The Starfish Story (the Seashore story)
One day a man was walking along the beach when he noticed a boy picking up and gently throwing things into the ocean.
Approaching the boy he asked, “Young man, what are you doing?”
The boy replied, “Throwing starfish back into the ocean. The surf is up and the tide is going out. If I don’t throw them back, they’ll die.”
The man laughed to himself and said, “Do you realize there are miles and miles of beach and hundreds of starfish? You can’t possibly make any difference.”
After listening politely, the boy bent down, picked up another starfish and threw it into the surf, then smiling at the man he said, “I made a difference to that one.”
Making a difference in the life of your child!
Molly DeVaney M.S., CCC-SLP
Kayla Irwin OT
Shelbi Hilling OT
Brooke Samaritano OT
Ashley McMahon PT. DPT
Brielle Caucino, CCC-SLP
Bailey Horne, OT
Meg Czaszynski, PT, DPT
Tamara Hollenback, OT
Daniel Gilson, PT, MPT
Rob Matthews, PT
Molly DeVaney M.S., CCC-SLPMolly
Kayla Irwin OTKayla is a registered and licensed occupational therapist who practices at our Toms River location. She earned her Masters of Occupational Therapy from the University of St. Augustine for Health Sciences. She completed her undergraduate work at James Madison University where she received a Bachelor's of Science in Health Sciences with a minor in Exceptional Education as well as a certificate for studies in Autism Spectrum Disorder. Her professional background includes school-based and outpatient pediatric services. She has attended continuing education courses on the Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Approach to feeding and the Zones of Regulation curriculum, making these areas of primary interest and specialization with her clients. Kayla was drawn to the field of Occupational Therapy through a variety of personal and professional experiences, including coordinating and volunteering with an adaptive sports program for children with disabilities, a paraprofessional position in a special education classroom, and seeing the positive impact that OT had for her grandmother diagnosed with Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS). Besides working as an occupational therapist, Kayla enjoys going to the beach, baking cookies or cupcakes, and spending time with her family and friends.
Shelbi Hilling OTMy name is Shelbi and I am a registered and licensed Occupational Therapist in the state of New Jersey. I received my Bachelor’s degree in Health Science from James Madison University and then earned my Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy from Wesley College. I am a pediatric occupational therapist whose professional background includes school-based and private-outpatient pediatric therapy. I also have additional clinical experience within adult orthopedic and neurological settings. My experiences, both personal and professional, have shaped how I work with each child today. I truly believe that movement and play are the two most important pieces of the therapeutic process, for adults and children alike. I strive to provide fun, functional, and purposeful treatment sessions to each child in order to build a strong, confident foundation for them to grow upon. I believe once a child feels confident in themselves and their body, they can begin thriving in all other areas of life too. I view each child and family I work with as a unique family unit. I try to offer individualized education and strategies specific to your home life, family needs and routines so carryover outside of the clinic can be successful. I don’t want OT to feel like work. I want it to be a fun, educational process for you and your family to gain valuable tools to help your child be the happiest and most independent version of themselves possible. My interventions focus on sensory processing, fine motor, visual motor, strengthening, play, and self-help skills. I am constantly seeking further education in these areas to ensure I am meeting the ever-evolving needs of each child I work with. When I am not being an OT (even though I don’t think my OT brain ever really turns off!), you can find me baking in the kitchen, outside in my garden, or playing with my soon-to-be husband and our new rescue pup.
Brooke Samaritano OTBrooke is a registered and licensed Occupational Therapist and received a Masters of Occupational Therapy at West Virginia University. I am a pediatric occupational therapist with fieldwork background in school-based, outpatient pediatrics, and acute care/inpatient rehabilitation. My experiences have shaped my beliefs as a therapist to look at the “whole picture” of a child; including the individual child, family, home environment, school environment, and academics, if applicable. I believe it is most beneficial to provide interventions and education to both child and parents/caregivers to ensure carryover in daily routines at home. My goal as an occupational therapist is to provide the necessary skills and strategies to both parents and children to assist in the independent success of a child’s occupations which include play, social skills, self-care, and their ability to function appropriately in their roles at home and school. My favorite occupational therapist interventions involve sensory processing and self-regulation. Self-regulation is comprised of sensory processing, executive functioning, and emotional regulation, and is the ability to adjust a person’s level of alertness and how they display their emotions through behavior. Occupational Therapists here at Seashore use a program called “The Zones of Regulation'' to categorize complex feelings into four colored zones to overall improve a child’s ability to recognize and communicate how they are feeling in a safe, non-judgmental way. I enjoy exploring sensory strategies and tools that help children regulate their emotions appropriately that can overall improve their function and behavior in their surrounding environments. Outside of the clinic, I am continuously looking for and learning new therapeutic interventions to apply in my practice along with enjoying spending time with my family and friends!
Ashley McMahon PT. DPTHi there! My name is Ashley McMahon and I am a Doctor of Physical Therapy in the State of New Jersey. I graduated with a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Science from Monmouth University. I attended physical therapy school at Rutgers University and obtained my Doctorate of Physical Therapy. My clinical experience while in school included placements in adult outpatient therapy at Kessler and Capital Health Regional Hospital, as well as work in NICU, PICU, pediatric floor, outpatient pediatrics, and acute care at St. Peters University Hospital. These experiences and my current job placements have given me a very wide variety of knowledge in diagnoses ranging throughout all age groups and all aspects of the body. My points of interest and increased proficiency lie in orthopedics and toe walking within my field. It is my goal as a therapist to always improve a patient’s quality of life and functionality throughout the lifespan. When I am not working as a PT, I enjoy the beach, spending time with family and friends, and staying active!
Amanda SantoroAmanda is the office manager at our Manahawkin location. She graduated from Stockton in the Spring of 2019 with a Bachelor's Degree in Health Science and a minor in Childhood Studies. Amanda is currently enrolled at Ball State University where she is obtaining her Masters Degree in Applied Behavior Analysis with plans to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst. In Amanda’s free time she enjoys traveling and spending time with her family and friends.
Brielle Caucino, CCC-SLPMy name is Brielle Caucino and I am currently a licensed Speech-Language Pathologist in the State of New Jersey with my Certificate of Clinical Competence (CCC) from the American Speech-Language-Hearing Association. I graduated from Seton Hall University with a Bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education (K-6) with a concentration in Special Education, Liberal Arts and a minor in Spanish. I attended graduate school at Seton Hall University and obtained my Master’s degree in Speech-Language Pathology. My practicum experiences in graduate school included clinical placements within the public school system, Early Intervention, hospital, and a skilled nursing facility. My clinical experiences, as well as my current job placement at Southern Ocean Medical Center, have given me the opportunity to provide treatment to individuals with speech, language, and swallowing disorders including: expressive/receptive language, articulation/phonology, apraxia of speech, auditory processing, stuttering/fluency, pragmatic, dysphagia, cognition, and memory. My passion is to provide the best treatment to individuals across the lifespan. Aside from being a speech pathologist, I also enjoy spending my time with family, friends and going to the beach!
Bailey Horne, OTMy name is Bailey Horne and I am a registered and licensed occupational therapist. I completed both my undergraduate and graduate work at Quinnipiac University, where I graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Health Science Studies and a Master of Occupational Therapy degree. Throughout my time at Quinnipiac, I had many clinical internship placements in a variety of settings including long-term acute care, subacute rehabilitation, sensory integration clinics, and school systems. This range of practice settings has given me experience working with a large and unique variety of clients, families, doctors, and other therapists and I have always been proud to use a family-centered, team-based approach. Throughout all of these opportunities, I have always maintained a strong interest in pediatric practice. I enjoy staying involved, attending continuing education courses, and doing research in order to learn as much as possible about my field. In April 2019, my graduate research on adaptive sports was presented at the American Occupational Therapy Association’s annual conference in New Orleans, LA. I recently attended a continuing education course on the Zones of Regulation and enjoy applying the knowledge I gain from experiences like these to my intervention sessions. In addition to sensory processing and self-regulation, my intervention sessions also focus on important skills such as fine and visual motor, self-help, and play in order to help children increase their independence and live their lives to the fullest. In my free time, I love to spend time with my family, friends, and dogs. I enjoy traveling and being outdoors, especially at the beach.
Meg Czaszynski, PT, DPTMeg Czaszynski received her undergraduate degree in Kinesiological Science from the University of Maryland in 2005 and her Doctorate in Physical Therapy from The University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey (now Rutgers) in 2008, graduating with an award for excellence in research. During the completion of her doctorate, Meg co-authored a published research study on the effects of a low-cost gaming system for rehabilitation of an adolescent with cerebral palsy. Even before college, Meg knew that she wanted to work with the pediatric population after going to physical therapy herself for a sports related injury when she was 17 and then later watching a close friend’s younger sibling become debilitated by cancer. She began her career as an outpatient physical therapist at JFK Johnson Rehab working with teens and adults with a wide array of orthopedic and neurological diagnoses. This clinical background provided her with a strong understanding of orthopedic injuries, and she has built on this valuable knowledge base throughout her professional career. After two years, Meg moved on to Children’s Specialized Hospital in New Brunswick to pursue her love of pediatrics as a member of their General Rehabilitation and Spinal Cord Injury team in their Inpatient Rehab department. There she treated children with spinal cord injuries, post-op/ trauma, cancer, TBI and vast array of other diagnoses. She continued on to work with children in outpatient, private school and public school settings, specializing in treating children with a Sensory Processing Disorders, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Cerebral Palsy, developmental delays, Torticollis and various other neurological and orthopedic conditions. Through each of her experiences, she has learned from the children and clinicians around her, helping to make her a very diverse and well-rounded therapist. She utilizes both clinical expertise and continuing education course work in manual therapy techniques, NDT, Myofacial Release, Total Motion Release, and Sensory Integration to provide patients with comprehensive care to help them reach their goals. She believes that the healing process is very specific to the individual and therapy should be fun. Her positive attitude and creativity make her an exceptional physical therapist for pediatric patients. When she is not treating patients, Meg enjoys spending time with her two daughters, her husband, and her dog. She is a gym enthusiast (you will often find her there at 5:30am), a dedicated Yogi (also certified pediatric yoga instructor for children ages 2-7), and a foodie. She enjoys paddle boarding, riding her bike, and traveling. She believes every day is a beach day (no matter the weather) and loves to watch the sunrise, as it reaffirms her belief that each day is a new day filled with exciting opportunities to help children of all ages learn, grow, play, become stronger, and reach their goals.
Tamara Hollenback, OTTamara is a registered and licensed Occupational Therapist and received a Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy at the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey. "I am a pediatric occupational therapist whose professional background includes school-based, private pediatric clinic, and geriatric homecare. These settings and experiences combined have shaped my therapeutic philosophy to be focused on the individual child in order to refine and develop skills needed to promote optimal function and engagement. However, it is my strong belief and understanding that true gains and growth cannot be measured or assessed within the confines of the clinic. Therefore, in addition to working directly with the child, I am equally passionate about working with and educating you as the parent and caretakers of the child to encourage use of strategies and skills to carryover, practice, and apply at home to your daily lives and routines. My goal is to help your child be as successful and independent in their "jobs" of self-care, play, social interaction, and academic readiness. I want your child to participate more fully in their roles as son or daughter, brother or sister, friend, and student. My occupational therapy interventions focus on the individual skills of sensory processing, fine motor, visual motor, strengthening, play, and self-help with the ultimate goal being to assist your child to live their life as the happiest and most independent version of his or her unique self. I am constantly looking to learn, understand, and apply current best practices to meet the evolving needs of the developmental, physical, and functional limitations that many children are faced with today. Children are designed to move and play in order to learn about themselves and their environments. I strive to recognize and celebrate each and every little gain your child makes towards doing those things with greater ease. Little moments of active play and purposeful participation can have a huge impact on the overall meaning of your child's life and the sense of balance for your family. To help maintain my own balance, I try to spend my time playing, creating, discovering, and celebrating all of life's little moments with my husband, son, family, friends, and dogs."
Daniel Gilson, PT, MPTDan graduated from the Richard Stockton College of NJ in 2002 with a Master's Degree in Physical Therapy. He also has a Bachelor's degree in Biology. Since completing PT school, Dan has worked as a Pediatric therapist in the school setting working in the LBI, Lacey Township and Middletown school districts over the years. In school, Dan has treated children ages 3-21 and has also treated children & adults in the outpatient setting. He has also provided home services to children who could not attend school. He currently is working in the Middletown school district and has coordinated the physical therapy schedule for over 100 students in 17 schools, including coordinating the all the initial PT evaluations for the district. He has acquired vast knowledge in the development and implementation of Individualized Educational Plans in New Jersey. Dan has had many positive experiences over the years working in the different schools. Two that stand out were walking in a high school graduation with one of his students that he had worked with for many years as she was recovering from a brain tumor surgery and treatment and also the simple "Thank you for helping me today" from one of his third graders after he had helped him with various activities during the school's field day. Over the years, Dan has taken an abundance of continuing education courses in topics such as Seating Systems, Pediatric Yoga, Myofascial Release, Pediatric Evaluations, and a course involving incorporating breathing into functional movement patterns & utilizing movement to improve respiration. Dan uses these new treatment approaches in his daily work with the kids. He is also certified in assisted technology and is a certified clinical instructor. He has supervised roughly a half dozen physical therapy students over the years. Dan believes in the "team approach" to rehabilitation and has worked closely with Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists, social workers, school psychologists, teachers, paraprofessionals and parents to achieve the highest outcomes for the students in his care. He also has experience working with orthotists, wheelchair vendors, assistive technology specialists and insurance companies to obtain equipment to help his students attain their highest level of function. Dan is currently working with one o the middle school teachers to develop a community based mobility assessment which will be utilized to provide individualized instruction to students while they are participating in community based instruction (CBI). According to the NJ Department of Education CBI is "teaching individual and small groups of students academic and other content activities that occur naturally in community settings". Dan has also worked hard to develop a functional pediatric evaluation tool to assess school age children. Dan and his wife have awesome twin boys and love living down by the Jersey Shore. In his free time, Dan loves the outdoors and being on the water. He loves to kayak, fish, and camp with his family. He also coaches his boys soccer team, where he is able to use his pediatric experience to help teach and coach all of his players.
Rob Matthews, PTRob has been a Physical Therapist for 25 years. He has lived in the Manahawkin area since 1975. Rob graduated from The Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Sciences in 1992. He received his Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy and a Bachelor’s Degree in Health Science from PCPS. Rob’s first job was at Southern California Orthopedic Institute and HealthSouth Rehabilitation in Van Nuys, California. He specialized in Orthopedic and Aquatic therapies with both adult and pediatric patients. Upon returning home to New Jersey, Rob went to work at Ocean County Sports Rehabilitation in Toms River, NJ. During this time, he also earned a Master’s Degree in Health Education from Trenton State College. Rob then opened Southern Ocean Physical Therapy with partners and grew the practice to six offices throughout Ocean and Monmouth Counties. In 2004, Rob founded Elite Rehabilitation Services, a company that specializes in Pediatric Therapy Contracting Services with New Jersey School Districts. He has been providing Physical Therapy services to children in many school districts throughout New Jersey since 2004. Rob has always enjoyed working with children and finds that helping children reach their maximal potential whether it is at home, in school, or even in athletics is the most important job he has ever had outside of his home. At home, Rob enjoys spending time with his wife and three children. His children are very active in school and athletics and as a family, they enjoy traveling, the beach and spending time with friends and family. Professionally, Rob focuses much of his continuing education and research on the pediatric population. He has always had a dream of building a clinic in his hometown that would help children become the very best versions of themselves that they can. With the team we have at Seashore Pediatric Therapy Center, this dream is becoming a reality each and every day as we strive to “Make a Difference in Every Child.”