Stephanie Kuipers, M.A., CCC-SLP

Speech- Language Pathologist

Stephanie (she/her, they/them) graduated with their Master’s degree in speech-language pathology from the University of Kansas. Upon moving to the Central Illinois area in 2019, Stephanie became credentialed in Early Intervention and continued gaining experience in pediatric services. Prior to joining Shine Therapy Services in 2023, Stephanie spent 3 years in a pediatric outpatient setting that specialized in providing social-cognitive support to neurodivergent children and providing Augmentative-Alternative Communication (AAC).

Stephanie has experience with a variety of AAC systems, including switch scanning, direct selection, and eye-gaze, as well as familiarity with a range of iPad communication apps. Stephanie also has experience providing support for Expressive/Receptive Language Disorders, Articulation Disorders, Phonological Disorders, and Pragmatic Language differences. They are passionate about providing early access to AAC, honoring total communication, supporting neurodivergent children in building a positive identity, and fostering self-advocacy skills. In all areas, Stephanie values neurodivergent-affirming practices and continues to seek out information from Autistic therapists and advocates to remain up-to-date with best practices. They are also currently gaining more knowledge about gestalt language processing, trauma-informed practices, and strengths-based therapy approaches. In their sessions, Stephanie loves learning about each child’s preferred way of connecting with others and fostering that connection as a foundation for building new skills. In their free time, Stephanie can be found reading, hiking, playing Nintendo Switch, spending time with their partner, and cuddling with their little dog, Roxy.

An 8-week program for children age 3-6 with sensory processing differences

Children with sensory processing differences have difficulty with regulation, which sometimes makes it difficult for them to interact with the world around them. Our Sensory Explorers group targets regulation in order to build engagement! This group is led by pediatric occupational therapists Mackenzie Baldock (2:30 group) OR Meghan Day (8:30 group) and developmental therapist/PLAY Project Consultant Brenna Thompson, all of whom specialize in using developmentally appropriate strategies to support children so they can learn new skills. Group meets once/week for 60 minutes.

Wondering if this class is appropriate for your child? Some characteristics of kids who benefit: easily frustrated with play, repetitive play, difficulty sitting/keeping still to engage in play, refuses to allow others to engage in play, unable to be messy, overly busy, quickly overwhelmed in a busy environment, picky eater, difficulty tolerating grooming/dressing/diapering routines, struggles with transitions/following a group plan/routine. 

Goals of the group include:

  • Child participating in a variety of sensory play activities
  • Engaging socially with others in the group
  • Providing a non threatening environment where children can experience new sensations with the support of a pediatric Occupational Therapist and PLAY Project consultant
  • Providing personalized resources to caregivers, so they better understand the sensory system and learn strategies to assist their child with regulation outside of group
  • Opportunity to meet with other local families

GROUP MEETS for 8 weeks:  Caregivers must stay on the premises to support their child and learn helpful strategies. Children will separate from caregivers for the session; caregivers can socialize in the lobby (we will also provide a few toys for siblings to play). Caregiver education is a key component of this program. 


OPTIONAL Summary Report available at close of session. This 2 page report will summarize your child’s participation in the class and provide helpful sensory strategies to increase their participation in activities. This report could be given to teachers in classrooms & daycares or utilized to help educate other caregivers about ways to help your child participate. This option includes a 30 minute Zoom meeting with Brenna and MacKenzie/Brenna and Meghan to review the report and discuss your child’s progress in Sensory Explorers. COST: $100 due at sign up