Denise is an occupational therapist who has over 35 years of experience, treating adults and children with sensory processing disorders.
Denise is a licensed occupational therapist, with a certification in Sensory Integration and Praxis Tests (C-SIPT) and extensive training in varied sensory based intervention techniques. She is a techniques-level certified CranioSacral Practitioner with advanced and pediatric training in CranioSacral Therapy. Denise has served as a teaching assistant for multiple CranioSacral Therapy courses provided by the Upledger Institute.
Denise started her career in pediatrics, working in a group home for children with disabilities. This is where she started her journey working with people on the Autism Spectrum. The first child she treated sparked a fascination and a deep desire to understand how they were processing the world around them, and how to facilitate improved ability to engage and find joy. As her career progressed, she found herself working with more and more children on the spectrum, witnessing the alarming increase in ASD diagnoses and constantly seeking more and improved ways to work with these children.
In the mid to late 1980's, Denise became the first full time occupational therapist at Exceptional Children with Communication and Interaction Disorders, the autism day treatment program that was part of Children's Hospitals and Clinics - Minneapolis, and that later became part of Fraser Child and Family Services, establishing the occupational therapy program. She also had the opportunity to work on a multi-disciplinary team providing evaluations to children from the 5 state area and Canada and making recommendations for appropriate programming and intervention for those children. Later, as a staff therapist for Children's Minneapolis, she provided outpatient services for children with many diagnoses and conditions, but always having children on the spectrum comprising the majority of her caseload.
When Denise moved to Indiana from 1998 to 2005, she worked in the First Steps Program, providing services to children birth to 3 years of age. This position offered many opportunities to work with children and their families or caregivers in the natural setting. She also provided contract services to a school district, providing services for their most challenging students that had not responded to traditional program planning.
Upon her return to Minnesota, Denise began working at a local outpatient clinic that provides speech and language and occupational therapy services to address sensory processing disorders. Over the course of her 13 year tenure, she began to treat more adults, starting with those referred for eating disorders with a suspected sensory component and gradually working with adults recently diagnosed with ASD, and adolescents and adults with anxiety or PTSD, addressing sensory processing and reflex integration using the MNRI approach. In addition, she began to work with infants with feeding difficulties, torticolis and plagiocephaly, using CranioSacral Therapy techniques. At this time, Denise also began a small private practice in CranioSacral Therapy, working with a sports medicine chiropractor and treating student athletes with concussions, people experiencing migraines and TMJ, chronic neck and back pain and endometriosis.
In early 2018, Denise began traveling and had the opportunity to work in Delaware and Illinois as a staff occupational therapist in low incidence educational settings. These experiences offered opportunities to gain skills in working with children up to age 21 with severe emotional and behavioral challenges, resulting in placement in highly-structured educational settings.
All of these experiences have brought Denise full circle, returning to her home in Minnesota and beginning a new chapter, using all of her experiences to work in a setting that focuses on health and wellness.
||Occupational Therapy, CranioSacral Therapy
||BS in Occupational Therapy from The Program in Occupational Therapy at The University of Minnesota
||CST-T, C-SIPT, MNRI training: Lifelong Reflexes, Dynamic and Postural Reflexes, Tactile Integration Protocol, Oral/Facial Reflex integration I