One of the unique benefits of receiving Dayspring services is our team approach. While each therapist and teacher is experienced in looking at the whole child, there may be some occasions when she consults or generates ideas with a therapist of another discipline. For example, your priority for your child might be learning to walk, but you are also concerned about her communication skills. Using our team approach, your physical therapist has immediate access to an entire team of speech therapists with whom she may consult. You may see only one teacher or therapist, but you have access to the collective knowledge and experience of an entire team of professionals.
Our Transdisciplinary Team is made up of:
Dayspring Program Manager
Virginia Brown, MA, ECSE
Early Childhood Special Educators ("Teachers")
Early Childhood Special Educators (ECSEs) support children in all areas of development. We focus on determining how children learn best, what motivates them, and what holds their attention. We provide parents with information on the next developmental steps and ideas and activities to assist and motivate children towards further learning. We also look at how children interact with other children and adults in their lives (social and emotional skills), how children play (play skills and socialization), and at how independent they are in eating, toileting, and dressing.
Our Teachers are:
Mara Kuczun, MA, ECSE
Bilingual Early Childhood Special Educator
Areas Served: Boulder County
Mara loves collaborating with families to encourage growth and development in their children. She has over twenty-five years of experience working in the field of early childhood special education and intervention and has loved every minute of it. She has been a part of the Dayspring team for 14 years and has a M.A. in Early Childhood Education with an emphasis in special education. Mara is conversationally fluent in Spanish and Sign Language and uses both every day. Before finding Dayspring, she was a teacher in inclusive preschool and toddler classrooms in the Speech, Language and Hearing Sciences Center at CU as well being the lead teacher for El Grupo, a Spanish parent education program. Mara has training in Hanen, Autism, and Early Infancy. She enjoys hiking, making sculptures, and spending time with her family and three teenaged children.
Pat Uhlir, ECSE
Early Childhood Special Educator
Areas Served: Louisville, Lafayette, Longmont, Boulder, and Erie
Over 30 years of experience working for Dayspring as an Early Childhood Special Educations teacher. Pat has her BS and MA in Early Childhood Special Education. She was a recipient of the National Scholastic Infant Teacher Sward. She has worked as a kindergarten and preshool teacher, an evaluator for Child Find and has also been an interventionist in the Family Support Program and a teen parent educator. Pat has experience working with all kinds of families with children who have various diagnoses and struggles. She has worked with children referred from the Community Infant Project and Housing and Human services.
Occupational Therapists ("OTs")
Occupational Therapists assist children in areas like development of fine motor skills in order to complete daily activities and play. For example, we may teach a child to use his hands to hold a bottle, play with toys, or use both hands together to play ball. We look at children's abilities to use their bodies and their sense of touch and movement to explore and learn. We also help to promote independence in activities by helping children learn how to feed or help dress themselves.
Our OTs are:
Kate Hines, OTR, M.Ed.
Areas Served: Broomfield, Longmont, some Boulder, Erie, and Lafayette
Over 15 years of experience working with children in early intervention settings with a variety of diagnoses. Specialty focus on Autism Spectrum Disorders, sensory processing, & SI interventions. Former preschool teacher and dance/creative movement instructor. Relationship Foundations Educator for teens & adults with developmental disabilities. I love working with families and my two boys are my greatest joy!
Sara Ostrom, OTR
Areas Served: Longmont, Louisville, Erie, Lafayette, Superior, Broomfield, and Boulder
Thirty years of experience in school, home, and community based settings with over 20 years in early intervention with the Dayspring program. Previous member of school based Child Find team and SWAAC team (State Wide Alternative/Augmentative Communication Team). Experience working with children with a wide range of diagnosis. Special interest and continuing education in feeding development, general motor development, interventions for very young infants, and for children with genetic syndromes or global delays. Group facilitator and recipient of the International Teaching Award of Excellence from the Gymboree Corporation. Mother of three.
Carla Mangine, OTR
Over 25 years of experience working with children in the school setting with a focus on toddler to primary school-aged children; followed by practice in every field of OT from adult rehab, acute care, cancer care, cardiac care, med/surg, neuro, orthopedics, skilled nursing, psych, and home care. Specialty focus on Autism Spectrum Disorder, ADHD/ADD, sensory motor dysfunction/SPD, multiple physical disabilities, and severe/profound cognitive, physical, and/or behavioral needs. A significant area of interest/specialty for Carla in the schools was addressing the sensory motor needs of children. Carla is also a CranioSacral therapist and a certified hatha yoga instructor with additional training in yoga for children & adolescents with physical, behavioral, and developmental challenges. She enjoys working as an occupational therapist and connecting with her clients and families, discovering what is meaningful and important to them and incorporating this understanding into her therapy interactions with them.
Physical Therapists ("PTs")
Physical Therapists assist children in developing gross motor or large muscle skills such as sitting, crawling, and walking. We use a variety of methods of treatment including handling (in which we may move and stretch the child's muscles) and techniques (incorporated into play) to develop new ways to move. We share information, ideas and techniques with you so that you can assist your child in participating in activities at home or in your community.
Our Physical Therapist is:
Jill Valenti, RPT
Areas Served: Everywhere
More than twenty years of experience working with children in the schools, home, hospital, NICU, and out-patient clinics. Certified Neuro-Development Treatment therapist. Certified Infant Massage Instructor. Member American Hippotherapy Association. Also has training in MNRI reflex work and Rhythmic Movement training.
Speech Language Pathologists ("Speechies" or "SLPs")
Speech Therapists assist children in developing speech and language skills, as well as to improve oral motor abilities, such as feeding. We look at ways to help you help your child communicate better. We provide information, ideas and activities to enhance your child's understanding of her world (receptive language) and ability to express his/her wants and needs (expressive language).
Our Speech Therapists are:
Jenny Kozlowski, MA, CCC-SLP
Areas Served: Erie and Longmont
Over 10 years of experience working with families and young children with a variety of communication needs. Enjoys working with parents to support their child's development. Employs responsive language strategies, songs, books, sign-language, play, and motivating activities in a play-based approach. Continually learning in this profession and appreciates the knowledge that is gained from fellow Dayspring therapists. Values continuing education trainings, which allows her to provide effective, evidence-based services. Certified by professional organizations: ASHA and DORA.
Janine Randol, MA, CCC-SLP
Areas Served: Boulder, Superior, and Lafayette
Over thirty years of experience in early childhood, twenty-five years as a speech-language therapist. INREAL and Hanen certified. Interests are parenting concerns, transdisciplinary approach to intervention, autism, Down syndrome and low–incidence disabilities.
Lee Hamilton, MA, CCC-SLP
Lee is passionate about collaborating with parents, caregivers and other therapists to develop family centered and culturally responsive services which support communication development in children's natural environments. She has over 15 years of experience supporting families of young children with language delays, speech impairments and other developmental needs. Lee is a Hanen certified instructor for the It Takes Two to Talk program, a certified member of the American Speech and Language Association and is licensed in the State of Colorado.
Jensen Hanyak, MA, CCC-SLP
Bilingual Speech Therapist
Jensen earned her M.A. in Speech-Language Pathology from Utah State University in 2017. In addition to the normal master's coursework, Jensen completed a specialized curriculum in Listening and Spoken Language, preparing her to work with children who are deaf and hard of hearing, and in particular with children who use hearing aids/have cochlear implants. Jensen is fluent in Spanish and enjoys working with families from diverse backgrounds. She is a Hanen certified SLP with the More Than Words program and looks forward to pursuing other evidence-based training programs in the future to ensure she is delivering high quality services to the families she works with.
Allison Portillo, MA, CCC-SLP
Bilingual Speech Therapist
Allison earned her masters degree from the University of Colorado Boulder, with an emphasis in bilingual speech-language pathology. She is fluent in Spanish, and is passionate about providing culturally responsive, efficacious assessment and treatment to Spanish-speaking and bilingual children and families. She has eight years of experience working in pediatric settings including home, office, daycare, and school settings. Allison believes strongly in the importance of early intervention, and in empowering parents and caregivers. She has extensive training and experience in the treatment of early speech and language delays, stuttering, childhood apraxia of speech, and speech-language disorders in bilingual/multilingual children. She also enjoys providing support and supervision for graduate students and new therapists. She looks forward to mentoring others as well as continuing her own education in the future. When she's not working, Allison enjoys yoga, traveling, thrift store shopping, and spending time with her baby girl.
Social-Emotional supports use a variety of play and art strategies to support children in social and emotional areas of development such as playing cooperatively with other children and tolerating distress. We assess the child's interaction style and developmental history to determine how this may be affecting his/her behavior. We provide parents with skills to help their children manage frustration and express their wants and needs in an effective manner. Most often, we work within in a consultative model to educate parents on social and behavioral supports for their child.