Pediatric Occupational Therapists (OT) help children to restore or develop their functional performance in areas of "occupation". For children, these areas include play, self-help skills, school performance, and social skills. At Way to Grow, LLC, we provide individualized, play-based and child-centered occupational therapy 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 in order 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 Occupational Therapy clinic serving children and their families in the Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa and Tempe areas of Phoenix, AZ. Occupational Therapy services are available to children from birth to 18 yrs. Currently we provide 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 recent 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 and was voted by classmates as “Most Focused Classmate.” Edna is also a member of “Arizota”- Arizona State Occupational Therapy Association and recently received training in the “Bal-A-Vis-X” exercise program in September 2016. Edna believes children are resilient and have 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 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.
Marianne was born in Michigan and moved to Ohio as a child then returned to Michigan where she met her husband. She moved to Arizona 15 years ago and started a family. Her son is a freshman in high school and her daughter is in 7th Grade this year (2015-16). When Marianne’s not working, she enjoys traveling, volunteering with Girl Scouts, and spending time outdoors hiking, boating and mountain biking with her family.
Lauren has over 4 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 most recently in a charter school. She has participated in numerous continuing education courses on topics such as: Autism, Autism Spectrum disorders and treatment, primitive reflex integration, vision processing and therapy, Interactive Metronome, The Alert Program for Self-Regulation, Handwriting Without Tears, and sensory strategies for the home and school. Brooke believes children learn and develop best when they are having fun and actively exploring their environment. She is excited to be a 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.
"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!"