Jane Kaplan Hull, P.T., M.P.H. founded Good Beginnings in 1984. Her vision for Good Beginnings was to offer a family friendly practice that would provide the opportunity for high quality parent education and training; one that would facilitate parent participation as partners in their child's progress. Jane has over 25 years experience working with infants and young children. She has practiced in the acute hospital setting, public school system and as part of an infant team. Her teaching experience includes lecturing at local universities, presenting in-services to teachers and parents at both public and private schools and creating an instructional video for Early Head Start. She has certifications in neurodevelopmental treatment, sensory integration testing, electrical stimulation and additional training in Therapeutic Listening and treatment for children with autism. Her skills have evolved into training in nutrition and strategies for working with kids and teens in the field of pediatric obesity. She is a co-creator of the Healthy Beginnings and F.A.N Club programs. Jane earned her bachelors degree at the University of Pennsylvania and a Masters of Public Health in Maternal and Child Health at UNC-Chapel Hill.
Sara Weiser, OTR/L is a native of the DC Metropoltian area and received her degree in Occupational Therapy from Boston University. Prior to joining Good Beginnings, she worked in the private school setting specializing in the areas of sensory integration, fine motor and visual motor development. Sara was instrumental in developing the occupational therapy department at a newly formed local charter school and has been a guest speaker for local community organizations and universities. She has developed a special interest in working with children with visual perceptual challenges and feeding difficulties. Sara expanded her knowledge to include nutrition and treatment of pediatric obesity. She is also a co-creator of the Healthy Beginnings and F.A.N Club programs. She has been piloting our "Astronaut Training" program and feeding groups at Good Beginnings. Sara also has advanced training in regulatory disorders and is a certified "Therapeutic Listening" practitioner.
Our staff is dedicated to excellence and success in the fields of Occupational and Physical Therapy. At Good Beginnings you will observe that your child will benefit from our staff's broad level of expertise.
Isabelle Babington trained in France where she received the D.E of Ergotherapie in 1981 and later passed the US Board of Certification exam in 1994. She joined Good Beginnings when moving to the DC area in 1998. Her 20 years of experience includes 16 years in Pediatrics in various settings and countries. She has completed her initial training with courses in sensory integration, handwriting, narrative therapy, floor time, art therapy and hyppotherapy. She also trains occupational therapists in Paris twice a year in sensory integration.
Fern Barry, OTR/L is a graduate of Boston University and has over eleven years experience as an occupational therapist. Fern has worked in a variety of pediatric settings including sensory integration clinics, early intervention, and public and private schools with a diverse population of children. Fern has advanced training in sensory integration, fine and visual motor development, feeding disorders, and Autism Spectrum disorders. In addition, she is certified in therapeutic listening and has a strong background in fitness. When not at work, Fern can be found spending time with her husband and two young sons, crafting, baking, and teaching group exercise classes.
Jeannine Buckland joined the staff at Good Beginnings in September 2010. Jeannine graduated in 2007 with her degree as a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant. Prior to coming to Good Beginnings, she was employed by Fairfax County Public Schools as a school-based therapist. She has experience working with children who have autism spectrum disorders, fine and visual motor delays, developmental delays, sensory processing difficulties, visual impairments and others. She believes that a key component to successful therapy is recognizing that each child is unique and requires an individualized approach that addresses his or her specific needs.
Juliet Copeland has been practicing as an occupational therapist since 1994. Before joining Good Beginnings in 2005 she worked in Early Intervention and in two hospital settings - The Hospital for Sick Children and Walter Reed Army Medical Center. Both settings provided a plethora of opportunities to work with a variety of clients with challenging issues. Juliet developed skills in the areas of feeding and swallowing, handwriting and fine motor skills, and sensory processing issues. Juliet's interest in Early Intervention led to her research for a Master's Thesis at VCU on Parent and Therapist Perceptions of Sensory Based Strategies Used by Occupational Therapists in a Family Centered Early Intervention Practice. She continues to bring a high level of expertise to Good Beginnings by providing early Intervention services, leading feeding programs, and treating children with varied therapeutic needs.
Amy Engel graduated from the State University of New York at Buffalo. Prior to her start at Good Beginnings in 1995, Amy worked with young adults diagnosed with stroke, cerebral palsy, and various genetic disorders. Her area of expertise lies in working with children with multiple physical and cognitive disabilities not only in the clinical environment, but in the home and community as well. She has experience with adaptive equipment, splints/orthotics, and wheelchair seating. Amy is also very familiar with the many aspects of fine motor development and sensory integration.
Christine "Chris" Fleming graduated from VCU with a B.S. in Occupational Therapy and worked for Arlington County Public Schools until July 2004 when she joined our team at Good Beginnings. With over 31 years of experience, she has worked with disabilities including hearing/visual impairments, autism, developmental delays and learning disabilities. Chris has attended numerous conferences on sensory integration, IEP development, wheelchair fittings and fine motor/visual motor activities. She has also assisted with Special Olympic activities and volunteered in infant-parent programs. Chris resides in Virginia with her husband and two children.
Sharyn Kagan has worked in the field of pediatric occupational therapy for over 25 years. Her educational training includes an undergraduate degree in psychology and a graduate degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Pennsylvania. Having worked at Good Beginnings for the past 14 years, she specializes in children ages 0-5 with cerebral palsy, motor delays, sensory integration dysfunction and autism spectrum disorders. Sharyn is also trained and certified in Sensory Integration and Praxis Testing, Therapeutic Electrical Stimulation, and fabrication of orthotics (DAFOS).
Elizabeth Moody is an occupational therapist who has worked at Good Beginnings for 9 years and has been in practice for over 16 years. She received a Bachelor of Rehabilitation Services and a Master of Health Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Florida. Beth also completed a post-graduate Residency Program in Neonatology. She has presented at local and national conferences on the topics of neonatology, feeding and pediatrics. She has worked in 3 states and in hospitals that rank in the top 100 hospitals in the country, including Shands Hospital, Jackson Memorial Hospital, and Columbus Children's Hospital. She has worked in both pediatric and adult in-patient rehabilitation, in pediatric neurology/neurosurgery, developmental pediatrics and in neonatal, pediatric and cardiac intensive care units. She loves children and has special interest in the areas of Sensory Processing Disorder, ADHD/ADD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, developmental delay, neonatology, and infant regulation/feeding disorders.
Susan Murphy graduated from Eastern Michigan University with a Bachelors of Science in Occupational Therapy. She began her career as a traveling therapist and has gained valuable OT and life experience through her various assignments in Mississippi, North Carolina, Virginia and finally the Northern Virginia area. With over 15 years of experience in both adult and geriatric rehab, Susan realized a long-term career goal when she began working at Good Beginnings in 2008, exclusively in the field of pediatric OT. In addition to her love of working with children, Susan has also trained in sensory integration, fine motor & visual motor development and autism spectrum disorders. Susan is happily married and resides in Falls Church with her husband and two young sons.
Marcela Abril Pisani graduated from the Universidad Del Rosario in Bogota, Columbia. She has lived and worked in diverse settings including neonatal intensive care, pediatric intensive care and outpatient rehabilitation in Europe, South America and the United States. She joined Good Beginnings in 2007 and has brought to our practice her wealth of knowledge with infants and young children as well as her special skills in the areas of craniosacral therapy sensory integration, disorders of feeding and swallowing, Neurodevelopmental treatment, and mild learning disabilities. Marcela has advanced training in Neurodevelopmental treatment, sensory integration, and is working towards completing her training as a craniosacral therapist. Marcela loves to meditate, exercise, play tennis, read and spend time with her two children, Rosie (11) and Michael (7).
Ileana "Ily" Sanchez graduated from the University of Puerto Rico in 1973 with a Bachelors Degree in Occupational Therapy and completed credits at New York University towards a Masters Degree in Special Education in 1984. Prior to her start at Good Beginnings, Ily worked as the Director of the Department of Therapeutic Activities at Mepsi Psychiatric Hospital in Puerto Rico where she worked with adults, children and adolescents with academic and behavioral difficulties. Before working at Mepsi, Ily was the supervisor of the OT department at CODERI, a special education school in Puerto Rico. Ily particularly enjoys working with preschool children with mult-sensory and behavioral issues. Ily has twin sons and a daughter and was recently blessed with twin grandsons. She is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association and was professor Ad Honorem at the University of Puerto Rico School of Occupational Therapy.
Crista Seipp grew up in Arlington, Virginia and earned her Master of Occupational Therapy Degree from the University of Florida. Her experience includes work in pediatric private practice, physical rehabilitation, and the public school system. She joined Good Beginnings in 2008 where she currently works full time. She has training in sensory processing disorders, fine motor and visual motor development, autism spectrum disorders, traumatic brain injury, assistive technology. She is also a certified Interactive Metronome provider. Crista has a special interest in swing dancing, and when she's not at work as an OT, she can probably be found on a dance floor.
Julie Seipp has been practicing occupational therapy for over thirty years. Prior to joining Good Beginnings full-time, Julie worked in private practice and provided Early Intervention services in Arlington, Alexandria and Fairfax. She worked as a clinician for twenty years with the Arlington Public Schools and has extensive experience in understanding the maze of special education and IEP’s. She has provided therapy for children with a broad range of disabilities, including ADHD, emotional disturbances, PTSD, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and developmental delays. Julie brings to the clinic a high level of expertise in the areas of autism spectrum disorder, sensory processing disorder, early intervention and feeding difficulties. She is a graduate of the University of Kansas and is currently working on a post-graduate degree in psychology. Julie and her husband have five children and live in Arlington, VA.
Maurisa Shyne Krause graduated from James Madison University with a degree in Psychology and Special Education and received her Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy from the Medical College of Virginia at Virginia Commonwealth University. She has worked as a school based occupational therapist since 2000 and at Good Beginnings since 2002. Maurisa has experience working with children of all ages and is a leading therapist for teenagers at Good Beginnings. She has led both Social Skills and Sensory Motor Groups. Maurisa also enjoys working with children on sensory motor, fine motor, visual motor and visual perceptive skills to help them achieve success in daily activities.
Kathryn Grassmeyer is a native Southerner, growing up in Savannah, Georgia, and then attending the University of Georgia in Athens, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Exercise & Sport Science. Political work originally drew Kate to Washington, but she went on to earn her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Marymount University, where her clinical experience emphasized adult orthopedics, pediatrics in the school setting, and outpatient pediatrics. Her doctoral thesis explored exercise interventions combating the effects of Duchenne's Muscular Dystrophy, and her clinical case report studied the effectiveness of Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy in a young patient with traumatic brain injury. Kate primarily treats patients in the birth to six population using various techniques of developmental and therapeutic exercise, gait training, neuromuscular re-education, and kinesiotaping. When she isn't working, you can find Kate blogging, baking, or road-tripping along the Eastern seaboard with her husband!
Amy O'Malley is a native of the Midwest and grew up in Chicago. She graduated from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a B.S. in Kinesiology in 1995 and a Masters in Physical Therapy from Midwestern University in 1997. She came to Good Beginnings in 2004 with a strong background in trauma and burn rehabilitation as well as developmental therapy. Our clinic has offered her the opportunity to specialize in treatment of babies from birth-12 months as well as children with Cerebral Palsy, Spina Bifida, genetic disorders, and complex medical issues. She has experience with modalities including but not limited to kinesiotape, orthotics, adaptive equipment, aquatics, fitness training, and yoga. In her spare time you can find her teaching physical therapy seminars in Russia or training for a half-marathon.
Mary Battey, our practice manager, can’t seem to get enough of Good Beginnings! A graduate of the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service and Columbia University Business School, Mary spent many years in the oil industry until her 2nd child was born. Bored with sitting in the waiting room while her son was getting OT and PT, she decided to put her MBA to good use and set up Good Beginnings’ first administrative office back in 1993. She left Good Beginnings in 2000 when the office manager job became a full-time one and she wanted to work on a part-time basis. In the ensuing years Mary worked part-time at several different medical practices and volunteered at her children’s schools. She eventually returned to full-time employment when her children went to college. Mary returned to Good Beginnings in January 2010 after the last tuition payment was made! She is very happy to be back. Mary is in the office (at our Falls Church location) Mondays through Thursdays from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. In addition to running the practice, Mary is responsible for making all new patient appointments for both offices.