Meet the Team

Crystal Amelang - OTR/L, SIPT
Pediatric Occupational Therapist
Owner and Founder of Sprouts Therapy
Crystal graduated with a degree in Occupational Therapy from Colorado State University in 2002. She has always had a passion for working with children. During her college years Crystal assisted teaching a preschool program, provided caregiving services in the homes of families of children with special needs and coached figure skating. She later developed a special needs ice skating program in her home town of Fort Collins, Colorado after traveling to New York to volunteer with the Skating Association for the Blind and Handicapped (SABAH). After graduation Crystal completed her fieldwork placements in San Diego, California studying Spinal Cord Injuries and in Edinburgh, Scotland working in Neurology.

After completing her advanced certification in Sensory Integration (SIPT), she saw how the field of Pediatric Occupational Therapy combines her love for children and Neurology, leading her to pursue her career in this direction. Crystal has years of experience working in a variety of pediatric settings including the home, community parks and beaches, public and private schools and play based sensory clinics. These opportunities have allowed her to treat children with a variety of developmental delays and given her extensive experience working with children on the Autism Spectrum and with Sensory Processing Disorders. Crystal is an Advanced Integrated Listening System (iLs) Practitioner, Advanced Pediatric Interactive Metronome (IM) Practitioner, an Advanced Sensory Integration Practitioner (SIPT), and Therapeutic Listening Practitioner. Crystal has completed 500 hours of training in massage therapy, which she incorporates into her pediatric practice, as well as training in CranioSacral Therapy provided by the Upledger Institute. Additional trainings include Understanding and Managing Visual Deficits, The Whole Child: SANE (Sleep, Activities, Nutrition, Environment) System of Pediatric Assessment/Treatment, Music Together for families and within therapy, and The SCERTS Model. Crystal holds a Basic Certification in the DIR/Floortime Approach and the SOS Approach to Feeding.  Additionally she has completed the level one mentorship training program at the Star Institute for Sensory Processing Disorders under Dr. Lucy Jane Miller and Dr. Sara Schoen.

Crystal relocated to Hawaii in 2009 and realized there was a great need for specialized therapies for the pediatric population on Oahu. At that time she began her pursuit to bring Sprouts Therapy to life!!!

Lauren Hodde is a native Floridian, and graduate from Florida State University (Go Noles!). She received her B.S. in Risk Management & Insurance within the School of Business. Upon graduating in 2006, she worked in the insurance and construction industries. Her roles included analyzing coverages, accounting and construction project management.

After many years of wanting to pursue her dreams of living in Hawaii, she moved to Oahu and loves everyday living in paradise! As Clinic Manager, Lauren maintains the operations and client support sides of the business. She enjoys helping the business grow and serving the clients! If she’s not at Sprouts, you’ll find her enjoying the sun on a beach somewhere.. most likely on North Shore!

Lauren Hodde -
Clinic Manager
Grace Dixon - OTR/L
Pediatric Occupational Therapist

Grace Dixon, MOT, OTR/L has practiced Occupational Therapy since graduating from the University of Florida in 2006. She has worked in a variety of settings throughout her practice; including adult rehabilitation, pediatric therapy, orthopedics, sensory integration, early intervention, community mobility/travel training, neurological disorders, low vision, general physical dysfunction, and home care. Grace was the Clinical Director for a private pediatric sensory-integration clinic in New York City for four and a half years, while continuing to treat both in the NY public schools and in the private sector. During this time, Grace trained in DIR/Floortime techniques under the mentorship of a certified DIR/Floortime therapist and continues to utilize these strategies in her therapy practice. She also worked in adult rehabilitation for four years, focusing on neurological disorders and utilizing a variety of therapeutic modalities for pain management.

Grace moved to Hawai’i from New York City in 2015 to work with the Hawai’i Department of Education providing school-based occupational therapy to the Hawai’i Kai community. She also partnered with the Department of Education to provide community workshops for parents, teachers, and staff to better understand sensory processing and share multi-sensory learning strategies to support our students. Grace worked with local schools to provide greater access to multi-sensory learning tools in the classroom and to provide access to “sensory gym” areas for movement breaks during the school day. She joined the Sprouts team full-time in 2017 and is excited to work with these amazing children and families. Grace has been trained in The Listening Program (TLP), Interactive Metronome (IM), Handwriting Without Tears (HWT), therapeutic modalities for orthopedics and pain management, certified in electrical stimulation (E-STIM/TENS), and the Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Approach to Feeding.

Diane Watjen, OTR/L has practiced Pediatric Occupational Therapy since graduating Tufts University Boston School of Occupational Therapy in 1979. She has specialized in Sensory Integration for children with learning disabilities, autism and related sensory processing disorders. She has been certified in Neurodevelopmental Therapy (NDT) for children with neuromuscular dysfunction.

Diane has worked in a variety of settings while starting her practice in a sensory integration clinic, and has also worked in Early Intervention, county programs in California servicing children with orthopedic and neurodevelopmental disorders, a state hospital serving more fragile pediatric patients, and she has had private practice in California for over 25 years. Diane is able to include Iyengar Yoga, Craniosacral Therapy and body work including Zero Balancing, Reiki and Polarity for adults and children for those interested in complementary medical intervention.
Diane Watjen - OTR/L
Pediatric Occupational Therapist
Marissa Anderson - MA, OTR/L
Pediatric Occupational Therapist

Marissa Anderson, MOT OTR/L has practiced Pediatric Occupational Therapy since graduating from the University of Kansas Medical Center in 2010. She has worked with schools, early intervention and private clinics, with a focus on feeding and sensory regulation for children with autism and related sensory processing disorders. Marissa has been trained in the Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) approach to feeding, and is also certified in the use of Kinesio Tape. She is also trained in Music Together teacher, and teaches some of our Sprouts Therapy Music Together classes.

Marissa is excited to be a team member at Sprout’s Therapy because of the play-based approach and strong emphasis on sensory regulation. Marissa moved to Hawai’i in 2016 with her husband and two daughters. In her free time she enjoys exploring Hawai’i’s hiking trails and beaches.

Katie has practiced Pediatric Occupational Therapy since graduating from University of St. Augustine in California in 2014. Her passion is working in pediatrics and she has worked in clinic, school, and early intervention settings.

Katie has completed several other trainings and certifications including Handwriting without Tears (HWT) and Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Approach to feeding. Katie moved to Hawaii in February 2018 and is excited to be a part of the Sprout’s team. She is looking forward to the opportunity to implement play-based therapy and a sensory approach to feeding. In Katie’s free time she enjoys hiking, running, and exploring new beaches with her husband.

Katie Henrich - MOT, OTR/L
Pediatric Occupational Therapist
Kristen Banker - OTR/L
Pediatric Occupational Therapist

Kristen graduated from Western Michigan University in 2011 with a Master's Degree in Occupational Therapy. She has experience working with pediatric and adolescent patients in both private clinic and school-based settings. Kristen has completed an Advanced Training Program in Sensory Integration through University of Southern California, with emphasis on Autism Spectrum Disorders and Sensory-Based Feeding and Eating Challenges. She has additional training in the SOS Approach to Feeding and Yoga for Children with Special Needs. Kristen has completed extensive continuing education in the areas of Early Childhood, Autism, and Integration of Multi-Sensory Processing.

Kristen loves collaborating with families and other professionals to help her clients build confidence, strengthen and refine their skills, and gain independence. While working for a school district in Kansas, Kristen served as a member of the Autism Diagnostic Team in collaboration with University of Kansas Medical Center. She has held faculty positions at Western Michigan University (OT department) and Brown Mackie College (OTA program) teaching classes at the undergraduate level.

Kristen has recently relocated to Hawaii with her husband and is excited to join the Sprouts Therapy team. She is looking forward to the opportunity to utilize a play-based, sensorimotor approach during therapy. In her free time, Kristen enjoys practicing yoga, traveling, going to the beach, and hiking.

Bio Coming Soon!

Bio Coming Soon!

Bio Coming Soon!
Lauren Posluszny - MS OTR/L
Pediatric Occupational Therapist
Kate Smallidge -
Pediatric Occupational Therapist

Kate Smallidge, MS OTR/L has been practicing occupational therapy since graduating with a masters degree from the University at Buffalo in 2009. Kate has seen her way through early intervention, school based, and out patient pediatric OT. Her family's travels have taken them from Buffalo, NY to Pittsburgh, PA to Augusta, GA and finally to Honolulu. Her favorite aspect of occupational therapy is the rapport building with clients and their families. Kate is Rock Tape certified and she has completed various continuing ed in sensory based learning. Kate enjoys making her own clinic material. She believes that engaging in a meaningful activity, the basis of OT, truly brings out the greatest results for children and their family.

Kate is incredibly grateful for Sprouts and this Hawaiian adventure. She moved here in 2018 with her husband, son, and giant golden doodle. When she isn't in the clinic, she is enjoying her Ohana time, crafting, diving, hiking and discovering all the island has to offer!

Primrose is a pediatric speech-language pathologist who joined the Sprouts Therapy team in August 2016. Born and raised in Kāne’ohe, Hawai’i, Primrose received her Master’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders and her Bachelor’s degree in Speech Pathology and Audiology from the University of Hawai’i at Mānoa. After graduate school, Primrose relocated to Central Louisiana where she began her professional career in the school setting. She has also worked for the Hawaii Department of Education in the preschool, elementary, and middle school levels. Primrose has experience in evaluating and treating individuals with a variety of disorders including: developmental delays, down syndrome, autism spectrum disorder, language disorders, social communication disorders, fluency disorders, dysphagia, medically fragile children, and articulation and phonological disorders. She also has experience working with children benefiting from various types of augmentative communication systems. Primrose is a PROMPT for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets (PROMPT) certified therapist and is also trained in the Sensory Oral Sequential (SOS) Approach to Feeding. She loves working with children and enjoys implementing theory and strategies to ensure that every child has an opportunity to communicate using Sprouts’ play-based philosophy.

Primrose holds a Certificate of Clinical Competence from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association and is currently licensed in Hawai’i, California, Louisiana, and Oregon. Most recently, she began providing speech and language tele-therapy services to children both nationally and internationally. In her free time, she enjoys running, traveling, stand-up paddling, scuba diving, and hiking.
Primrose Buenaluz - MS, CCC-SLP
Pediatric Speech Therapist
Ashley Jang -
Pediatric Speech Therapist

Ashley graduated from Harding University in 2012 with a Master’s degree in speech-language pathology. During and after graduate school, Ashley had the opportunity to practice speech-language pathology in Zambia, Africa, focusing on feeding therapy and language stimulation in infants and toddlers, as well as research in pediatric speech and language development. She used her research to help develop the first ever articulation screening tool for Chitonga-speaking children in this region with a team of speech-language pathologists and linguists. She was also involved with an organization that helped to develop the first speech-language pathology graduate program in Zambia. She has experience working in a wide variety of settings with both pediatrics and adults, including early intervention, private clinics, schools, hospitals, and skilled nursing facilities, as well as home and community-based services.

She is a Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP) Words for Life Partner and has received training in augmentative and alternative communication through the Center for AAC & Autism. She has completed additional training in Interactive Metronome (IM), Kaufman Speech to Language Protocol (K-SLP), Natural Language Acquisition on the Autism Spectrum (NLA), the Greenspan Floortime Approach (DIR/Floortime), and the Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Approach to Feeding.

Ashley has lived on Oahu since early 2015. In her free time, she enjoys spending time with her husband, crafting, yoga, and paddle boarding.

Bio Coming Soon!

Lindsey Theriot -
Pediatric Speech Therapist
Christina "CJ" Jennings -
Pediatric Speech Therapist

Christina Jennings (CJ) has been providing SLP services for over 15 years and has specialized training in early intervention, Autism, and AAC (Alternative and Augmentative Communication) systems. She knows American Sign Language and is ASHA (American Speech-Language-Hearing Association) certified. Outside of speech therapy she is a member of the Maui Search and Rescue and an honorary member of Oahu Search and Rescue. She enjoys skydiving, fishing, traveling, SCUBA diving or free diving, and she's learning to sail and do hula. She lives on a sailboat and prior to this enjoyed life on Maui for 5 years. She was born in Illinois, but raised in Northern California.

Bio Coming Soon!

Amy Wahlstrom -
Pediatric Speech Therapist
Lauren Koepke - MT-BC
Pediatric Music Therapist

Lauren is a board-certified music therapist and holds a Bachelors of Music in Music Therapy. In clinical practice, Lauren has worked with developmentally and intellectually delayed children/young adults, geriatric patients, including those in hospice, with various needs and severity. In her internship, she also co-facilitated a summer camp for children with special needs and rock bands for young adults.

Currently, Lauren is teaching Music Together classes with Spouts Music Together as well as conducting music therapy sessions through Sprouts. She views music therapy as a holistic form of treatment and one that is accessible to most every person. Lauren's primary instrument is violin but she also utilizes voice, guitar, piano, percussion, ukulele, and other small instruments in music therapy sessions. In her spare time, Lauren loves to go scuba diving, hiking, or snorkeling. She can also be found reading, learning new music, or cooking with her husband.

Tiana Hokutan-Layne, PT, DPT has practiced Pediatric Physical Therapy since graduating from the University of Southern California Doctor of Physical Therapy (DPT) Program in 2011. Born and raised on Oʻahu, Tiana spent her childhood summers in the clinic with her mother, a retired Pediatric Occupational Therapist and knew at a young age she was meant to spend her life helping children. Tiana has worked professionally as a clinic and home-based Pediatric and Early Intervention Physical Therapist, working with children 0-18 years of age in California, Colorado and Hawaiʻi. Tiana has done trainings in pediatric and infant Neurodevelopmental Therapy (NDT), pediatric Kinesiology Taping, pediatric Body Weight-Supported Treadmill Training (BWSTT) and suspension equipment, Integrated Listening Systems (iLs), evidenced-based treatment for Torticollis and sensory integration and interventions for EI and children with ASD. Most recently, over the past year and a half, Tiana, along with other professionals including Sprouts Owner and Occupational Therapist, Crystal Amelang, has been training under Feldenkrais Practitioner, Eva Geueke, towards her Smart Moves Certificate, which is a practice based on the work of Dr. Moshe Feldenkrais.

Tiana returned home to Hawaiʻi 5 years ago and has since helped families and children in various communities on Oʻahu and Hawaiʻi islands. She enjoys her time away from work with her husband, who is an orthopedic and sport Physical Therapist and their 2 bright and beautiful little girls.
Tiana Hokutan-Layne - PT, DPT
Pediatric Physical Therapist
Leona Lin -
Pediatric Physical Therapist

Since graduating from the University of North Dakota in 1996, Leona has worked for over 20 years as a pediatric and adult physical therapist in multiple settings including early intervention, acute care, community settings, pediatric and adult out patient, aquatic therapy, and Pilates based physical therapy. She has had NDT training for children with neurological impairment, down syndrome, basic sensory and motor training for the visually impaired and hard of hearing child through the Utah State University SKI-HI –VIISA training .

In her spare time, she loves walking at botanical gardens, at beaches, or on hiking trails, doing multiple arts and crafts, and being involved in the local medical mission’s team such as at the Seafaring missions which provide spiritual and medical support to our foreign long line fisherman who supply our island’s fish sold at the fish auction while having limited access to medical support when they are at sea or docked at our piers.

Rebecca graduated from the Medical University of South Carolina with a Doctorate of Physical Therapy. She has worked with pediatrics in several settings including, outpatient clinics, an acute care hospital setting, as well as home and community settings. She has worked with children with various diagnoses including torticollis, Downs’ syndrome, cerebral palsy, gross motor incoordination, spina bifida, hydrocephalus, toe walking, autism, hypertonicity, hypotonicity and developmental delays.

Rebecca is excited to become a team member at Sprouts because of the play based philosophy. Rebecca has one young daughter and enjoys playing ultimate frisbee with her husband in her spare time.

Rebecca Bussert - PT, DPT
Pediatric Physical Therapist
Linh Banh -
Pediatric Physical Therapist

Linh Banh received her Doctor of Physical Therapy degree from the University of Pittsburgh. She was first exposed to the physical therapy profession as a undergraduate at the University of Virginia, where she volunteered at a children's rehabilitation center and realized she had found her dream career. Linh's experience includes working with kiddos from birth to 18 years old with diagnoses including but not limited to cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, torticollis, idiopathic toe walking, sports injuries, post selective dorsal rhizotomy and orthopedic surgery, and developmental delay. She has worked in inpatient, outpatient, aquatic, and home settings. Linh is dedicated to using neuro-developmental treatment (NDT) facilitation techniques to guide movements in neurologically impaired children. She is also a proponent of utilizing sensory integration, team-based approach to therapy, adaptive equipment, and Constraint-Induced Movement Therapy (CIMT) when appropriate to optimize progress.

Linh recently moved to O'ahu in October 2018 and is proud to become part of the Sprouts Therapy family. She enjoys running, swimming, eating, and spending time with her family. She strives to learn how to surf by 2020.

Terra has been working on the Sprouts admin team since 2014. She jumped at the opportunity of helping her sister grow Sprouts Therapy from behind the scenes. She lives in Colorado and works remotely for Sprouts full time. Terra has a Bachelor's degree in Speech Therapy, and while she is not a practicing SLP, she uses her education to help with many therapy related administrative tasks.

Terra does a variety of jobs for Sprouts Therapy, however her primary position is being an insurance and billing guru! In her free time you will most likely find her traveling, painting used furniture, camping, watching Survivor (yes that show is still on), or eating cookies and milk. Mmmmm. smile
Terra Amelang -
Medical Billing Specialist
Shira Sax -
Admin Assistant/Music Together Teacher

Shira was born on Oahu and moved with her family to various states across the US. She graduated from the University of Mississippi with her Bachelor’s in Management Information Systems and started her career working in the IT field. As time went on, she shifted directions towards her passions and became a missionary for 5 years, travelling and living in different countries including North Africa for 2 years. She enjoyed her time volunteering at an orphanage while living in Morocco specifically with special needs children.

Music is a strong passionate of hers. She is a song writer, plays piano, a little guitar and has been a worship leader for various ministries since the age of 15. She also really enjoys the adventure of hiking and exploring new place.

Shira recently moved back to Oahu last summer to be closer to family and has come on staff with Sprouts Therapy as an administrative assistant as well a Sprouts Music Together teacher.

Sherry was born and raised on Oahu. She graduated from the University of Hawaii at Manoa with a degree in Elementary and Early Childhood Education. She is a full time elementary school teacher and absolutely loves her career path! Being an educator and working with children is her most fulfilling passion. When Sherry is not in the classroom, she enjoys spending quality time with family, traveling, or watching TV series' Law & Order SVU, New Girl, or This Is Us.

In March of 2018, Sherry joined the Sprouts Therapy team as an administrative assistant.
Sherry Nguyen -
Admin Assistant
Carlos Taranto -
IT/Admin Assistant

Carlos has been supporting the Sprouts team for several years now and loves the opportunity to assist a program that helps his community. He began volunteering for Sprouts Therapy in 2014, when he assisted in clinic development, and equipment cleaning and set up. In 2017 Carlos joined the Sprouts Therapy Team, with a solid understanding of computer systems and general handy work, Carlos assists Sprouts management with completing projects both in the office and online. He also assists with client scheduling, company organization online, logistical tasks, and handling most IT related issues in the office. Carlos has a diverse work background ranging from Military Service to Cell Phone Sales Representative to Wildland Firefighting.

Carlos has been living on Oahu since late 2009 and absolutely loves the island lifestyle. Having grown up in Utah most of his life, he has really come to appreciate the year-round warm weather Hawai’i has to offer. In the past couple years, he has become a certified PADI Scuba Instructor and enjoys being in the water as much as possible. Along with Scuba diving, he also enjoys surfing, hiking, traveling, photography, and videography.