At Foundations Pediatric Therapy we value high-quality teamwork for effective, individualized pediatric services. We all have the same core values and use the DIR®Floortime™ model in our approach to providing high-quality and individualized therapy services. And on top of that we each have our own individual skills, background in continuing education, and expertise that we bring to the group. We know that an effective team is one that communicates regularly and well with one another and is able to merge expertise, clinical observations, and problem solving to enhance client and family care. No matter who your child sees, you will be getting the expertise and care from each of us. You and your child are also extremely important members of our collaborative team!
Our highly trained staff are not bound by productivity standards, therefore achieve work-place satisfaction in a motivating and empowering environment.
Get to know our team members!
Diana Dang MOT, OTR/L
Diana earned her Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy from The University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston and is a registered and licensed occupational therapist. She earned her Bachelors of Science in Exercise Science from the University of Houston. Prior to graduate school, Diana was a full-time nanny and also a caregiver for a child with autism. She then progressed to working with children with special needs in their homes, carrying out home exercise programs related to occupational therapy goals. Through these opportunities, she knew she found her niche in working with children and their families. As a Houston native, she knew she had to give back to a community that has given so much to her, which led to the opening of Foundations Pediatric Therapy.
Diana’s passion stems from building meaningful and lasting relationships that challenge and nurture growth and development across the entire lifespan. She has worked with children with sensory processing disorders, ADHD/ADD, Down Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Cerebral Palsy, genetic disorders and developmental delay. She is trained in Brain Gym, DIR/Floortime, Torticollis, and NDT treatment of the baby and young child. She is an Integrated Listening Systems (iLs) and Safe and Sound Protocol practitioner and is certified in the SOS Approach to Feeding.
When not practicing, Diana enjoys spending quality time with her husband, son, and their dog, Troy. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, traveling, and exercising. She also considers herself a "foodie".
Emma Wilking Ghelber MS, OTR/L
Emma graduated with her Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy from Boston University and earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Art History at Austin College in Sherman, TX. She is a registered and licensed occupational therapist in the state of Texas. Emma believes working as a collaborative team member and building strong foundational relationships are integral to the therapeutic process.
Prior to and since graduate school, she has worked with children with Autism Spectrum Disorders, Sensory Processing Disorder, developmental delay, cancer, ADHD/ADD, learning disabilities, and anxiety disorders. Emma has taken continuing education courses in DIR/Floortime, sensory integration techniques, the Astronaut Training Protocol (a vestibular-visual-auditory therapeutic protocol), Core Connections, Brain Gym, Bal-a-vis-x, Reiki, and NDT treatment of the baby and young child. She is an Advanced Integrated Listening Systems (iLs) and Safe and Sound Protocol Practitioner and has completed the Level I Mentorship Program through the STAR Institute. Emma is an avid learner and has attended many conferences, reads constantly, and strives to understand how it's all connected and turn it in to practice.
Emma wasn't born in Houston but grew up here, moved away a few times, and kept coming back. She wanted to bring something special to the pediatric therapy community and is eagerly building Foundations Pediatric Therapy into an integrative practice supporting holistic care for children and their families.
Emma enjoys spending time with her family and friends, practicing yoga, cooking, and scuba diving. She and her husband, Aiar, have a son and two dogs.
Occupational Therapy Assistant
Gladys Fuentes, COTA
Gladys is a first generation Houstonian who graduated from Texas State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Spanish. After graduating, she moved to Nicaragua and spent four years working in education there in a wide variety of roles from teaching English and Psychology to counseling children in school.
Upon returning to Houston she worked as a research assistant for four years at the Children’s Learning Institute helping to test educational programs for elementary school aged children within HISD and the homes. Through her work there, she was exposed to Occupational Therapy and was blown away by the endless possibilities to improve the daily lives of others. Convinced this was the path for her, she decided to pursue an Associates degree in Occupational Therapy at Houston Community College. She completed her fieldwork in Ben Taub's inpatient psychiatric unit and at Special Cheers Pediatric Therapy. Gladys has been practicing as an Occupational Therapy Assistant since 2016 and regularly seeks new learning opportunities in this amazing field.
Since being hired on at Foundations when the clinic opened in 2018, she has earned certification in the SOS Approach to Feeding, DIR/Floortime approach and the implementation of Safe and Sound and Integrated Listening systems.
Gladys is honored to be part of the amazing team and unique work environment at Foundations Pediatric Therapy and provide this invaluable service to kids and their families. She is currently the clinic’s Clinical Supervisor. When not at work Gladys enjoys spending time with her family and doing freelance writing work for The Houston Press and Houstonia Magazine about Houston’s bustling music scene.
Caroline Byers MOT, OTR/L
Caroline is an Austin, Texas native who grew up in the central Austin area and earned her Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy from Texas Woman’s University-Houston Campus. Caroline attended Texas Tech University, earning her Bachelors of Science Degree in Clinical Psychology, Human Development Family Studies, and Addictive Research Studies. During her time at Texas Tech, Caroline was a nanny and tutor for 3 children ages 6-12, all with developmental disabilities. Her roles in this job included teaching math and reading assisting in their routines on a daily basis.
Prior to Graduate School, Caroline spent 9 months in Australia working as an au pair for a family of 3 children; 1 of whom was diagnosed with Autism. During her time abroad, Caroline had the opportunity to work 1-on-1 with this child and captivated his attention each day by integrating socially interactive exercises and focusing on fun, creative activities to improve fine motor skills. These experiences led her to OT, which aligned perfectly with her vision of what she desired in a career.
She completed her Fieldwork Level II Rotation in the Austin Independent School District working with children of various diagnoses including Cerebral Palsy, Autism, Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Down Syndrome, ADHD, Learning and Developmental Disabilities. Caroline is certified in Handwriting Without Tears and is an Integrated Listening Systems (iLs) and Safe and Sound Protocol Practitioner. In 2019 she attended the STAR Institute's 3S Symposium: Strategies, Science, and Success, Sense + SenseABILITY Conference where she deepened her knowledge and understanding of sensory processing, postural control, and how it's all connected.
Caroline is extremely passionate about applying her knowledge and experience to create trusting relationships with her clients and their families. Her aspiration at the beginning and end of every day are to help others achieve their own individual goals, be their best selves, and go on to lead complete, full, and meaningful lives. Apart from work, Caroline enjoys spending time outdoors, traveling, and always loves the company of her family and friends.
Jill Mizokawa MOT, OTR/L
Jill earned her Bachelors of Science degree in Molecular Biology (2012) and her Masters Degree in Occupational Therapy (2014) from The University of Washington, Seattle. Jill has worked in a pediatric Neurodevelopmental diagnostic clinic, Early Intervention, Skilled Nursing, and Pediatric Home Health since graduating from school. She moved to Houston in June 2021 and is excited to be on the Foundations team! She loves team collaboration and a multidisciplinary approach to therapy.
Jill has special interests/training in Infant Massage, Sensory Processing/Integration, Sensory Regulation, Executive Function/Functional Cognition, and Parent/Child Interactions. She has completed the University of Southern California Sensory Integration Continuing Education Certificate Program!
Jill was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawaii, moved to Seattle, Washington for 13 years, and is now here in Houston! She is joined in Houston by her husband, Aaron, and her fluffy dog, Ko’olau.
Elizabeth (Lizzy) Simon OTD, OTR/L
Lizzy graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science in Allied Health. During her time at A&M, Lizzy provided tutoring services to students in the PATHS program, supporting general time management and understanding internal motivating factors to help with time management.
Lizzy graduated with her Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana. During her time in Montana, Lizzy focused her efforts in servicing her program through being the Treasurer for the Student Occupational Therapy Association, working as a teacher’s assistance for the Anatomy and Physiology program, and attending Hill Day in Washington D.C. to advocate for occupational therapy’s services in Montana. Lizzy performed her capstone with Hope For Three, an autism advocacy organization in Sugar Land, Texas. Lizzy’s capstone focused on current health promotion practices for families with autistic individuals.
Living in Houston since early 2021, Lizzy has now worked with many populations including adults with neurological conditions, and children with Celebral Palsy, Autism, Down Syndrome, ADHD, Developmental Delays, and other medical conditions. Lizzy’s passion is working with autistic individuals and their families, and she received a certification in DIR/Floortime to further support this passion. Lizzy’s life has close ties to autism and therefore Lizzy strives to focus on supporting not only the individual with a disability but also the caregivers, siblings, teachers, and others that may have a direct relationship with the individual. Lizzy desires to understand all perspectives in life and focuses on extending love and compassion to build others up.
Outside of work, Lizzy loves making extravagant dinners, expanding on her limited latte art skills, walking along the bayou, watching tv, and spending quality time laughing and catching up with her friends and family.
Shoneia Jones MOT, OTR/L
Shoneia attended the University of Missouri where she received her Master's of Occupational Therapy degree in 2021. In 2018, she received her Bachelor’s of Health Sciences and Minor in Human Development & Family Studies from the University of Missouri.
Before entering into the field of OT, she worked in preschools as an instructional aide and in ABA clinics as a registered behavior technician. These experiences made her realize her passion for working with kids, but the field of occupational therapy taught her how valuable it is to help kiddos reach their full potential! Shoneia has extensive experience working with children on the spectrum in addition to working with children with ADHD, Down syndrome, and emotional regulation disorders. She believes all kiddos can reach their greatest potential if they have a supportive team cheering them on!
Shoneia is not a Houston native. She was born and raised in Chicago, IL., where she met her best friend and now husband of one year, Brandon. They moved to the Houston area in 2021 and have loved everything (almost- they are still getting used to the heat and traffic) about it so far! When Shoneia is not working, she loves spending time with her husband and dog, Onyx. You can also catch her at the swimming pool on most warm days as well!
Sydney Boyes OTD, OTR/L
Sydney earned her Doctorate in Occupational Therapy from the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, TX and graduated with her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX. During her time at Texas Tech, Sydney tutored students with learning differences. Seeing their confidence and joy for learning grow led her to pursue a career in pediatric occupational therapy.
Sydney completed her level two fieldwork rotations in Denison, TX, working with adults and children in the outpatient setting. She started her occupational therapy career in Frisco, TX, working at a developmental preschool and therapy center with a multidisciplinary team of speech pathologists, physical therapists, behavior analysts and teachers. She has worked with children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, cerebral palsy, Down’s syndrome, attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), sensory processing disorder, avoidant/restrictive food intake disorder (ARFID), and developmental delay. She is passionate about utilizing a child-centered and collaborative approach to provide the best possible care.
Sydney is a Houston-area native who returned home in 2023 after spending a few years in Dallas. She lives with her husband, Cody, and their beagle, Goose. She enjoys trying new cooking recipes, being near the water and spending quality time with family and friends.
Rose Tran MA, CCC-SLP
Rose earned her BS and Master of Arts in Communication Sciences and Disorders at the University of Houston. She also worked as a Research Data Coordinator at M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. During her years as a Speech-Language Pathologist, Rose has had the pleasure of working with both adults and children in a variety of settings. She has provided adult patient care in a hospital and skilled nursing facility. She has worked with children in educational, outpatient, and private practice settings. Rose served as Lead-Speech Language Pathologist at a pediatric outpatient clinic in 2017.
Rose has evaluated and treated children with a wide range of disorders and delays. She is certified inDIR®/Floortime™Basic and Beckman Oral Motor assessment and intervention. She has completed continuing education courses in Social Thinking®, SOS Approach to Feeding, and Integrated Listening Systems. Rose also has training and experience in alternative and augmentative communication, literacy, fluency, articulation and phonological disorders, voice disorders, expressive and receptive language deficits, cognition, apraxia of speech, social language, and feeding and swallowing disorders. She was awarded the ASHA Award for Continuing Education for her commitment to learning in 2015. She is dedicated to developing her skills to maximize the cognitive, communicative, and functional abilities of the individuals she serves.
Rose is passionate about providing the highest quality services using a developmental and evidenced-based approach. She understands that every child is unique and integrates different intervention modalities based on the child’s individual profile. Rose meets children at their developmental level and incorporates positive interactions, naturalistic treatment, and play. She works closely with parents and caregivers to improve the quality of life of their children and families.
In her spare time, Rose likes to travel and try new foods. She grew up in a close-knit family with her eight siblings which has fueled her love of working with children at an early age. One of her favorite past times is spending time with her seven nieces and nephews. Rose proudly wears the title of “favorite auntie”.
Solmarie Ipina MA, CF-SLP
Solmarie was born and raised in Houston, TX. She attended the University of Houston where she earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Biology and Master of Arts in Communication Sciences and Disorders. She realized a passion for helping others while working during her undergrad years as an academic tutor and an English teacher for children in China.
Solmarie has worked with both adults and children in a diverse range of settings. She has experience working at the group level and individual level through her time providing speech therapy at a school. She participated in a Spanish-English bilingual evaluation team for two semesters at a community center and charter school as well. Furthermore, Solmarie completed externships at Texas Children’s Hospital and Memorial Hermann Hospital where she worked with medically-complex patients and problem-solved ways to provide safe and effective therapeutic care.
Solmarie is dedicated to creating an environment where speech therapy feels fun and safe. She knows that engagement plays a key role in supporting learning and strives to promote the best path for success. Solmarie has completed training in aural rehabilitation, fluency, language, articulation, social behavior, swallowing, cognition, voice, and AAC. She has special interests in dysphagia, voice, and apraxia of speech.
Solmarie considers herself a lifelong learner and is looking forward to expanding her knowledge during her clinical fellowship. She is very excited to have joined the team at Foundations Pediatric Therapy. Outside of work, Solmarie enjoys spending time with friends and family, playing piano, and reading.
Melissa Lam PT, DPT
Melissa earned her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from UT Health Science Center in San Antonio and her Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology with a focus in Motor Behavior from Texas A&M University. She has more than 7 years of clinical experience in delivering outpatient pediatric care addressing diagnoses including but not limited to torticollis, developmental delay, toe-walking, genetic syndromes, neurological disorders, autism, coordination disorders, and sports & orthopedic injuries.
Melissa strongly believes that movement should be motivating in order to achieve motor learning and strives to embody this in her treatment approach. With a dance and gymnastics background, she has a love for movement and ultimately aims for each of her patients to find joy in movement as well. She prioritizes goal collaboration with families and building strong, positive relationships with her patients to promote a pleasant experience and successful functional outcomes.
She is certified in neurodevelopmental treatment (NDT) and has advanced training in the assessment and treatment of infants and young children which allows her to accurately evaluate motor patterns, identify problem areas across development, and provide an effective hands-on approach that maximizes a child’s functional potential. She has additional experience in orthotic management and a special interest in various manual therapy techniques. She recognizes that a well regulated sensory system is essential to a child’s growth and success and embraces this in her practice.
In her free time, Melissa enjoys spending time with her husband, Michael, and son, Levi; staying active through running, yoga, and dance; exploring local coffee shops; baking sweet treats; and volunteering as a coach for a girls’ running team geared towards building self-confidence.
Client Services Manager
Jennifer was born in California and moved to Texas as a kid after living all around the world with her family. Prior to joining the team at Foundations Pediatric Therapy she was an assistant montessori teacher. After working in the classroom for nearly a decade, she knew she wanted to make a change but remain in proximity to children. I love working at Foundations because of the amazing team of empathetic and caring women who help children of all ages work toward and achieve their goals. When not at work, Jennifer is a student at University of St. Thomas, and enjoys spending time with her cats, Sage and Basil. She also enjoys traveling and experiencing new cultures, and spending quality time with her family and friends. Houston is the place to be for food, drinks, art and museums!