Physical therapists in a pediatric setting work on strengthening, range of motion, balance, and a variety of techniques and functional activities designed to maximize movement, gross motor skills, and functional development. We evaluate and treat each child as an individual, providing education to families as a key component of our treatment plans. We work closely with other therapists and physicians to maximize each child’s function as a whole.
Kristin Lowe, DPT, PT
Kristin graduated from Washington University in St. Louis School of Medicine with her Doctorate in Physical Therapy over 10 years ago. She has since worked with First Steps in two different states as well as with older children in a more traditional clinical setting. Kristin has worked with children with a wide variety of medical and developmental diagnoses including, but not limited to: developmental delays, cerebral palsy, prematurity, torticollis, Down’s Syndrome, neurological conditions, rare genetic syndromes, and orthopedic concerns. Having three children of her with one of them having received First Steps’ services gives her perspective on the importance of making therapy fit into a child’s everyday life. Applying a partnership approach to incorporating families in their child’s care not only allows them to work with their child to achieve the current goals, but to build a solid foundation for future growth and development.
Laurie Niederhauser, PT
Laurie graduated with her B.S. in Physical Therapy from Indiana University in 1997. She has worked exclusively with pediatric clients since 1999. As the mother of two children, Laurie understands the perspective of both parents and children in the therapeutic process. She strives to make the work of therapy as playful, yet productive, as possible. Laurie has experience treating children with various medical and physical needs, from mild to severe. She is particularly passionate about working with children who are medically fragile, including those with ventilators or trachs, and/or those with significant neurological impairments. In addition to First Steps, Laurie also works at Riley Children’s Hospital and has gained significant experience from the variety of patients she treats there. Laurie strives to keep her skills as updated as possible by attending various continuing education courses.. She has co-instructed a handling course on several occasions and has coordinated numerous inservice and training opportunities including but not limited to NDT Facilitation Techniques, Fabrication of Orthotics, Practical Applications/Problem Solving in First Steps, and Best Practice in Treating Children with CP and Other Neurological Disorders. She has served as Co-Senior Physical Therapist in two Early Intervention agencies during her pediatric career.
Kylie Stevens, PTA
Kylie Stevens, PTA graduated from the PTA program at Ivy Tech in Muncie in 2015. She has experience both in First Steps and pediatric outpatient settings with a variety of diagnoses including, but not limited to, torticollis, spina bifida, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, Marfan syndrome, developmental delay, Williams syndrome, neonatal withdrawal, and more. Kylie also has 10 years of experience working with children in daycare, summer camp and after school settings. Kylie works with parents and/or guardians to ensure that the interventions for home are manageable, fun and easy to incorporate into the family’s daily schedule. Kylie is a mom to a current first grader and her daughter’s Daisy Scout Troop Leader. She has a passion working with children to help them (and their families) achieve their therapy goals as they grow. Kylie serves Northeastern Marion county.
Darci Thordarson, MPT, BA
Darci Thordarson has over 9 years of professional experience working with kids. She has served children in hospital settings, outpatient clinics, and daycares as well as in their homes. Darci has experience with a wide variety of diagnoses including, but not limited to: prematurity, cerebral palsy, torticollis, hypotonia, hypertonia, muscular dystrophy, downs syndrome, achondroplasia, and developmental delay,as well as many rare genetic syndromes and medical conditions. In addition, Darci has 2 preschoolers and a newborn of her own, and she values the parents’ perspective and involvement. Darci truly enjoys the privilege to help little ones achieve their physical therapy goals. She has a flexible schedule, and welcomes phone interviews. Darci serves in Hamilton County.
Carol Urbanski, PT
Carol Urbanski has many years of experience in the physical therapy field. She has worked in a variety of settings, with nearly 20 years devoted to working with children in the First Steps system. She has specialized training in the Neurodevelopmental Treatment (NDT) approach, which helps clients of all ages who have experienced any type of neurological problem. She has also worked with older children and understands the needs that children have as they get older and reach school age. She currently serves as the Senior Physical Therapist at Feeding Friends. As a mother of three children herself, Carol often says that she believes that she is a better therapist now that she is a mom herself! “I believe that my expectations are now more realistic and I better understand how other parents feel. I am here to help the child as well as the family in whatever way I can.” Carol serves in Hamilton County.