulties such as handwriting and bike riding. Jen also enjoys presenting on various topics within the realm of occupational therapy in order to educate parent and teacher groups in the community. Jen is co-founder of the TOPSoccer program for children with special needs.

Megan Chadwick MS, OTR

Megan earned her master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Western Michigan University in 2007. She began her career working in pediatrics in Cincinnati Ohio. In Ohio, Megan worked in a specialized hospital setting focusing on assistive technology and treatment for children with neuro-muscular disorders. She then worked for a private practice, treating a variety of patients including sensory integration, feeding, learning disabilities, and cognitive/developmental delay in both clinic and school-based settings. Megan moved to Austin Texas in 2013 where she continued to work in pediatric private practice settings. She has also worked for a home health pediatric company where she provided treatment for children with a variety of physical, developmental, and learning disabilities, within the natural home environment. She has completed advanced training/certification in the following areas: Treatment of Sensory Integration, Autism, ADHD/Executive Functioning, Feeding Aversions, including The Get Permission Approach by Marsha Dunn Klein and Food Chaining By Cheri Fraker and Laura Walbert, iLs Certified (Integrated Listening Systems) Practitioner, Basic Course on the DIR/Floortime Approach-Stanly Greenspan, and Handwriting without Tears approach. Megan has a true passion for working with children and helping them meet personal achievements!

Brandi Gitcho MA, OTR

Brandi received a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from Austin College in Sherman, Texas. After her undergraduate work, she volunteered for AmeriCorps for one year. She received her Master’s in Occupational Therapy from Texas Woman’s University in Dallas. Brandi worked in Dallas in a private practice sensory integration clinic as well as a private practice handwriting clinic. From Dallas, Brandi moved to Boston, where she worked as an occupational therapist at a school for children with behavior difficulties. Then she moved to New York, where she worked for a school for children with Autism. Brandi has over seven years experience working with pediatric patients in diverse populations across the country. She is certified in the Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests (SIPT).

Allison Martin MS, OTR

Allison joined the staff at KidVentures in August 2017. She earned her Bachelor’s of Science degree in Industrial Technology with a concentration in Technical Photography from Appalachian State University and a master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Shenandoah University. Before joining this practice, Allison worked in several private practice settings, providing occupational therapy services to children in the clinic and in their school setting. She also has experience working in the public schools and in early intervention for ages 0-3. Allison is a board certified occupational therapist in the states of Maryland, Texas and the District of Columbia, as well as a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association. She has over 14 years of experience working in various therapeutic and education roles with children with a variety of physical, developmental and learning abilities. Allison has taken additional continuing education courses in sensory integration, fine motor skills, Handwriting with out Tears, visual processing and ocular motor skills, social thinking, pediatric yoga, integrating NDT, SI and motor learning, oral placement therapy, and a variety of learning disorders. She is also certified in the Musgutova Method of Neuro-Sensory-Motor Reflex (MNRI). Additionally, she has provided instructional in-services to agencies and schools on fine motor, visual motor and sensory techniques. She has been involved in the development of therapeutic group programming that serves as an alternative to traditional weekly individual services such as social emotional regulation groups and month long intensive fine/sensory motor camps held during the summer. Allison is passionate about working with children of all ages and helping them achieve their goals. Allison is originally from Louisville, Ky. She has recently moved from Washington, DC to Austin, Texas with her son, daughter and husband!

Erin Vargo MOT, OTR

Erin earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Louisiana Tech University, and Master of Occupational Therapy degree from LSU Health Sciences Center- Shreveport. She completed clinical rotations in a variety of settings across the lifespan, including the PICU/NICU, Traumatic Brain Injury day-program, Inpatient Rehabilitation on the Spinal Cord Injury team, and three months working with children with Sensory Processing Disorder and Autism Spectrum Disorder here at KidVentures! Erin is excited to bring her knowledge of the most recent evidence-based techniques and her passion for the field of Occupational Therapy to KidVentures. Erin feels the privilege of working with children is an honor and strives to increase their independence and improve their quality of life.

Erin Silvert-Noftle MA, CF-SLP

Erin earned her bachelor’s degree in Psychology with a focus on child development from Ohio State University. Before pursuing a Masters in Communication Sciences and Disorders from the University of Texas at Austin, Erin taught elementary school for four years beginning as a member of Teach for America. She has experience providing intervention for children with delays and disorders in the areas of articulation, language, fluency, and voice in public school, outpatient hospital, and clinic-based settings. She has worked on transition planning for students aging out of public school services, parent training to promote social communication in children with autism, group therapy for children who stutter, literacy- and play-based language interventions, and social pragmatic group therapy. Erin recognizes the power of communication to impact quality of life. She is passionate about supporting clients and their families.

Erika Tatum MS, CCC-SLP

Erika received her bachelor’s degree in Communication Disorders at the University of Florida, Gainesville and her master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology at the University of Hawaii at Manoa. Erika has several years of extensive professional experience in different settings including a school for children with speech-language and learning disabilities, clinical pediatric outpatient services, adult rehab, and private practice. She has worked with both adults and children, but the bulk of her experience and clinical expertise is with children with a variety of disorders including speech-language disorders, autism spectrum disorders, cleft lip and palate, developmental delays and genetic disorders. She is PROMPT trained in a motor based technique used for children with moderate to severe speech disorders, such as childhood apraxia of speech.

Anne Dowd MA, CCC-SLP

Anne received her bachelor’s degree in Communication from DePaul University and her master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology from Northern Illinois University.  Anne worked as a school-based SLP in and around Chicago for 10 years before moving to Austin in 2017. She has experience treating children with a wide range of speech and language needs including articulation and phonological delay, expressive/receptive language disorders, pragmatic language disorder, stuttering, autism spectrum disorder and auditory processing disorder.  She is passionate about making speech therapy functional for children across settings and stresses the importance of collaborating with teachers, parents and caregivers to treat the whole child.  In her spare time she enjoys spending time with her shih tzu, Walter, and getting to know this new city by trying new things.  She joined a kickball league this fall but was reminded that she has absolutely no athletic ability.  She is sticking with playing the guitar and performing improv comedy when she gets the chance. She is excited to join the Kidventures team and of course, go Bears!

Ashley Ford Office Manager

Ashley has been with KV since the beginning of January and we are excited to have her as a new addition to the team. She has come to us from several years of extensive professional experience teaching in the Early Education field. She has worked with ages infant-Kinder school-age and is certified in EC-6th with a Para-Educators in Elementary and Special Needs. Ashley started her teaching in 2006 as an assistant teacher for a daycare in Misawa, Japan helping military children with special needs. She then moved to Austin in 2008 starting work at St. David’s Episcopal Church Day School for 10 years. In June of 2017, Ashley made the decision to leave St. David’s to help open a Learning Center in Round Rock. There she had the opportunity to become a mentor teacher and helped build a Phonological awareness program within the center. Ashley has always had a special place in her heart for children with special needs and for children who need extra help in developmental delays. Ashley comes from a military family and has two daughters, Layah(9) and Avi(7) who are in 2nd and 3rd grade this year.  Ashley is very excited to meet you all and has already made relationships with some of your children.