In my 9th year of practicing in pediatrics, I gained a new perspective when the roles were reversed and I became the worried parent seeking professional guidance for my child in the summer of 2019. Our third daughter, Lainey, had tongue, lip, and cheek ties that were impacting her ability to breastfeed and gain weight. After being evaluated by our sweet IBCLC, Kimberly Hampton, and subsequent revision with the wonderful Dr. Paige Prather, I sought all the knowledge I could on the topic (and am still learning!). I am now a TummyTime!™ Method certified professional and lead groups with infants and their families. It was largely in part of this experience, coupled with my roots in early intervention (EI), that Villages was created alongside Bethaney.
My heart is in EI for many reasons but mostly it is because of the connections and bonds that I have made with the children and their families in their natural environment. For nearly 10 years, I have worked solely in pediatrics with the majority of that time spent working with the EI babies (birth - 3 years) in their homes and communities. I have immense gratitude for all the families who allowed me to be a part of their village.
When my professional experience and experience as a parent collided, special things began to happen. God placed it in my heart to help cultivate a community where families could learn from shared experiences of professionals in the field, but perhaps more importantly, from each other.
Cassie Kleinfelder MOT, OTR/L, CIMI
Trainings & certifications
> Master’s in Occupational Therapy from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, 2010
> Therapeutic Listening®
> Interactive Metronome®
> Keyboarding Without Tears®
> Certified instructor of infant massage
> Brain & Sensory Foundations, Level 1 & 2
> TummyTime!™ Method Certified Professional
> SOS® Approach to Feeding + advanced topics
> Handwriting Without Tears® Level 1 Certified Handwriting Specialist
I had been working in pediatrics for over 3 years when I had our son Declan. He came 6 weeks early and my entire perspective changed. The expectations I set for my patients and their families changed, and my respect for the families with babies born prematurely changed drastically.
I try to use the same techniques I found useful with my son when guiding other parents down their journey. This shouldn't be secret information only those with a degree can access. We are all just trying to raise our children the best way we know how, and the concept of Villages began to grow.
If we could focus more on baby's wellness and offer a community of support for families, then maybe we could avoid some of the problems and delays I have encountered daily for over 5 years as a pediatric physical therapist. I felt like there was more to offer my patients had they only had the resources sooner, and it's become my passion to make that happen.
I still love working with patients and their families one-on-one and have a strong focus on overall function and the families' and patients' own goals and interests.
bethaney nielsen PT, DPT
Trainings & certifications
> Doctor of Physical Therapy from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, 2014
> TMR TOTS level 1 certified
> kinesiotaping for pediatrics
> yoga for kids certified teacher
> toe-walking treatment strategies
> balance & vestibular related impairments
> HINE training for early detection of cerebral palsy
> Member of the American Physical Therapy Association, Tennessee chapter, pediatric & private practice sections