Staff – Mansfield

Occupational Therapists

Registered Occupational Therapist, OTR

Vanessa Vasquez graduated summa cum laude from Texas Woman’s University in 2017, where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Child Development. During her time spent in undergraduate studies, she discovered her passion for working with children and pursued Occupational Therapy, receiving her Master of Occupational Therapy degree from Texas Woman’s University in 2019. Vanessa completed her Level II fieldwork at Cutting Edge, and is beyond ecstatic to return as a member of this amazing, passionate, and hard working team of therapy professionals.

Favorite Movie(s)

Finding Dory, and all ROM-COMs

Hometown

Fort Worth, TX

Fun Fact

I used to live in Alaska!

Favorite Treat(s)

Hershey’s Chocolate bars, and all things salty
Registered Occupational Therapist, OTR

Claire Kercher graduated cum laude from Baylor University in 2017 where she received her Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology. While attending Baylor, she developed her passion for working with children of all abilities at REACH Therapeutic Riding Center. Additionally, she enjoyed serving others in the community through her service fraternity Alpha Phi Omega, receiving the service merit award each semester. In 2019 Claire received her Master of Occupational Therapy degree from The University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas. Claire completed her Level II fieldwork at The Pediatric Therapy Center where she worked with a large age range of clients with a variety of sensory, behavioral, developmental, and neurological needs. Claire resides in Fort Worth, Texas and is excited to serve your family at CEPT!

Favorite Movie(s)

Midnight in Paris & all Christmas movies

Hometown

San Antonio, TX

Fun Fact

I am a certified scuba diver & love to travel!

Favorite Treat(s)

Sour patch watermelon candies, cookies, almost anything sweet
Registered Occupational Therapist, OTR

Linh Le graduated magna cum laude from Texas Woman’s University in 2016, where she received her Bachelor of Health Science degree in Kinesiology. Linh discovered her passion for working with children while completing her undergraduate studies with a local school district. In 2019, she received her Master of Occupational Therapy degree from Texas Woman’s University. Linh completed her Level II fieldwork at a local school district where she gained experience working with children with Autism, sensory, developmental delays, behavioral, and neurological needs. In her spare time, she volunteers at a soccer clinic for children with disabilities. Linh is looking forward to meeting you and your family.

Favorite Movie(s)

Harry Potter (the whole series) and Frozen

Hometown

Saigon, Vietnam

Fun Fact

I love soccer, but I can’t play

Favorite Treat(s)

Cheesecakes and all things spicy
Registered Occupational Therapist, OTR

Anna Cao graduated summa cum laude from the University of Texas at Arlington in 2016, where she received her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology. While pursuing her undergraduate degree, she discovered her passion for working with the pediatric population through her shadowing and volunteering experiences. In 2019, Anna received her Master of Occupational Therapy degree from Texas Woman’s University in Dallas. Anna completed her Level II fieldwork rotation at an outpatient pediatric clinic in Round Rock, where she was able to develop her skills to provide quality care by serving many children and their families. She is excited to be part of the Cutting Edge Pediatric and Adult Therapy team and cannot wait to meet you!

Favorite Movie(s)

Seven Pounds and Frozen

Hometown

Arlington, TX

Fun Fact

Caffeine and sugar have no effect on me whatsoever! The only thing that usually keeps me awake is chewing gum.

Favorite Treat(s)

Spicy foods, kettle corn popcorn, boba tea drinks, and any sour gummy candy

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistants

Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, COTA

Mahlon became a certified occupational therapy assistant in 2015, graduating from Navarro College with Cum Laude honors, where he received his Associate of Applied Science degree in Occupational therapy. He has worked in a skilled nursing facility and a sensory-based pediatric outpatient clinic. Mahlon is certified in Interactive Metronome and is in the process of completing his certification in Handwriting Without Tears. Mahlon also has aspirations of attaining credentials to become a registered occupational therapist.

Certifications/Specialties

Masgutova NeuroSensory Reflex Integration, Handwriting Without Tears, CranioSacral Therapy, Sensory Integration, Interactive Metronome and The Listening Program

Favorite Movie(s)

The Dark Knight

Hometown

DeSoto, TX

Fun Fact

I enjoy producing music in my spare time, and I sing in my church choir

Favorite Treat(s)

Cookies
Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, COTA

Emma became a certified occupational therapy assistant in June 2019, graduating from Navarro College with Magna Cum Laude, where she received her Associate of Applied Science degree in Occupational therapy. She has always had a passion to work with pediatrics. Emma is very excited to be a part of the Cutting-Edge team! One fun fact is she swam competitive swimming for 10 years growing up.

Favorite Movie(s)

Harry Potter Series

Hometown

Born in Longwood, Florida, but grew up in Arlington Texas

Fun Fact

I was a competitive swimmer for 10 years!

Favorite Treat(s)

Brownies or anything with chocolate in it
Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, COTA

Joni Smart is an Occupational Therapy Assistant. In 1998 she graduated with an Associates Degree of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy from Amarillo College in Amarillo, Texas. Joni began her career working with a non-profit agency assisting individuals with visual impairments ages 0-21 to learn activities of daily living but with an emphasis in a recreational program! Then she moved into pediatric home health with an ECI program for a few years. Her true experience in pediatrics came from my time in a clinical setting from 2003 to 2013. There Joni learned her true passion for children. Her caseload was very diverse and ranged from babies to young adults. Joni is a Kinesio Tex Tape Certified with KT3 in pediatrics. She received her certificate of mastery in DIR/Floortime Model in infancy and early childhood training in 2008. Joni received training in Partial Weight Bearing Training in 2006. She has training in handwriting with Fine Motor Gymnastics to Multi-Sensory Print and Writing Success for children with Autism. She also received a specialized training for a week with Izabela Koscielny, MS PT who developed the Therasuit Method Training and Universal Exercise Unit (Spidercage). Joni’s favorite was the 72 hour course she took in Autism Spectrum Disorders & Other Neurobehavioral Disorder in 2007, that was a collaboration of professionals brought in by our clinical director. Joni’s passion remains with children. She loves watching them succeed and seeing their parents proud of their achievements.

Certifications/Specialties

Kinesiotaping 1, 2, and 3 (pediatrics), Partial Weight Bearing Gait Training (LiteGait), DIR/ Floor Time Infancy and Early Childhood Training, Fine Motor Gymnastics Handwriting, Therasuit Method Training/Universal Exercise Unit (Spider Cage) and Strategies on Behavior and Communication for Students with Autism

Favorite Movie(s)

Steel Magnolias, Young Frankenstein, Mrs. Doubtfire, all Rocky movies

Hometown

Amarillo, TX

Fun Fact

I grew up showing dogs in a professional manner along side my mother and sister. My Mom bred Samoyeds. At one time we had the number one winning Samoyed in the country. His name was Harry and he was my dog but I was in high school so we put him with a professional handler who traveled the world with him to win at shows like the Westminister Dog Show you see on TV.

Favorite Treat(s)

Chocolate chip cookies
Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant, COTA

Rachel graduated from The University of North Texas where she received her Bachelor’s in Kinesiology in 2017. She then graduated from Parker University in 2018 with honors where she received her Associate’s of Applied Science in Occupational Therapy. Rachel has always had a passion for pediatrics and has spent her time volunteering with various organizations. She completed her fieldwork experience at Cutting Edge and is excited to be part of the team!

Certifications/Specialties

Kinesio Taping 1 and 2

Favorite Movie(s)

Frozen and Moana

Hometown

Rowlett, TX

Fun Fact

I did competitive cheerleading for 12 years and won Gold at the cheerleading Worlds

Favorite Treat(s)

Snickerdoodle cookies and plain cheesecake

Certified Speech Therapists

Lead Speech Language Pathologist, SLP

Karen received her Bachelor of Science in Speech Pathology in 1996, and her Masters of Science in Communication Disorders in 1998 from the University of Texas at Dallas. She has held a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) since 1999. Karen began her career in the school setting where she provided services to children with a variety of diagnoses. She left the school setting to work in pediatric home health where she provided speech, language, and feeding therapy for children in their homes. Karen has a passion for helping children reach their highest potential. She is a certified Vitalstim provider and has an extensive background in feeding and swallowing. She is also trained in the use of PECS and has experience with a variety of dynamic communication devices. Karen maintains memberships in ASHA as well as the Texas Speech-Language Hearing Association.

Certifications/Specialties

VitalStim- pediatrics and adults, Beckman Oral Motor, Language Acquisition through Motor Planning for Life, Picture Exchange Communication System and Sequential Oral Sensory

Favorite Movie(s)

A Star is Born (all versions), Elf, and Water for Elephants

Hometown

The place I lived the longest is Plano, TX – when I was growing up, my dad was in the Air Force so we moved a lot

Fun Fact

I lived in Anchorage, Alaska for 3 years growing up

Favorite Treat(s)

Dark chocolate and cashews
Speech Language Pathologist, SLP

Margaret Saied graduated from The University of Texas at Austin with a Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Sciences in 2016. After interning at a clinic for children with learning differences, she developed a fascination with the field of speech pathology. She moved forward by attending graduate school at The University of North Texas and received a Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology in 2019. Margaret earned her Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association (ASHA) in February 2020. She has been trained in Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP) therapeutic approach for individuals with limited verbal abilities. She loves working with her patients and their families and believes in working collaboratively with other professionals to address each child’s unique needs comprehensively.

Favorite Movie(s)

The Sound of Music

Hometown

Wichita Falls, TX

Fun Fact

I love to play tennis in my spare time, especially against my brother!

Favorite Treat(s)

Chocolate Chip Cookies
Speech Language Pathologist, SLP

Sloane graduated cum laude from Baylor University with her Bachelor’s in Communication Sciences and Disorders in 2018 and her Master of Science in Communication Sciences and Disorders in 2019. Sloane is a proud Baylor alum! While studying at Baylor, Sloane gained experience working with children with feeding disorders, language and articulation disorders, and children diagnosed with Autism. Sloane is passionate about involving families and the other disciplines at CEPT to ensure that our clients receive the highest level of care!

Favorite Movie(s)

La La Land

Hometown

Arlington, TX

Fun Fact

I am a coffee fiend! I started drinking coffee when I was way too young.

Favorite Treat(s)

Anything chocolate
Speech-Language Pathologist, SLP

Noori graduated in 2011 from Baylor University with a BA degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders. After working several years in the home health field as an SLP Assistant, she attended graduate school at Eastern New Mexico University and earned her MS degree in 2017 for Speech-Language Pathology. She holds her Certificate of Clinical Competence from The American Speech-Language Hearing Association (ASHA) since 2018 and is an ASHA member.

Noori has experience treating and evaluating pediatric patients in a variety of settings including home health, clinics, and preschool with a focus on language delay, articulation, and functional communication skills. She has experience providing therapy to patients with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental disorders. Noori enjoys collaborating with families and other therapists to truly understand and use a team approach in addressing each patient’s individual needs.

Favorite Movie(s)

La La Land, Harry Potter and Disney princess movies

Hometown

Lavon, TX

Fun Fact

I love to paint on my free time! Also I’m obsessed with The Little Mermaid and have a collection of Little Mermaid memorabilia.

Favorite Treat(s)

Chocolate ice cream or sweet tea

Physical Therapists

Physical Therapist, PT

Beth Ward has been in clinical practice in Pediatric Physical Therapy since graduating from Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois in 1970.  She worked in Home Health and in an Easter Seal out-patient clinic program in Chicago before her family relocated to Las Vegas, Nevada.  In Las Vegas she was the Owner/Manager of 3 Pediatric clinics that offered Speech, Occupational and Physical therapy to the families of children with a wide variety of special needs.  In 2013 she moved to Texas to be closer to family and continues her work in Pediatric Physical Therapy.

Beth considers herself to be a life-time learner and has taken the opportunity to develop clinical skills in diverse areas.  She has a particular interest in Cranio-sacral Therapy and has taken many other courses over the years in such areas as Yoga for the Special Needs Child and Neurobiological Approaches to treatment.  Some of the most important learning along the way has come from the children and their families with whom she has been privileged to serve.

Favorite Movie(s)

One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest

Hometown

Cleveland, OH

Fun Fact

I would love to swim with dolphins one day

Favorite Treat(s)

S’Mores
Physical Therapist, PT

Marsha Whalen has been in clinical practice in Physical Therapy since graduating from Grand Valley State University in Grand Rapids Mi in 2004.  Marsha has worked in both Pediatrics and Adult outpatient clinics in Michigan and was the clinic director at 2 clinics in Michigan before moving to Texas in 2014. Since moving to Texas Marsha has worked as a pediatric physical therapist for the local school system and worked as a coverage physical therapist for an outpatient clinic. In the past Marsha has done aquatics physical therapy and she started training for equine physical therapy and therapeutic horseback riding in 2019.  Marsha has wanted to work with children since working with a family friend’s son with Down’s syndrome in the pool in the summer during high school.  She is looking forward to meeting you and helping you achieve your goals.

Favorite Movie(s)

Lilo and Stitch

Hometown

Zeeland, MI

Fun Fact

My sons and I like to practice surfing in the backyard pool. They even got the dog to try once.

Favorite Treat(s)

Ice cream, chocolate, and any gluten free sweets

Physical Therapist Assistants

Physical Therapist Assistant, PTA

Amanda is a 2013 graduate of the Kaplan College Physical Therapist Assistant program. Amanda received physical therapy treatment when she was in high school which led her to begin volunteering at a local physical therapy clinic. It was during her volunteer hours that Amanda found her passion for physical therapy as a treatment modality. While in a pediatric clinical rotation, Amanda became driven to make a career out of helping children. After receiving her license, Amanda began working with a pediatric home health company in May 2014. While she enjoyed her time in home health, Amanda is excited to continue her passion of pediatric Physical Therapy with the Cutting Edge Pediatric Therapy team.

Certifications/Specialties

Aquatic Therapy

Favorite Movie(s)

A Knight’s Tale and The Lion King

Hometown

Wylie, TX

Fun Fact

I am a clown in the Shrine Circus

Favorite Treat(s)

Gummy bears and Twix ice cream bars

Administrative Staff

Office Manager

Nicole is a Texas girl all the way!  She was born in Big Spring, Texas and shortly after moved to Arlington.  She resided in Arlington all throughout her academic life and later moved to Mansfield, Texas.  She began working in the healthcare industry in 2009 and has worked with both adults and children.  She is passionate about pediatrics and enjoys being surrounded by kids of all ages. She loves coffee & sushi, not necessarily in that order but she does like to try all types of different cuisines.  Nicole is a thrill seeker and loves riding roller coasters!  She is easy to scare but will frequent haunted houses around the metroplex.  She can’t dance but loves to listen to music, she can’t sing but will try her best on the karaoke machine. She is blessed to be a part of this company and is looking forward to meeting you and your family!

Favorite Movie(s)

A League of Their Own

Hometown

Arlington, TX

Fun Fact

I am always up to try something new… like cappuccino chips! I don’t recommend them but I’ve tried them.

Favorite Treat(s)

Chai Lattes, mangos, rice krispy, and twix
Senior Front Office Coordinator/ Client Care Services Coordinator

Brittney was born and raised in Dallas. She graduated High School in 2012 and began working in a Physical Therapy office shortly after graduation. She has always loved working in the therapy world from her own personal experience having had several orthopedic surgeries as a child. Brittney has worked as a Physical Therapy Tech for several years prior to switching to a more administrative role. She is currently attending school for Medical Billing to become licensed through the American Association of Professional Coders.

Favorite Movie(s)

Grease

Hometown

Dallas, TX

Fun Fact

I am a book nerd! I love everything Harry Potter, and my current favorite book series is Three Dark Crowns.

Favorite Treat(s)

Anything chocolate!
Office Coordinator

Paola graduated from high school in 2015 and is currently working towards completing her Associates Degree in Applied Science. While in high school, Paola was taking classes in Medical Billing and Coding during which she began gaining front desk experience. She began working in a pediatric clinic in 2018 and found a passion for working with pediatrics. Paola looks forward to continue growing and gaining experience and is excited to be a part of CEPT!

Favorite Movie(s)

Tarzan

Hometown

Puerto Rico

Fun Fact

I love playing volleyball

Favorite Treat(s)

Bundt Cake!
Office Coordinator

Zita was born and raised in New Orleans. In 2005, she and her family moved to Arlington where she began working as a medical receptionist in 2015 after enrolling in college.  She completed her Bachelor of Science Degree in Kinesiology at UT Arlington where she gained experience from an internship doing research on pediatric motor development.

From her internship and several volunteer experiences, Zita has found a passion for working in pediatrics and in the therapy world. In the future, Zita would like to continue her studies to become a licensed Occupational Therapist.

Favorite Movie(s)

All Marvel and Disney princess movies

Hometown

New Orleans, LA

Fun Fact

I absolutely love animals. Especially dogs!

Favorite Treat(s)

Beignets and funnel cake

Therapy with a purpose – it's imitated, but not replicated.