EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR Brittni smiling in the Sensory Gym

Dr. Sarah Johnson OTD, OTR/L, CLC


Occupational Therapist

Certified Lactation Counselor

Part of the Emerge Family since 2020

Sarah has experience and training in:

  • Breastfeeding (Certified Lactation Counselor)
  • Tongue Ties and Breastfeeding
  • Torticollis and Plagiocephaly
  • TMR Tots (Total Motion Release)
  • SOS Approach to Feeding
  • Feeding the 6-16 Month Old Child
  • Beckman Oral Motor
  • Evidence-based approaches to NICU interventions
  • Brachial Plexus Birth Injury
  • Floortime/DIR
Speech Language Pathologist Anna Housman posing in a ballerina outfit with a dance baton

Sarah received her doctorate in occupational therapy from Murphy Deming College of Health Sciences in 2019 after graduating from Virginia Tech with a major in Human Development. She discovered her love for occupational therapy in middle school when she had an opportunity to work with a young boy with cerebral palsy. Sarah completed her doctoral project in a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) and pediatric outpatient therapy clinic in Burlington, NC. In the NICU, Sarah developed skills feeding premature and sick infants and working with infants with sensory processing difficulties. Her doctoral experience fueled her love for working with the infant population and addressing feeding skills. Sarah presented on Occupational Therapy’s Role With Breastfeeding at the American Occupational Therapy Association Centennial Conference in 2017. Shen became a Certified Lactation Counselor in 2021, furthering her feeding specialization. She has extensive experience working with children with autism and working with children from birth to 18 on feeding skills utilizing a variety of approaches. She has an interest in working with infants and their families during transition home from the hospital and providing support during the first year of life including feeding, fine and gross motor milestones, and sensory processing. She also has extensive knowledge in treating torticollis and plagiocephaly and how they impact breastfeeding. Sarah is excited to use the Floortime Approach with the group of children who first piqued her interest in Occupational Therapy: toddlers and school age children. Sarah enjoys spending time with her family and dog, baking, trying out new restaurants and exploring outdoors.

Sarah presented at the 20th Annual Triangle Breastfeeding Alliance Conference in May 2023 on tongue ties, lip ties and torticollis, and their impact on breastfeeding.