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Our dedicated and experienced staff is here to provide you with all the support and information you need. Learn a little more about our individual backgrounds and what we can contribute to your relationship with your child. 

Meet Our Team

Alysia Olvera, MS., CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist

Alysia Olvera is a certified speech-language pathologist. She received a BA in Communication Sciences and Disorders and went on to receive a MS in Speech-Language Pathology in 2015 from Elmhurst College. She has gained a variety of experience working with children and their families through providing speech and language services in an elementary school, volunteering for special recreation associations, and assisting with social/play groups. Alysia utilizes play-based interventions within the child and family’s natural environments and strongly believes in a family-centered approach to treatment. She currently lives in Addison, IL and enjoys visiting new places and spending time with her family and friends.

Brittney Woodruff, MS., CCLS, CIMI, DT

Developmental Therapist

Brittney has been providing services within the Early Intervention system since October of 2012. She lives in Hampshire with her husband and 3 and a half year-old little boy. She feels that having a young child has been the best education and has allowed her to relate to parents that she works with, providing a true understanding of all that goes along with parenthood. In order to broaden her knowledge in the development of children she earned a Masters in Child Development from Erikson Institute in 2002. She is certified as a Child Life Specialist, and has worked in two, large Chicago-land children’s hospitals providing therapeutic intervention, medical education, and expressive and emotional support to children and families from ages 0-18 with varying diagnoses. Brittney has a special interest in working with children and families who may have a medical diagnosis, and has special experience working with children who have tracheotomies and need ventilator support. She is certified as an Infant Massage Instructor, as well as a Lekotek leader, focusing on adaptive toys and meaningful play for children with special needs. Throughout her career she has trained and specialized in providing family centered/relationship based services. Brittney believes in supporting the parent child relationship, and empowering the parent in taking an active role in the development and progress of their child. She provides services within the areas of: Huntley, Hampshire, Pingree Grove, Gilberts, Burlington, Lily Lake, Campton Hills, Marengo, Algonquin, Lake In the Hills, and Crystal.

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Allison Oswald, MS., CCC-SLP

Speech-Language Pathologist

Allison Oswald is a pediatric speech language pathologist who has been working with families in Early Intervention, and preschool settings since 2005. She received her undergraduate degree from University of Illinois, Champaign, and completed her graduate studies at Northern Illinois University. Allison strongly values the parent-child bond, and works to help families build on their strengths giving strategies and ideas using play based learning. Allison enjoys spending time with her family including her husband, 2 kids ages 3 and 7, and dog. 

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Kirsten Peterson, M.Ed, DT

Developmental Therapist

Kirsten has been working with children and families in the Early Intervention Program since 2014. She received her undergraduate degree in Human Development and masters degree in Early Childhood Special Education from the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Kirsten enjoys working with families in their homes and within the community. She strives to provide children and families individualized support within sessions to help them reach the goals they’ve created. She loves learning from the families and other professionals she works with! Kirsten lives in Lombard with her husband and infant daughter.

Kerry Galarza, MS OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

As a pediatric occupational therapist, Kerry provides specialized assessment and home-based early intervention with children and their families while partnering with the network of professionals collaborating in the targeted care of each child's circumstances. Kerry strives to engage the family in naturally occurring, meaningful home-based methods to empower autonomy and maximize functioning. Earning her Bachelor's degree in Environmental Sciences and her Master's degree in Occupational Therapy from the University of Illinois, along with extensive training from the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Kerry specializes in helping the families she serves navigate the impact of the environment on their ability to thrive holistically. She is also a proud mom of three wild little boys.

Sarah Erickson, M.Ed, DT
Developmental Therapist & Play Project Consultant

As a Developmental Therapist, Sarah provides play based learning in a natural environment. She received a BA in Pre-Physical Therapy at Trinity International University and later went on to receive her M.Ed in Early Childhood Special Education at Elmhurst College. Sarah provides a unique perspective as she also has experience in ABA therapy working as a field therapist, and is currently play project consultant.  She believes that strengthening the parent child bond and empowering parents to learn how to help their child is instrumental in facilitating lasting change and learning. However, her most important experience is with her own family as relating to parents is helpful to attune to everyday struggles and routines. She currently lives in Johnsburg, IL with her wonderful husband, Stephen, and their two amazing daughters, Evelyn & Olivia, and equally amazing son Elijah!

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Samantha Everette, OTR/L

Occupational Therapist

Samantha Everette M.S., OTR/L, CEIM, RYT-200

 

Sam has been working as a pediatric occupational therapist since 2016. She graduated from UNC Chapel Hill with a BA in Psychology and from Winston-Salem State University with a MS degree in Occupational Therapy. She has experience in sensory and reflex integration, feeding, kids yoga, and infant massage. She enjoys combining holistic interventions with occupational therapy to support the overall wellness of children and their families. She takes a  client centered approach to help kids build independence in a way that supports the needs of the whole family. 

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Valerie Poulos, M.ED, DT
Developmental Therapist

As a Developmental Therapist, Valerie provides individualized play-based services to support the development, learning, and overall well-being of young children and their families within their natural environments. She received her BA in Human Development and Learning at the University of Illinois at Chicago (2020). During her undergraduate studies, she supported the learning and development of children ages 3-21 with various disabilities as a paraprofessional in a special education school district. She continued her education at Elmhurst University and received her M.Ed in Early Childhood Special Education (2022). Through this program, she had the opportunity to student teach in an at-risk preschool classroom and interned as a Developmental Therapist with mentorship from the team members at Leaps and Bounds. Now, Valerie strives to use a strengths and relationship-based approach in Developmental Therapy sessions to support the young children and families she serves in meeting their needs and goals. She loves learning from the unique perspective of each family and professional she works with! In her free time, she enjoys listening to music and podcasts, laughing with her loved ones, and finding good deals at thrift stores.

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Ginny Thames, M.ED
Play Project Consultant and Supervisor

Ginny Thames works as a Developmental Therapist, Handle Screener and P.L.A.Y Project Consultant and supervisor. Ginny specializes in supporting and training families with children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder or sensory processing challenges.  Ginny received a BA in Psychology at Hartwick College and later went on to receive her M.Ed in Special Education and Applied Behavior Analysis at Arizona State University. Ginny also has extensive training in ABA therapy and neurodevelopment and often will incorporate aspects of these approaches into sessions and parent training.

She currently lives in Bartlett, IL with her husband, Geoff and her son Eli.

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Lourdes De La Rosa, M.ED, DT
Developmental Therapist

With a Bachelor's degree from Denison University in Education, 2016 and a Master's degree from Depaul University in Early Childhood Education in 2020, Lourdes De La Rosa is a developmental therapist who enjoys working on building foundational blocks in order to promote play based, family centered, and naturalistic collaboration, coaching, and modeling to the family and children, supporting development of each child at their current level. Previously, Lourdes worked with several settings with various ages. Most internships were with high need or at-risk children, she also worked with individuals with intellectual disabilities who demonstrated a new perspective into growth, development, and relationships. She is bilingual in both Spanish and English and services Lake and McHenry County.

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Jessica Vickery MS,OTR/L
Occupational Therapist

Jessica is a pediatric occupational therapist.  She has been working with children and their families privately and through the Early Intervention Program since 2010.  She received her Bachelor’s degree in Biology with a minor in Psychology from Hope College in Holland, MI and her Master’s degree in Occupational Therapy from Rush University Medical Center in Chicago, IL.  Jessica lives in Woodridge with her husband and 2 adorable and spunky little boys.  Both of her boys have special needs and have received school based, and early intervention services giving her a unique view of the caregiver experience of therapy services.  Jessica approaches each therapy session with empathy, curiosity, and a passion for partnering with caregivers to help them foster their child’s optimal success and independence.

For an opportunity to work with one of our dedicated and experienced team members. Contact us today to check availability >> 
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