Rebecca Pokluda, MOTR/L, P.C.
Rebecca is the owner and clinical director of KidWorks Therapy Services.  She started KidWorks Therapy in 1999.  Rebecca has worked in therapeutic environments for over 20 years. Rebecca graduated with her Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from University of Texas and with her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Texas Woman’s University, completing her thesis on Sensory Integration. She has worked in various settings including adult and pediatric acute, rehabilitative, and outpatient care, as well as in aquatic therapy and hippotherapy. Rebecca specializes in pediatrics with expertise in early childhood intervention, developmental disabilities, learning disabilities, vision therapy, and sensory integration. She has completed post graduate advanced training/certification in the following areas:

  • Administration and interpretation of the Sensory Integration and Praxis Testing, including planning and implementation of appropriate treatment of sensory processing. SIPT Certification #  494
  • Certified and trained to administer IM interactive metronome treatment.
  • Advanced training in Therapeutic Listening / Sound Therapy. Certification # M22229
  • Clinical Instructor affiliated with several Universities including: University of Texas Health Science Center in San Antonio , University of Texas in Austin , Texas Woman's University, and Austin Community College.
  • Extensive training with self-regulation and social, emotional development and dysfunction, including Stanley Greenspan's Floortime Åpproach
  • Research and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Participation in research related to up-dated standardization of BOT-2, a widely used motor assessment for school-aged children.
  • Advanced training in Vision Therapy and Aquatic Therapy
  • Advanced training with learning disabilities

In her spare time Rebecca enjoys soccer, trail-running, mountain biking, hiking and exploring, scuba diving, and playing and hanging out with friends and family.

LeAnn Pigulski, OT/L
LeAnn has worked as an Occupational Therapist for the past 10 years in a variety of settings but mostly with
pediatric populations. In addition to receiving her degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of
Illinois at Chicago, LeAnn has a degree in social work from the same institution.  
She has experience working in many environments including hospitals, sheltered workshops, schools, and out patient clinics. 
LeAnn has completed post graduate advanced training/certification in the following areas:

  • Development of sensory programs including administration of the Deep Pressure and Proprioceptive
    Technique (formerly known as the Brushing Protocol)
  • Vision therapy
  • Yoga for the Special Child
  • Administration and interpretation of the Sensory Integration and Praxis Testing.  SIPT certified.
  • Research and treatment of Autism Spectrum Disorders
  • Handwriting and fine motor development
  • Clinical Instructor affiliated with several universities:  Texas Woman’s University, University of Texas in Austin
    and Austin Community College.
  • Certified and trained to administer Interactive Metronome

In addition to loving her work with children, LeAnn enjoys running around Lady Bird Lake, scuba diving, going to dog parks
with her dog and sampling all the wonderful restaurants Austin has to offer.

Juliana Padilla, MOTR/L
Juliana graduated from The University of Texas Health Science Center San Antonio with a bachelor's degree in health care science and a master's degree in Occupational Therapy.  She has worked in private and school based pediatric settings specializing in developmental and sensory processing disorders. 
She has advanced training and certification in the following:

  • Autism Education
  • SAMONAS Sound Therapy
  • Greenspan's DIR Model with the use of Floortime as an intervention
  • advanced intensive mentorship program at the STAR (Sensory Therapies And Research) Center in Denver, CO.  There she received direct mentorship from Dr. Lucy Jane Miller and her collegues and was trained in the most up to date research, assessment, and intervention for Sensory Processing Disorders. 

In the past, she has enjoyed attending camps for children with disabilities and has volunteered at a Hippo-therapy center. She is interested in pursuing advanced training in this area and also has a special interest in animal assisted therapy.  She would like to incorporate both into her practice someday.
Her lifelong ambition has been to work with children to help them develop to their full potential.  She is passionate about her work in the field and is dedicated to children and their families.  Juliana enjoys reading, sewing, traveling, attending live music events, and spending time with her family and friends.

Heidi Villamin, MOTR/L
Heidi received her MS in Occupational Therapy from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and is excited to be back home in Austin.  Her experience includes working with children from birth to adolescence with a variety of diagnoses including autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, sensory processing disorder, fetal alcohol syndrome, as well as kids with fine motor and feeding difficulties.  She presented her graduate work on a Spanish preschool assessment tool at the 2007 AOTA conference and enjoys working with the Spanish speaking population.  She spent two weeks in Honduras volunteering her OT services at Casayuda, a school for children with disabilities.  Since her time at Kidworks, she has also received additional training on the Floortime/DIR model.  Her favorite occupations are traveling, eating Amy’s Ice Cream, watching baseball games at Wrigley Field, listening to live music in Austin, and hiking the greenbelt.  She has completed post graduate advanced training/certification in the following areas:

  • Certified and trained to administer Interactive Metronome (IM) treatment
  • Vision Therapy: Managing developmental visual deficits in children
  • Advanced training in feeding therapy using the SOS Approach, Food Chaining, and the Get Permission Approach

Michelle Beck, COTA
Michelle received her certification as an Occupational Therapy Assistant from Austin Community College and is currently completing her academic core work for consideration into a graduate Occupational Therapy program.  She has worked in a school based program in New York City specializing in children aged two to five with developmental disabilities and autism.  Her focus has been on maximizing the academic and personal potential in children of all ages and abilities.  She has completed training through Kid Works in the following:

  • Sensory Integration
  • Self Regulation Programs
  • Dyslexia and Dysgraphia Training programs
  • Specialized training in administration of Sensory Diet Programs
  • Interactive Metronome
  • Stanley Greenspan's Floortime approach
  • Vision Therapy techniques
  • Deep Pressure and Proprioceptive Brushing Technique- and other sensory techniques for sensory defensiveness. 
  • Managing Developmental Visual Deficits in Children- Dr. Judy Hughes, O.D.
  • Wilbarger Deep Pressure and Proprioceptive Technique
  • Dealing with Dysgrphia- Dr. Dilip J. Karnik M.D.

Before becoming a COTA Michelle taught Preschool and was employed as a Paraprofessional in Special Education classrooms.  In her spare time she enjoys reading, hiking and cooking.

Amanda Harpst, CCC-SLP
Amanda is a California transplant, who has lived in Austin for about a year. She is married with a dog, cat, and a tortoise.  Amanda received her Bachelor of Arts degree in English from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo in 2001. When she realized being an English Teacher was not for her, she decided on Speech Pathology and completed her graduate degree in 2005 at Cal State Northridge.  While working toward her graduate degree, Amanda had the opportunity to work as a speech aid in a pediatric speech practice for 2 years, working with children 3 years and under.  She received hands on training in Floortime, PECS, Hanen programs, and was able to lead a preschool speech group for children on the Autism Spectrum.  Amanda’s Internship experiences included working with TBI patients at the Children’s Hospital in Los Angeles, and taking part in the Head Start and Preschool programs in Los Angeles Unified School District.  Recently, Amanda completed the Lindamood-Bell Advanced workshops in reading comprehension and phonemic awareness (decoding) for children with dyslexia, and other learning disabilities.  Last summer, she put together and taught a 6 week reading program, and hopes to continue offering specialized, intense reading support for school aged children.  Amanda has served children with deficits in articulation, oral motor, feeding/swallowing, auditory processing, reading and spelling, and expressive and receptive language.  She has worked with children with Autism Spectrum disorders, Down’s Syndrome, and is especially experienced with early intervention cases.  In the past year, she has received training through Talk Tools (oral motor therapy), and has gained valuable education in sensory integration while working closely with the OT’s here at KidWorks.  Amanda is a member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and is licensed by the State of Texas. As a product of speech therapy herself (working on her R's), Amanda loves to witness the progress, and especially the boost in self-esteem that results from therapy.   She is looking forward to continued work with families and children, and is excited to add to her experience and education here at KidWorks.

Lisa Ricketts, OT
Lisa
is an Occupational Therapist at Kidworks Therapy Services part time and during the summer months.  Every day she learns something new from the children she works with and their families.  She works alongside expert therapists who train her to do her very best.  Lisa is full time Occupational Therapist at the Texas School for the Blind and Visually Impaired since September of 1994. She studies the impact visual impairment has on the other senses and overall development. 

Sarah Engleking, M.S., CCC-SLP
Sarah is a native Austinite who received her graduate and undergraduate degree from Stephen F. Austin State University in Communication Disorders and a minor in Early Childhood Intervention. While receiving her graduate degree, Sarah had the opportunity to partner with the Greater East Texas Community Action Program of Head Start and the Austin Independent School District’s Extended School Year Program.  She has served individuals with articulation, fluency, expressive and receptive language disorders, swallowing, and oral motor concerns, and is very experienced and has an amazing talent for working with and treating children on the autistic spectrum. Sarah is a certified member of the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association and licensed by the state of Texas.  She has received   PROMPT training, a multidimensional approach to speech disorders. Sarah has also received training through Talk Tools, a muscle based approach to speech clarity and oral coordination. Through her time partnering with KidWorks Sarah has gained experience in the Floor Time approach and sensory integration.  Last summer, Sarah had the opportunity to go to Zambia Africa and work with Family Legacy Missions International, an organization that serves and supports AIDS orphans and their families, an experience that increased her love and respect for children around the world.    She has always loved kids and has been motivated by her own challenges with dyfluency as a child to pursue her career as a speech therapist. Sarah is looking forward to new opportunities and continuing education with KidWorks.  She looks forward to meeting you and your child.

Lisa Spencer, Office Manager
Lisa is a native of Louisiana, and relocated to Austin following the infamous storm.  She graduated with special honors from Pearl River College in Poplarville, MS, with a degree in Business Administration.  After moving to Austin, Lisa successfully completed an intensive Hatha yoga teacher training, and received her 200 hour teaching certification.  Lisa enjoys practicing yoga and loves the beach.  Above all, she enjoys walking and hanging out with her kindred canine, a beautiful yellow lab named Bailey.

Crystal Castillo, Office Assistant
Crystal was born and raised in Harlingen, TX.  She received a Bachelor of Science in Human and Family Development with a concentration in Early Childhood from The University of Texas at Austin.   Crystal has enjoyed working with children of all ages both as an intern at KidWorks and through volunteering at Esculeta De Alma in Austin, TX.   In her spare time, Crystal loves playing softball, watching sports, dancing, listening to music, watching movies, and, most importantly, hanging out with friends and family.

          

Marshmellow "Melly" Pokluda, Clinic Pet Therapist
Melly is a 8 1/2 year old Spitz-mix. She is a valuable member of the Kidworks Team providing that special brand of emotional support that only pets can provide.

  • Advanded Pet Therapy training through Austin Dog Alliance
  • Melly is a graduate of Taurus Training, a superior traning facility in Austin, Tx
  • Melly is a super laid-back, approachable, lovable, and popular member of our staff

In her spare time, she enjoys trail-running and soccer games with Rebecca, playing tug-of-war and fetch, and just chillin' out.

Dee Pokluda - Accounts Manager
Dee has been with our staff as our Billing and Insurance Coordinator/Accounts Manager since 2002. 
She retired after 18 years working as an Account Manager for a major insurance agency in Dallas,
working commercial accounts.  After retirement, she moved to South Texas and began to work for us. 
In her spare time, she loves to volunteer, play bridge, participate with the Red Hat Society, participate
with the Wildflower Association, and play with her grandchildren. 
She has been a great asset to our practice as she is familiar with insurance companies and as a plus, she is bilingual. 
We are thrilled to have her with us.