At Shining Stars Therapy, we take pride in providing the best Pediatric Therapy Services for your child.  With experienced, enthusiastic occupational therapists, physical therapists and speech therapists, our team is here to serve you.  Please scroll down the page to learn more about our team members!

Dawn Solomon, MS, OTR/L — Executive Director, Practice Owner

Dawn received her degree in Occupational Therapy in 1997 from Downstate Health Science Center in Brooklyn, NY. She is currently pursuing a Clinical Doctorate in Occupational Therapy at Salus University and has recently obtained her certification in Remedial Vision and Rehabilitation. Dawn also has additional certifications in Sensory Integration and Praxis Testing (SIPT), Handwriting Without Tears, Interactive Metronome (IM), the Wilbarger Deep Pressure and Proprioceptive Technique (DPPT), Therapeutic Listening, Astronaut Training, the SOS feeding approach, and CAN-Eat. Dawn founded Shining Stars Therapy in 2009 after seeing a need for family and patient-centered therapy services for children in our community.

Julie Burke, MS, OTR/L — Clinical Director

After receiving a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2003, Julie moved to North Carolina where she worked with young children with Fragile X syndrome and their families for three years while pursuing a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from East Carolina University. She has been working in pediatrics since 2010, and has gained specialized training in Therapeutic Listening, Interactive Metronome, functional vision, Beckman Oral/Motor assessment, CAN-EAT approach, sensory integration, Wilbarger Deep Pressure and Proprioceptive Technique, NDT handling, and CIMT.

Katie Behrhorst, MS, OTR/L

Katie received her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from ECU. Katie is certified in Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM), Therapeutic Listening, Building Blocks Sensory Integration, Interactive Metronome, Beckman Oral-Motor Assessment and Intervention, and CAN-EAT Approach for Feeding. Katie’s practice interests include neurological and orthopedic assessment and intervention, feeding, toileting and pelvic health, and selective mutism. Katie also is passionate about teaching special needs piano and regularly volunteers with Duke Adaptive Climbing.

Megan Bryan, MS, OTR/L

Megan earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Recreation and Parks Management with a concentration in Therapeutic Recreation at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. She then received her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Shenandoah University in Virginia. She completed her fieldwork rotations in community mental health, community physical disabilities, inpatient rehabilitation, and a pediatric outpatient clinic. Through her pediatric rotations, she worked with children ages 1-16 with a range of diagnoses including autism, ADHD, sensory processing disorders, Down syndrome, developmental delays, anxiety, emotional disorders, and trauma. While in school, Megan enjoyed volunteering at Victory Junction which is a camp for children with serious medical conditions and disabilities.

Emily Hoyle, MS, OTR/L

Emily earned a Bachelor of Science degree in Recreational Therapy from East Carolina University in 2005. She later returned to East Carolina University to obtain her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy, where she graduated in 2008. Her rotation in the burn center is where she discovered her passion for working with children. She worked for the NC Children’s Hospital at UNC where she specialized in treating both inpatients and outpatients who had suffered from various ailments including trauma, genetic syndromes, orthopedic injury, neurological insults, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.  After having her family, Emily transitioned to outpatient pediatrics where she has been since 2015.

Baillie Hunter, MS, OTR/L

Baillie received her undergraduate degree in Psychology from Queens University of Charlotte in 2012. She then worked with a non-profit healthcare organization in Charlotte for 4 years assisting the community with access to a variety of healthcare needs. She received her master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Lenoir-Rhyne University in 2018. Baillie has been working in outpatient and early intervention pediatrics ever since her graduation. She has worked with children birth to 21 with a variety of needs including cerebral palsy, autism and ADHD, sensory processing needs, seizure disorders, genetic and orthopedic conditions. She loves to pursue continued education in the field of occupational therapy, and she incorporates evidence-based research into her daily practice.

Hadley Kirkpatrick, MS, OTR/L

Hadley earned a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology and a Master of Education in Kinesiology for Individuals with Disabilities from the University of Virginia. She then earned her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy with fieldwork experiences in schools, skilled nursing, inpatient acute care, and pediatric aquatic therapy. Hadley is trained in the CAN-EAT Approach for Feeding and has completed training for reflex integration. She enjoys working with children with sensory processing disorders, autism, and orthopedic conditions.

Kylee Leavitt, MS, OTR/L

Kylee received her Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science from Utah Valley University and received her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Utah. While in graduate school, she participated in various pediatric fieldwork placements, including an outpatient clinic, nonprofit school for adults with 18-32 with autism spectrum disorders/other neurodiversities, and in a school setting. Kylee spent 3 years working in the school setting before moving to NC and transitioning to outpatient therapy. She has worked with children 0-21 years old with a variety of diagnoses, including autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy, ADHD, learning disabilities, sensory processing disorders, traumatic brain injury, visual-motor impairments, and overall developmental delay.

Felicia Lisewski, MS, OTR/L

Felicia received a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from Ithaca College in 2009. She completed a Master of Occupational Therapy degree from Bay Path College in Massachusetts in 2014. Since graduating, she has worked in early intervention and outpatient pediatric clinics with children having a wide variety of diagnoses including ASD, ADHD, cerebral palsy, agenesis of the corpus callosum, spinocerebellar ataxia, muscular dystrophy, brachial plexus, epilepsy, learning disabilities, sensory processing deficits, and visual perceptual deficits. She is certified in Therapeutic Listening and Quickshift music. She is also educated and experienced in Sensory Processing, Handwriting Without Tears, and Wilbarger Deep Pressure and Proprioceptive technique.

Kristina Nguyen, MS, OTR/L

Kristina received her undergraduate degree in Rehabilitation Services from East Carolina University and her Masters degree in Occupational Therapy from Colorado State University. She completed clinical rotations in school settings and in an outpatient pediatric clinic that specialized in working with individuals birth – 21 with a range of diagnoses including developmental delay, ASD, ADHD, cerebral palsy, and seizures. Additionally, while completing her master’s degree, Kristina worked at the Assistive Technology Resource Center helping college students with disabilities excel in secondary education. Kristina specializes in assistive technology and sensory integration and is pursuing additional training in feeding, like the CAN- EAT approach.

Jenna Swanson, PT, DPT — Administrative Director

Jenna received her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. She moved to the Raleigh area in 2010 and has been practicing exclusively in the field of pediatrics since 2011. She has experience working in various pediatric settings including the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), early intervention, and outpatient therapy. Jenna has received additional training in Total Motion Release – Tots and Teens, torticollis and plagiocephaly, pediatric kinesiotaping, Go Baby Go, bracing and orthotic management, and pediatric gait disorders. Jenna is also an APTA certified clinical instructor. Jenna serves as our administrative director of the clinic while also treating clients.

Mikayla Carasone, PT, DPT

Mikayla received her Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology from The University of Rhode Island and then completed a Clinical Doctorate degree in Physical Therapy at Marist College in NY. She has experience working in adult outpatient orthopedics and outpatient pediatrics. Mikayla has experience working with rare genetic conditions, cerebral palsy, and developmental delays. Mikayla has been trained to use the Universal Exericse Unit, Therasuit, orthotics, and aquatic therapy for pediatrics. Mikayla recently moved to North Carolina from Connecticut in March 2022. She enjoys traveling and doing anything outdoors with her Labrador Retriever, Boomer.

Mary Giro, MS, PT

Mary graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Exercise Science/Pre-Physical Therapy from Rutgers University in 1989 and a master’s in Physical Therapy from University of California in 1993. Mary worked for the LA County School System for 2 years working with children 3 to 21 years old in a school setting with a medical therapy unit for outpatients. After moving to Florida, Mary transitioned to Healthsouth Sunrise Rehabilitation Hospital and worked with children birth to 21 with multiple diagnoses including genetic syndromes, orthopedic conditions, cerebral palsy, burns, and brain injury. Mary received special training in burn rehabilitation, serial casting, NDT, coma stimulation, Interactive Metronome, kinesiotaping, vestibular rehabilitation, and aquatic therapy. Mary has worked for the NC public schools while also doing private home health care with children of all ages.

Sue Knight, PT

Suzanne Doser Knight has been a Physical Therapist for over 40 years, and the majority of that time has been in pediatrics. She has worked with children 0-21 in Early Intervention, with physically and otherwise health impaired children, as well as the spectrum of developmentally delayed and visually impaired. Her work setting has varied from home visits, day care and school to outpatient treatment. She has also been treating through telehealth for over 10 years. Sue has extensive training in adaptive equipment, Go Baby Go, orthotics, visual impairments, plagiocephaly and torticollis, myofascial release, pediatric yoga, brachial plexus injuries, and more.

Christina Moore, PT, DPT

Christina received her undergraduate degree in Public Health Sciences from Clemson University and her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from East Carolina University. After graduating, Christina worked in Wilmington, NC where she practiced in early intervention and outpatient pediatric settings with children ranging from 0-21 years old. She has experience working with a wide variety of diagnoses including but not limited to developmental delay, torticollis, ASD, brain and spinal cord injuries, genetic syndromes, and muscular myopathies. Christina enjoys using her creativity in combination with her knowledge of the human body to develop fun, engaging, and purposeful therapy sessions for her clients. Christina grew up in Cary, NC and is excited to be back and working closer to home.

Amy Schott, PT, DPT

Amy graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a Bachelor of Arts with highest honors in Exercise and Sport Science in 2012 followed by a Doctor of Physical Therapy degree in 2015. Amy completed an orthopedic residency and then practiced in an outpatient clinic primarily working with patients aged 8-99 years old for 6 years. She then transitioned back to the pediatric setting, where she felt her passion lied. She has expertise in the vestibular system, concussions, orthopedic conditions, pain management, trigger point dry needling, and yoga. She enjoys working with children of all ages including youth and teenage athletes. She is also an APTA certified clinical instructor. She likes to incorporate mindfulness and wellness into her therapy programs as she incorporates a whole child approach to treatment.

Jessica Dawson, M.Ed., CCC-SLP

Jessica earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Child Development and Family Studies and began working with children in the preschool setting, where she was for ten years. She then pursued a Masters of Education in Communication Sciences and Disorders with a focus on pediatrics in 2014. Jessica worked in the preschool and public school settings before transitioning to outpatient therapy. Specific areas of interest include: articulation, oral motor skills, and AAC. Jessica has completed training with FRIENDS Who Stutter, Beckman Oral Motor Protocol, and CAN-EAT Approach. She has extensive experience treating children with Down syndrome, Autism spectrum disorder, as well as articulation, fluency, receptive and expressive language disorders.

Sarah Stimpson, MS, CCC-SLP

Sarah graduated from Point Park University in Pittsburgh, PA with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Theatre Arts: Musical Theatre and a minor in English in 2008. After relocating to NC and starting a family, she went back to school and earned a Master of Science degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from East Carolina University in 2018. Sarah has worked in daycares, preschools, elementary schools, and high schools. She has experience in the evaluation and treatment of articulation and phonological disorders, expressive and receptive language impairments, childhood apraxia of speech, and fluency disorders. She has experience working with a wide variety of diagnoses throughout the pediatric population.

Brittany Zinkow, M. Ed., CCC-SLP

Brittany received a Bachelor of Science degree in Health Services Management from East Carolina University in 2012. In 2016, She graduated from North Carolina Central University with a Masters in Communication Sciences and Disorders and Minor Concentration in Augmentative and Alternative Communication. Brittany worked in the preschool and public school settings before transitioning to outpatient therapy. Brittany has completed training with Autism Diagnostic Observation Scale (ADOS), Augmentative and Alternative Communication (AAC) in Culturally and Linguistically Diverse Populations. She has experience assessing and treating articulation and phonological disorders, pragmatic language impairments, expressive and receptive language impairments, oral motor impairments, cognitive impairments, as well as using augmentative communication.

Cassidy Milian, Patient Care Coordinator

Cassidy joined the Shining Stars team in May of 2022 after moving the the area from Tennessee. She previously worked in a pediatric therapy office similar to Shining Stars, and she is very knowledgeable on pediatric therapy services. Cassidy helps coordinate our patient care, including scheduling therapy visits, sending and receiving plans of care, communicating with doctor’s offices, coordinating new referrals, and verifying insurance. She also helps in marketing and social media outreach. Cassidy is a cheerful face that you will see when arriving at Shining Stars, and you will often talk to her if you call into the office. She enjoys spending time with her husband and dogs outside of work.

Taylor Baker, Billing Specialist

Taylor has been with Shining Stars Therapy since 2014. She began as a front desk receptionist and has transitioned now to our billing department. Taylor helps with insurance authorizations for all patients, checking benefits, processing copays, and providing billing statements. Any questions regarding insurance and billing are directed to Taylor.