Meet the Team
We firmly believe that Occupational Therapy treatment sessions are only one piece of the puzzle. Our main goal is to support you and your child at home, at school, playground, at birthday parties and any other environment where your child may experience difficulties. As a parent, you are the best source of information about your child. We highly value your thoughts and feedback on both your child’s behavior and the therapy we provide. Parents are always welcome to observe the sessions and parents of younger children (ages 1-3) are encouraged to be a part of the therapy session. After each session, we discuss pertinent clinical observations and suggestions for that week at home.
Carryover into the child’s environment is essential for your child’s success. We strive to both learn from and educate everyone involved in the child’s life (i.e school therapists, teachers, neurologists, and psychologist). Through phone calls, e-mails, and team meetings we make sure that everyone is working together for the betterment of your child.
Please feel free to contact us or e-mail us at any time if you have any questions or thoughts about the best way to help your child.
Dana Blumberg is a pediatric occupational therapist and the owner/director of Positive Steps Pediatric Occupational Therapy Center. I started Positive Steps in 2007 after spending many years working with children in schools, hospitals, home care and early intervention. My goal is to provide 110% quality care in a family friendly, warm and welcoming center. I received my Occupational Therapy degree at the University of Hartford in Connecticut and a B.S. in Psychology at the University of Pittsburgh in Pennsylvania. I am licensed as an Occupational Therapist in New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania. I am humbled to have been named a “NJ Favorite Kids’ Docs and Exceptional Healthcare Provider” each year since 2012 by New Jersey Family Magazine. The professionals on the list were nominated as “exceptional” by readers of the magazine. I am always taking continuing education courses and, in addition to my certification in Sensory Integration, I have completed continuing education courses in The Alert Program, a variety of Listening Programs, Interactive Metronome, Kinesiotaping, Handwriting without Tears, SOS Approach to Feeding, and Neuro-Developmental Training (NDT). I am certified as an Advanced Mentored Clinician in SPD Level 1, having completed the Advanced Intensive Mentorship from the Sensory Processing Foundation. I am also a certified Level I Fieldwork Advisor for Rutgers University. I love working with children and their families to help each child grow to their fullest potential. I made sure that the therapists at Positive Steps were just as passionate. I hand picked my staff based on personality, eagerness to work with kids, desire to continue learning, and each person’s commitment to go above and beyond for the client. Many of the therapists listed below have also been named “NJ Favorite Kids’ Docs” by New Jersey Family Magazine.
Laura received a combined BS/MS degree from Ithaca College in 2014 and has practiced as a licensed clinician in pediatric settings ever since. As a childhood equestrian, she first discovered occupational therapy when volunteering at a therapeutic riding farm in high school. As such, her OT career began as a certified therapeutic riding instructor and Hippotherapist where she began exploring further into the emotional and sensory connections that occur organically with animals and in nature at the farm. This led her to becoming certified in Integrative and Holistic Health. From then, Laura moved on to practicing OT in a private school-based setting for medically fragile children (2017) and at Positive Steps sensory clinic (2018). She has seen how different movement and/or lack of movement can affect a child’s sensory system and overall performance in all areas of their life. This fueled her passion for sensory integration and how our sensory systems are the foundation for every occupation we have in our lives. She has been trained in Integrative Listening System (ILS), Learning Without Tears, Pragmatic Organization Dynamic Display (PODD), Myofascial Release, Therasuit Method Universal Exercise Unit, and is working towards a certification in Primitive Reflex Integration. Laura has participated in several research studies and presented her group findings at the American Occupational Therapy Association Conference. Laura’s goal is to work closely with families and teachers to create the best individualized plan to support each clients’ needs. She strives to incorporate yoga, mindfulness, and calming activities in her sessions in practical and attainable ways so that her clients and their families can easily incorporate it into their daily life. Laura loves supporting her clients’ creativity in creating new obstacle courses and games to play. She believes that almost any activity can be functional and therapeutic. When she’s not at work, Laura enjoys spontaneous day trips, photography, being outside in nature, cooking, and spending time with her husband, son, and giant lovable dog.
Molly studied psychology at Rutgers University and then received her credential in Montessori Early Childhood from the Princeton Center for Teacher Education. She began teaching preschool for several years and, while she loved being with the children in the classroom, she found herself frequently referring children to services. Molly wanted the chance to work with children one-on-one or in a small group setting to better focus on their specific needs. I (Dana) presented a course on fine motor skills at the school where Molly taught. She later told me that she immediately thought- “I want to do whatever Dana does”. She began volunteering and observing at various pediatric occupational centers and was accepted into the Kean University Masters of Science OT program. There she was taught to see the child and family as collaborators who have expertise in their own daily routines, habits and needs. She previously worked in a school-based setting for several years before transitioning to Positive Steps full time. Molly enjoys cooking, yoga and arts/crafts, which she includes in her sessions as much as possible. Molly believes therapy shouldn’t just be about practicing skills, but helping each child feel comfortable in their own skin and more confident navigating the world around them. She loves to hone in on your child’s passions and capitalize on them to make challenging tasks feel manageable and meaningful. Outside of work, Molly can be found adding to her cookbook collection, checking out local farmer’s markets and waiting for it to be pumpkin spice season.
Jackie received her MSOT from Seton Hall University in 2016. Upon receiving her NBCOT certification, Jackie began her career as a travel OT living and working across the United States in a variety of settings, but maintained a focus in and preference for working with children with special needs. Jackie has lived and worked in Texas, Wisconsin, Arizona, and Alaska! She concluded her travel time with an 18 month assignment in Alaska where she gained invaluable experience working in outpatient pediatrics with a multidisciplinary team. Jackie has experience working with children with the following diagnoses: ADHD/ADD, Autism, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, Down Syndrome, P.A.N.D.A.S., Developmental Delay, Anxiety, ODD, specific learning disabilities, sensory processing disorder, and a variety of genetic disorders. Upon moving back to New Jersey, Jackie worked for a public school district with students in grades K-5 and afternoons at Positive Steps while traveling back to Alaska in the summer months to continue working in the multidisciplinary outpatient pediatric clinic. Within the school and outpatient clinics, Jackie has worked closely with children with behavior and sensory challenges. Jackie's experiences working collaboratively with other disciplines including speech therapists, behavior therapists, physical therapists, psychologists, learning consultants, social workers, and more drives her holistic and comprehensive approach to working with children with special needs. Jackie has experience with Handwriting Without Tears, Integrated Listening Systems, Crisis Prevention Institute, Astronaut Training Protocol, Zones of Regulation, and the ALERT programming.
Jan received both her Bachelor of Science and Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy at Boston University. She graduated in 1998 and has been working in pediatrics since that time. Jan is trained in Sensory Integration and Praxis Test, Therapeutic Listening, and Handwriting Without Tears. Since 1998, Jan has worked in various occupational therapy settings focusing on building independence in the pediatric population. She is passionate about working with not only the child but coaching the parents and teachers as well. She is dedicated to learning and continuing her education to help foster growth and knowledge in all areas that affect our children. Over the last three years, Jan has worked in both a school setting and our sensory clinic. She has instructed many teachers on how to set up their classrooms so that their lessons were developmentally appropriate. In addition, she has helped teach educators about occupational therapy and how we can assist children in need. Her passion is educating others about the benefits of occupational therapy and how we can help change both a child’s home and school life. Using a child directed play approach, Jan engages with children to address all their needs. She loves “playing” and being creative in her treatment sessions, always developing new games and activities. In the sensory gym, using many pieces of movement equipment to develop an obstacle course is her favorite activity. Outside of work, Jan spends time with her husband and three children. She enjoys traveling, cooking, reading, and listening to music. Working as an occupational therapist has been her dream since the age of 17. She is dedicated to continuing learning about the profession and helping as many children/families along the way.
Margie Ruszkiewicz has been working in the pediatric population for over 20 years. She knew early on that she wanted to work with children and help make a difference in their lives. Margie graduated with honors from the University of Buffalo in 2000 where she received a Bachelor’s degree in Occupational Therapy. Since then, she has been practicing exclusively with the pediatric population both treating and consulting in Early Intervention, private/public schools, and aquatic therapy. She has worked with children with varying diagnoses, such as PDD, Autism, cerebral palsy, handwriting difficulties, visual perceptual/visual motor delay, ADD/ADHD, developmental delay, fine motor delay, learning disabilities, William’s Syndrome, Downs Syndrome, and other genetic disorders. Margie attended Camp Integrations where she had the opportunity to work in a day camp setting providing multiple therapeutic services for children with special needs. Some of the services included: Hippotherapy , therapeutic yoga, sensory integration treatment, Brain Gym, music therapy, gross/fine motor, oral motor and social skills development. She has also attended numerous professional courses to facilitate her knowledge, such as Handwriting without Tears, Therapeutic Listening, Reflex Integration, Practical Sense in Sensory Integration courses, Visual Vestibular treatments, Functional Strengthening in Children, Neurodevelopmental Treatment courses (infants and children), The SANE program, Yoga Therapy, Brain Gym and Pediatric Hand Therapy and Splinting (just to name a few!) One of Margie’s major interests within the OT field is adaptations and assistive technology. She pursued this interest by furthering her education to receive a certification in Assistive Technology from Stockton College. She joined colleagues in presenting “Thinking on your Feet: Creative and Innovative Adaptations for the Everyday Occupational Therapist” at the NJOTA conference at Kean University. Margie feels that adapting sessions to the child’s interests sparks their motivation. By combining their interests, utilizing creative methods, and teamwork with the child, teachers and family can lead to accessibility (whether physical, social, emotional and/or behavioral) and opens doors to success. Margie’s favorite part of her sessions are seeing her client’s smiles and achievements, no matter how small! Margie is originally from Buffalo (survivor of blizzards), has 4 children of her own and a crazy pup. She loves to travel with her family, hike, and cozy up on the couch to watch early 90’s sitcoms.
Lisa has 22 years of clinical experience working in a variety of pediatric settings including public and private schools servicing students with disabilities, pediatric home care, and early intervention. She also performs OT evaluations and provides home care services. She earned a Master’s of Science degree in Occupational Therapy from Seton Hall University in 2001. In May of 2015 she graduated from Misericordia University with a Doctorate in Occupational Therapy. She was named in the year’s list of “NJ’s Favorite Kids’ Docs” which was featured in the New Jersey Family magazine’s December 2013 & 2022 issues. In 2014 she was given the Award of Merit for Advocacy and Research from NJOTA. She is SIPT (Sensory Integration & Praxis Test) certified. She loves working with families and helping kids reach their full potential!