For the child, therapy is movement, toys and fun interaction with people. It may look like play to the adult observer, however, therapy is important work. Through guided play, the child is more likely to achieve successes and meet developmental milestones.
Physical Therapy - provides fun, challenging play activities for infants and children who have difficulties or delays in "big body" movement skills such as head control, rolling over, sitting, crawling and walking. Therapists assist parents in understanding their child's movements and how to improve the child's quality and quantity of mobility within his/her environment.
Occupational Therapy - promotes upper body strength, fine motor skills, two-handed coordination and self-care skills including oral motor control for eating. By incorporating sensorimotor activities, the child can better respond to and interact with his/her environment and peers. Therapists assist the parents in understanding their child's sensitivities and how to improve their child's interactions with his/her environment.
Speech Therapy - facilitates a child's speech, language, swallowing and oral motor skills through a variety of techniques and activities. Therapists assist parents in understanding their childs communication style and suggest follow-through activities that will enhance the devleopment of their child.
Through Pearl Nelson therapy services, children improve their motor skills, sensory, self-help, speech and language development; and parents learn ways to support this development at home. Physical, occupational and speech therapies must be prescribed by the child’s primary care provider.
Marsha Reeves, MA CCC-SLP
Therapy Specialist Coordinator
BSED in Speech Pathology, University of Georgia
MA-Speech Pathology, University of Tennessee
Marsha grew up in Virginia but has spent the last 30 years in Pensacola. She has worked in a variety of settings with both adults and children including hospitals, long term care facilities, home health and out-patient clinics. She has worked in pediatrics for the last 12 years, seven of those years at the Pearl Nelson Child Development Center where she serves as our therapy services coordinator.
Marsha has extensive training and experience in the areas of developmental apraxia, articulation and phonological disorders, cohlear implants, swallowing disorders and language impairment.
Marsha enjoys biking, exercising, traveling, cooking and reading.
BS in Occupational Therapy, University of South Alabama (2001)
Kari comes from a military family and has lived many places around the country. She is familiar with the Pensacola area and moved back in October 2009 after a four-year stay in Houston. She has worked in a variety of settings including sub-acute and long term care with the adult population. She has worked in early intervention and outpatient pediatrics for past four years – the last three of which were at Pearl Nelson Center. She received Touchpoints training while working for ECI Keep Pace in Houston, specifically targeting the birth-to-three population. She enjoys working with children of all ages with a special interest in autism spectrum disorders, feeding and neuro. She chose to change career paths and work in pediatrics after having her own children and enjoying them so much she wanted to share her knowledge and skills with others.
Kari enjoys spending time with her family and taking care of her three young children. She loves the beach, swimming and dancing.
Alita A. Fisher
MS in Communicative Disorders/Speech-Language Pathology, Florida State University (2002)
BS in Communicative Disorders, University of Central Florida (1996)
Alita has been with the Pearl Nelson Center for five years and has 16 years of experience administering speech-language pediatric evaluations and implementing appropriate treatment plans. She has worked in both private and school based settings. Her areas of interest include articulation and phonological disorders, apraxia, autism spectrum disorders, deaf and hard of hearing (cochlear implants) and language development.
Alita enjoys spending time with her family (husband Todd and 8 year old son Evan), watching her son play soccer and baseball, going to the beach, and playing tennis.
BA in Communication Sciences and Disorders, University of Florida (2003)
MS in Speech-Language Pathology, Nova Southeastern University (2010)
Kelli is originally from North Carolina, and has lived in Florida since 1997. Her areas of interest include language development and disorders, childhood apraxia of speech, and articulation/phonological disorders. She completed one of her pediatric internships at Pearl Nelson Center and loved it so much she began working there after graduation. She has been with Pearl Nelson Center for two years. Kelli was inspired to work in early intervention by a family member who has a developmental disability. She enjoys our team atmosphere and loves having the opportunity to involve families in their children’s therapy. Helping children overcome challenges at an early age is especially motivating for Kelli.
Kelli’s interests include classic cars, music, spending quality time with family, and being with her adopted “45 mile-per-hour couch potato” (greyhound), Caroline.
Heather Jo Lange
BS in Speech and Hearing Science, Minor in Psychology, University of South Alabama (2008)
MS in Speech Language Pathology, University of South Alabama (2010)
Heather was born and raised in Mobile. She began her career in Pensacola in 2010, working with children who face a wide range of challenges impacting communication. Her specific areas of expertise include augmentative communication, cochlear implants and hearing impairments, articulation/phonological disorders and developmental language disorders. She has a passion for helping families and children of all ages.
Heather enjoys going to church, camping, hiking and traveling to new places.
BS in Physical Therapy, Louisiana State University Medical Center (1993)
Jeannie is originally from south Louisiana and has lived in Pensacola for over 12 years. She has worked as a pediatric physical therapist for more than 13 years, specializing in early intervention, and has been a part of the Pearl Nelson Center family for seven years.
Jeannie loves anything LSU, running, spending time with her family at the beach, volunteering at school and church, and Cajun cooking.
BA in Psychology, Minor in Social Work, University of Maryland, Baltimore County (2002)
MS in Communication Sciences and Disorders, Florida State University (2008)
Melissa is originally from New Jersey and has lived in Pensacola since 2008. She has worked in both preschool and private settings. Melissa completed her internship at the Pearl Nelson Center in 2008 and returned to work full time in 2010. Her areas of interest include autism spectrum disorders, childhood apraxia of speech and language development.
Melissa loves playing with her two dogs, Izzy and Hurley, practicing yoga, and drinking coffee while reading a book in the backyard.
BS in Communication Disorders, Auburn University (1997)
MS in Speech-Language Pathology, Florida State University (2002)
Amy is originally from Union Springs, Alabama and has lived in Pensacola since 1997. She has been employed with the Escambia County School System as a contracted therapist since August 1997. She has been working part time for Arc Gateway for four years. Her areas of interest include language development, articulation and autism spectrum disorders.
Amy enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, going to the beach, boating and traveling.
Amy M. Warrington
BS in Psychology with a minor in Education, Florida State University (1997)
MS in Speech Language Pathology, NOVA Southeastern University (2009)
Amy has been working in early intervention for 14 years as an infant toddler developmental specialist, supervisor and then speech language pathologist at Pearl Nelson Center. Her practicum work included both the school and hospital settings with a special focus in swallow studies, including participation in modified barium swallow studies. Her areas of interest include autism spectrum disorders where she is a member of the communication, behavior, social team that includes an occupational therapist and applied behavior analyst. This team works closely with families and professionals to provide supports with a behavioral focus on strategies to support each child’s development. Her other areas of interest include theme based language development and a multi-modal approach to addressing both language and articulation deficits.
Amy loves FSU and Ensley football (where her son plays), cooking, and being the team mom for her daughter’s cheer squad. She also loves coaching her daughter’s softball team and is the family ministries coordinator for her local church.