Who We Are
Special Needs Pediatric Therapy Services was founded in 1994 by practice owner and physical therapist, Dr. Denise Hoell, PT, DPT, C/NDT.

We specialize in the evaluation and treatment of children with developmental disabilities and other childhood disorders which affect the way children move, function, and communicate in their world.

Our licensed physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech-language pathologists are trained specifically in the treatment of infants, children, and adolescents.

In our practice we do not see a child’s limitations, only his or her potential, and it is our goal to help each and every child exceed expectations and meet his or her full potential!
physical therapists
Denise Hoell DPT, C/NDT

Denise graduated Magna Cum Laude from New York University in 1991 with her degree in physical therapy. In 1993 Denise began her specialty in pediatrics in her own practice in New York. In 1994 Denise and her family relocated to the Atlanta area and Special Needs Pediatric Physical Therapy was established. Denise has attained extensive continuing education in the area of pediatrics including her NDT certification in the treatment of infants and children with cerebral palsy. Her treatment experience includes infants as young as 6 weeks to adolescents, and she has practiced in out patient rehab and school system settings as well as in private practice. As the owner of Special Needs Pediatric Physical Therapy, Denise strives to provide only the highest quality of care possible to the children in her practice.

Marlena Brantley MSPT

Marlena graduated Cum Laude from Armstrong Atlantic State University in 2003 with a Bachelor and Masters of Science degree in Physical Therapy. Upon graduation, Marlena practiced with the pediatric team at Memorial Health University Medical Center in Savannah, Georgia for four years. In October of 2007 Marlena and her family relocated to Charleston where Marlena practiced at the Medical College of South Carolina working with patients in the inpatient setting from birth through geriatrics. In September of 2008 Marlena and her family moved to Sugar Hill where she joined the dynamic team at Special Needs Pediatric Therapy. Marlena has completed continuing education in the areas of Partial Body Weight Supported Treadmill Training for the pediatric population, Brain Gym, Yoga for the child with Special Needs, Clinical Instructor Educator training, and various additional coursework in the areas of adults and geriatrics. Marlena’s future professional goals include obtaining certification in Myofascial Release and Craniosacral Therapy, and participating in advanced classes in the area of Neuro-Developmental Treatment techniques.

Linda Schultheiss DPT, C/NDT

Ms. Schultheiss graduated Cum Laude from Georgia State University in 1982 with a degree in physical therapy. She did graduate work at New York University and Old Dominion University as well. Ms. Schultheiss has 21 years experience treating the pediatric population and is certified in Neuro-Developmental Treatment (NDT). She has done extensive continuing education in the area of pediatrics including advanced courses in NDT. Ms. Schultheiss has treated children in a variety of setting ranging from a Children’s Hospital (including the neonatal intensive care unit) to outpatient clinics, early intervention and the school system. She has lectured throughout the United States on the Management of the Pediatric Foot and Ankle and the Treatment of Children with Cerebral Palsy. Ms. Schultheiss is the author of several articles on Normal Development and has written a home study course on Therapeutic Management of the Lower Extremity in the Neurologically Involved Child. Ms. Schultheiss has been treating children with Special Needs Pediatric Physical Therapy for the last eight years providing superior quality of care to the children in the practice.

speech therapists
Lorissa Alexander MA, CCC-SLP

Lorissa graduated from the University of Tennessee in 2003 with a B. A. in Audiology and Speech Pathology and from the University of Memphis in 2005 with a M. A. in Speech-Language Pathology. She completed her Clinical Fellowship Year and began her career in Chattanooga, TN where she gained experience working in a variety of settings, including clinic, school (elementary, middle, and high school), and long-term care facility. Lorissa has primarily worked in a private practice/clinic setting. Lorissa is a certified ASHA member and is licensed to practice in the state of Georgia.

Lorissa has extensive experience working with the pediatric population and because of her interest in apraxia/motor planning disorders, has been recognized as one of only five qualified professionals in Georgia to be included in the esteemed CASANA professional directory. She is PROMPT trained and has attended continuing education courses with an emphasis on motor speech disorders, diagnostic, and treatment techniques. Lorissa has also attended multiple continuing education courses in feeding, language development, and AAC usage, including: Kaufman Apraxia assessment and treatment, Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP), DIR Floor Time Approach to Feeding, Sequential Oral Sensory (S.O.S.) Approach, and Progressive and Systematic Speech and Language Training for Children on the Autism Spectrum. She is also adept with using American Sign Language (ASL) as part of a Total Communication approach. Lorissa is excited to be part of the SNPT team and is looking forward to working with you and your child!

Jennifer Harris MS, CCC-SLP
Kimberly Turner-Rogers MA, CCC-SLP

Kimberly is a certified ASHA member, and a member of the Georgia Speech-Language-Hearing Association. She received her Masters in Speech Language Pathology from the University of Colorado in Boulder, Boulder, Colorado in May 2006. Kimberly completed her medical internship at Spaulding Rehabilitation Center in Aurora, Colorado working with patients ranging from 17 years of age and older with incidence of head trauma due to car accidents to stroke victims. Her school internship was completed at an elementary school in Parker, Colorado. Presently, she works in the Georgia Public School System with the low incidence population. Kimberly has an additional certification endorsement for Special Needs Preschool Program. Kimberly has completed continuing education training that includes Beckman Oral Motor Assessment and Intervention, Oral Placement Therapy for Speech Clarity and Feeding, Pediatric Dysphagia: Management of the Whole Child, Kaufman Apraxia assessment and treatment, Language Acquisition through Motor Planning (LAMP), Technology in Pediatric Special Needs Therapy, Assistive Technology, Partner Instruction in AAC: Strategies for Building Circles of Support, PRC: Unity Language Seminar, AAC: Focus on Social and Strategic Competence, High-Tech AAC for Individuals with Severe Disabilities, Early Speech-Language Development, Teaching Strategies for AAC; Beyond Calendar Time, Sensory Conference: A Special Needs, Intervention for Selective Mutism, Best Practices in Public School Speech-Language Pathology Atlanta GA, ASHA Convention, Picture Exchange Communication System, Language! Curriculum, Lee Silverman Voice Treatment, Lessac-Madsen Resonant Voice Therapy; Universal Precautions; Mindset Training and many others.

Briana Necessary MS, CCC-SLP
occupational therapists
Ali Mahony OTR/L

Ali graduated from Eastern Kentucky University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Occupational Science in 2011 and a Master’s Degree in Occupational Therapy in 2013. Ali and her husband, Matt, moved from Kentucky to Georgia in 2013 where Ali began practicing Occupational Therapy in Dekalb County Schools. Ali’s love for children led to the decision to center her career around the pediatric population. Her previous work experiences, including internships, as well as continuing education courses have all focused on pediatric, early-intervention, and school based Occupational Therapy. She has had the privilege of working with children with a variety of diagnoses in a variety of settings including home based, community, schools, and clinics. Ali is excited to be a part of the SNPT team and is looking forward to helping your child reach their full potential.

Melissa Ferris-Ozkan OTR/L
Jennifer Frierson OTR/L

Jennifer graduated from Medical College of Georgia in 1989 with her degree in occupational therapy. With over 15 years of pediatric experience Jennifer has practiced in a variety of settings including inpatient and outpatient clinics, school-based settings, private practice, and home-based early intervention settings. Jennifer also has taken extensive continuing education in the areas of sensory integrative therapy, pediatric feeding and swallowing including Beckman Oral Motor Assessment, and advanced handling and facilitation. Jennifer’s experience includes treating children with a wide variety of diagnoses from birth through age twenty one.

Janet Speers Billing Manager

Janet graduated from Principia College in 1989 with a degree in Economics and History. Prior to starting a family, Janet worked as an economic analyst and in marketing. In 1997, Janet’s third child was born with Angleman Syndrome. Having learned to navigate the insurance system through advocating for her own daughter’s therapy, Janet started medical billing for therapy groups in 2000. She became a Certified Physician Billing Specialist in 2001. Janet is passionate about removing the strain of insurance company issues for both therapists and families. She strives to provide only the highest quality and most ethical medical billing services available. Janet is always happy to discuss insurance or Medicaid questions with families.