Pediatric physical therapy supports children and families in meeting the needs of their children in relation to gross motor skills, including movement and mobility, strengthening, tone management, balance, and coordination. Physical therapists assist with posture and positioning and assist families with any adaptive equipment that they may need.
Meet our amazing Physical Therapists who keep Early Bird at it’s very best!
Allison grew up in a small town outside of Rochester, NY and started her physical therapy journey after shadowing different disciplines in a school setting where her mom worked as a school nurse. She observed different disciplines that provided services to children with disABILITIES. She fell in love with the pediatric setting and was determined to continue pediatric physical therapy as a career. She took those next steps at Daemen College in Buffalo, NY where she went to PT school from start to finish. She was fortunate enough to get her dream job out of college (never feeling like she woke up having to go to a job as she loved what she was doing). She worked predominantly with 3-5 year olds in their homes, schools, or daycare. She loved that job and wished she could have picked it up with me when she moved, but she wanted to experience different cultures and better weather that NC has to offer. She started working for Early Bird this October 2020, and even though she was new, this job fit the shoes of her job in Buffalo. She has experience working with kids with a variety of different diagnoses: autism, ADD/ADHD, low tone, high tone, cerebral palsy, down syndrome, Elhers Danlos, and the list goes on. She enjoys working on reflex integration, as many children who require services still have positive primitive reflexes that contribute to his/her deficits. She loves learning about each child as a whole and working closely with families to see the children progress and flourish. The slightest progress always makes her day! She can’t wait to meet and work with you and your child!
Amy is from Erie, Pennsylvania and has lived in Charlotte for 32 years. She graduated from Indiana University with a BA in Biology and and BS in Physical Therapy from Indiana University Purdue University at Indianapolis. Amy has been treating the pediatric population for over 30 years especially children with neurological and genetic disorders, torticollis, plagiocephaly, hypotonia, gross motor delays, complex regional pain syndrome and post-concussion syndrome. Amy has been married for 30 years and has 3 children in their 20’s. Her career and life goals are to maintain her career in physical therapy, learn more each day and share her knowledge and happiness with others! Fun fact about Amy is that I am a dog lover and has a puppy named Archie.
Apu was born and raised in Chicago, IL. She came to NC to pursue her Bachelors in Exercise Science and Sports Medicine from Winston Salem State University. Apu continued her matriculation at her HBCU graduation with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2018. Immediately following graduation, Apu served pediatrics in the school setting, elderly in home health, and part-time early interventions. Apu was delighted to transition to full time with Early Bird and has enjoyed working with a wide variety of diagnosises. She is passionate about helping families dynamics, language barriers and first time parents. Apu loves to fit therapy into the daily routine, play and functional tasks already performed daily. After a long day of work, she enjoys cuddling with her 60lbs dog, Koda, and her dog’s cat, Arya.
Ashley has been a physical therapist for 13 years, practicing exclusively in pediatrics for the past 11 years. She graduated from UNC Chapel Hill in 1998 with a bachelor’s degree in Biology and in 2000 with a master’s degree in Physical Therapy. Originally from Charlotte, she recently moved back to the area from Durham and now serves the north Charlotte area. She has practiced in outpatient pediatrics, Special Care Nursery, home health, and school settings during her career. She has served a variety of diagnosis, including Cerebral Palsy, Down syndrome, torticollis, prematurity, gross motor delay, osteogenesis imperfecta, Juvenile Rheumatoid Arthritis, and other orthopedic issues in children ages birth to 18 years old. She has received specialized training in NDT Facilitation, aquatic therapy, Theratogs, orthotics, wheelchair and equipment fitting, torticollis, treatment of the premature infant, and Partial Weight Bearing Gait Training. She especially enjoys working with children with cerebral palsy, torticollis and premature infants. When not practicing she enjoys spending time with her husband and two young children, biking and going on hikes.
Beth graduated from The Ohio State University in 1997 with a degree in Allied Health/Physical Therapy. She graduated from Rocky Mountain University of Health Professions with a transitional Doctorate in Physical Therapy specializing in pediatrics in 2017. Beth has worked in a variety of settings including outpatient orthopedic, sports medicine, geriatric home care, and pediatrics. Each area has added to her knowledge and understanding of the aging process, family support, and medical diagnosis. Beth has received certification in pediatric NeuroDevelopment Treatment and pediatric kinesiotape application Beth is an APTA board certified clinical specialist in pediatric physical therapy. She has attended extensive coursework in a variety of areas including respiratory care, neuromotor disorders, sensory processing, bracing/alignment, manual work, and vestibular hypofunction. When asked what she enjoys most about her job, she will tell you everything (except the paperwork)! Beth is married to her high school sweetheart and has triplets. In her spare time you will find her cheering on her kids in their various activities or spending time outdoors.
Carrie Stead received a bachelor of science in Exercise and Sports Science from the University of Georgia in 2000, and a master of physical therapy from the Medical College of Georgia in 2002. She is originally from Atlanta, Ga. Carrie has been practicing pediatric physical therapy for 11 years and is especially interested in medically fragile children, although she loves all aspects of pediatrics. She has worked in an inpatient pediatric hospital, outpatient pediatric clinic and home health/early intervention setting. Out of all of her job responsibilities, Carrie finds working with the families and becoming a part of their “extended family” to be most enjoyable. She is married and has a 4-year-old son. She and her family love to be outside, attend sporting events (especially UGA football games), and play with their dog, Cooper.
Diane graduated from the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston in 1977 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Physical Therapy. She was part of the second graduating class of MUSC. She was born in Chapel Hill, but grew up in Bennetsville, SC, and she lived in Allentown, PA for 8 years before moving to Charlotte. Her special interest is in complex pediatrics. She loves helping families understand their child as being special but not fragile. She enjoys working on equipment needs and sorting out what will be best for the child. Diane has 10 grandchildren from ages 21 months to 26 years! In her free time she enjoys hiking, travelling, and yard work.
Jennifer Gottlieb is originally from Durham, NC. She graduated from East Carolina University in 1993 with a BS degree in physical therapy. She has worked exclusively in pediatrics in a variety of settings including: NICU, pediatric rehab hospital, outpatient clinic, early intervention and home health.
Jennifer has experience with a multitude of neurodevelopmental disorders including cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome, spina bifida, Torticollis, and developmental delay. Jennifer has received advanced training in NDT facilitation, premature infants, spinal cord injuries, cerebral palsy, sensory processing disorders, total motion release and aquatic therapy. She has also presented at the Maryland Board of Physical Therapy Conference on the topic of physical therapy treatment after selective dorsal rhizotomy in children with cerebral palsy. Jennifer enjoys working with children and their families and assisting the children to achieve their maximal potential regarding their motor development. In her free time, Jennifer loves to spend family time with her husband and three teenage children. She enjoys soccer, hiking and reading.
Jessie is originally from Greensboro, NC. She went to UNC Chapel Hill and graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and a minor in Chemistry. She went to the Medical University of South Carolina and received her Doctorate in Physical Therapy in 2012. She enjoys working with children in the area of early intervention. She enjoys spending time with her two dogs and loves to cook and travel.
Karen received her Master of Physical Therapy from Emory University in 1987 and completed her Doctor of Physical Therapy from the University of Montana in 2019. Karen loves serving children with all diagnoses, and she has been practicing in the Charlotte area for over 30 years. She offers a full-body treatment approach, utilizing her training in Neurodevelopmental handling and facilitation (NDT), Myofascial Release (MFR), Total Motion Release (TMR), and Cranial Sacral Therapy (CST). Karen also enjoys assessing posture and biomechanics, assisting with equipment and orthotic management when needed. In addition, she serves as an adjunct faculty member at CPCC and as a Yoga instructor and educator. Karen finds pleasure in spending time with her husband and three children.
NATHALIE VON FOSSEN
Nathalie was born in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada and she moved to the Carolinas at age 4. She graduated from UNC-Charlotte with a BS in Health Promotion and Kinesiology in 1999 and Associates Degree from PT Assistant program at CPCC in 2002. She enjoys working with Children with Down Syndrome and Cerebral Palsy. She and her husband Ty have two boys, Mason and Micah. She enjoys watching her boys play baseball and running.
Shawna graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a BS in Psychology and BS in Exercise and Sports Science to then graduate in 2002 from East Carolina University with a Masters in Physical Therapy. Shawna has provided pediatric physical therapy since graduating and specializes in the birth to 3 years old population. She was born in Pittsburg but was raised in Albermarle North Carolina, 45 minutes outside of Charlotte. Shawna enjoys her time outside of work with her husband, two children, and two dogs. Her family lives on the lake and loves all things swimming, boating, paddle boarding, fishing, and tubing!