Founded in 2011, PlayWorks Therapy, Inc. encourages and enriches the lives of children by helping them achieve their fullest potential through our therapeutic services. We truly believe to make a significant influence on a child's development; we must provide care in a comfortable setting, as well as support and educate the parents and caregivers involved in the child's life. It is this same supportive attitude and thirst for learning that brings our team together to share, advise and learn from each other's professional and personal experiences. Read on to learn more about each team member's professional background, experience and personal story.
Amy Wechsler, MSW, LCSW, DT
Clinical Director and Founder
From an early age, Amy realized her passion for working with young children, both with and without developmental differences. She spent many summers as a counselor and teacher’s assistant at Northern Suburban Special Recreation Association and working in various pre-school and daycare settings.
Amy earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign in 2006. During her time at the University of Illinois, Amy gained clinical experience interning at the Champaign County Juvenile Detention Center conducting psycho-social groups for juvenile inmates. She also enjoyed volunteering at the Crisis Nursery.
After graduating, Amy continued her education at Loyola University Chicago where she studied social work and earned her Master of Social Work degree in 2008. During her time at Loyola, she interned as a hospital social worker in the neonatal intensive care unit at John H. Stroger Jr. Hospital of Cook County and as an outpatient therapist at Niles Family Services.
She began her career in Illinois Early Intervention following graduate school. Amy is a licensed clinical social worker and credentialed Early Intervention Specialist and Evaluator in both Developmental Therapy and Social Work. She specializes in treating children with neurodevelopmental disorders, anxiety disorders, sleep disturbances, and behavioral challenges. Amy uses her extensive knowledge of sensory processing and global development to guide her treatment style. Amy loves providing family support and teaching parents how to effectively support their child’s challenges.
In 2011, Amy proudly founded PlayWorks Therapy, Inc. It is her strong passion, creative energy, caring personality, and knowledgeable experience in the field that led to the creation of PlayWorks Therapy, Inc. Amy feels lucky to have parents who taught her the principles of hard work, entrepreneurship, respect, and standing up for what you believe in.
Amy loves mentoring therapists and is dedicated to ensuring all PlayWorks Therapy, Inc. clients receive the highest standard of services. Integrated into the core values of PlayWorks Therapy Inc., it is Amy’s mission to support a practice that provides intentional, high-quality care to children and families by therapists who are exceptionally passionate and knowledgeable about the work they do.
Amy lives with her husband and three children in the northern suburbs. She enjoys spending time with family and friends, biking, and discovering new restaurants.
Kimberly Shlaes, MAT, DT, CIMI
Director of Developmental Therapy Services
Director of Therapeutic Preschool Programing
Kim taught Pre-K for multiple Head Start programs around the city. It was during her tenure as a teacher that she learned about developmental therapy and recognized her passion for working one-on-one with children with developmental delays. She has experience working with children diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, sensory processing concerns, a variety of genetic disorders, and global developmental delays. Kim loves developing a therapeutic relationship with the whole family and encouraging parents and caregivers to get involved in therapy sessions. Kim is a credentialed developmental therapist and evaluator with the Illinois Early Intervention program, and a certified infant massage instructor. As the Director of Developmental Therapy Services, Kim enjoys mentoring developmental therapists and providing collaborative support to the teams at PlayWorks Therapy, Inc. She is also proud to support the co-leaders of PlayWorks Prep and other social groups as the Director of Therapeutic Preschool Programing.
In her spare time, Kim enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter, trying out new restaurants, exploring the city, listening to live music, and traveling.
Brittany Hill, MS, MSW, LCSW, DT
Director of Social Work Services
Brittany is a developmental therapist and licensed clinical social worker who enjoys helping children meet their individual needs while also supporting caregivers and families. Brittany earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago. She attended graduate school at Loyola University Chicago and Erikson Institute, earning her Master of Social Work and Master of Science in Child Development. Brittany’s experiences include working with children with generalized anxiety disorders, obsessive-compulsive disorders, autism spectrum disorder, regulation difficulties, sensory processing disorders, and global developmental delays. Brittany also specializes in potty training and supporting children with toileting difficulties. She has a passion for developing meaningful relationships and strengthening the parent-child relationship. Brittany enjoys the collaborative and supportive nature of the PlayWorks Therapy, Inc. team. She loves helping children reach their fullest potential while celebrating each success along the way.
Outside of work, Brittany enjoys listening to music, playing volleyball, visiting with family, and snuggling up with her two cats.
Kelly Scafidi, MSW, LCSW, DT
Kelly is a licensed clinical social worker with a passion for working with children and their families. At PlayWorks Therapy, Inc., Kelly enjoys being able to develop new skills and ideas in a collaborative environment with different therapists. Her caring and outgoing personality allows children of all ages to have fun while learning. Kelly earned her Bachelor of Science in Education from Eastern Illinois University and holds a Type 04 State of Illinois Teaching Certificate in Early Childhood. Kelly earned her Master of Social Work from the Jane Addams College of Social Work with a concentration in Mental Health. She has a diverse professional background with experience working in maternal-child support, medical social work, and residential settings. Kelly has gained significant experience working with infants and young children while working as a nanny for families in the Chicago suburbs. Kelly’s clinical experiences include working with children with anxiety disorders, behavioral concerns, toilet-training difficulties, autism spectrum disorder, and global developmental delays. Kelly uses a holistic approach to understand each child and provides psychosocial education with the child and their family. Kelly loves involving family members and provides parental support in the therapeutic process to include a positive family support system.
Outside of work, Kelly enjoys practicing yoga, spending time with her family and friends, traveling, and being at her cottage.
Rachel Weiser, MS, DT
PlayWorks Prep Curriculum Coordinator
Rachel is a developmental therapist who enjoys working with children and their families to create positive therapeutic relationships. Rachel earned her Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Families Studies with a concentration in Early Childhood Special Education from Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colorado. Rachel received her Master of Science in Early Childhood Education from Erikson Institute. Prior to her career at PlayWorks Therapy, Inc., Rachel taught in a variety of settings for six years. It was through her experiences teaching in Head Start and in daycare settings that Rachel first learned about developmental therapy. While at Erikson Institute, Rachel interned at the Pediatric Developmental Center where she provided support for the Early Intervention Socialization Group as well as home-based therapy. Rachel prides herself in her ability to take a global perspective when working with children and to always make therapy fun! Rachel enjoys her role as a co-leader in PlayWorks Prep, a therapeutic preschool program, where she has the amazing opportunity to support a variety of children and collaborate with co-leaders across disciplines.
Outside of work, Rachel enjoys practicing yoga, traveling, and exploring new events around Chicago.
Becky Clark, MS, DT
Becky is a developmental therapist who believes strongly in families as their children’s first and most important teachers. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Family and Community Services with a concentration in Family Studies from East Carolina University. During her undergraduate career, she studied in Finland for a semester, concentrating on their early childhood program and their parent/teacher partnership. Becky’s internship was completed at a primary school in Uganda, where she partnered with the agriculture teacher to implement various gardening methods. She moved to Chicago to obtain her Master of Science in Child Development with a concentration in Infancy and New Language Learners from Erikson Institute.
Becky has enjoyed working with children and families for over 15 years in a variety of settings ranging from a camp counselor, to an AmeriCorps middle school mentor, to an Infant/Toddler teacher for Early Head Start, to a facilitator at the Chicago Children’s Museum. She enjoys the one-on-one dynamic of working with families in Early Intervention and is passionate about helping families see all the amazing, therapeutic things they are already doing for their child, and may not even know it! Becky is also a Certified Educator of Infant Massage, which can be an excellent tool for strengthening the child-caregiver bond, improving the ability to read the child’s cues, as well as for reducing physical discomfort in the child.
When Becky is not basking in the wonderful work dynamic at PlayWorks Therapy, Inc., she enjoys hiking, backpacking, and camping, teaching herself to play the ukulele, and exploring all the many things Chicago has to offer.
Amanda Deligiannis, MSW, LSW
Amanda is a licensed social worker who loves helping children and families grow into their best selves. Amanda earned her Bachelor of Music Education from DePaul University School of Music. She taught music to children throughout Chicago in public and private schools as well as in group settings. During her teaching career she became passionate about education inequity as well as childhood trauma, which inspired her to complete a Master of Social Work from Loyola University. Throughout this time, she gained clinical experience interning for the Cook County Public Defender as well as in addiction treatment. Amanda also completed an internship as a medical social worker at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, supporting families while they experienced chronic illness, celebrations, and loss in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.
Amanda strongly believes that parents and children are the experts of their own lives and is passionate about working together to reach common goals. She has clinical interests in children with anxiety disorders, attachment challenges, regulation difficulties, and trauma. She especially enjoys collaborating with families to strengthen lasting child-parent relationships and discover ways to make daily experiences therapeutic. Amanda is certified in the Neurosequential Model of Therapeutics.
Amanda enjoys running and hanging out with her 18-year-old cat. In her free time, you can find her live streaming her favorite orchestras, exploring Chicago’s food scene, or planning her next adventure!
Melissa Svec, MSW, LSW
Melissa is a licensed social worker who is passionate about establishing solid therapeutic foundations that both children and families can prosper and grow on. Melissa is a Chicagoan born and raised who traveled to the wonderful cornfields of Iowa for both undergrad and graduate school where she earned her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Master of Social Work from Saint Ambrose University.
Some of Melissa’s experiences include working with kids and families affected by a cancer diagnosis and utilizing trauma-informed care while working with children. Melissa believes every child and family is the expert of their own situation and as the social worker she is there to shed light on and enhance already existing strengths and gifts within each individual. As a therapeutic professional, Melissa loves interdisciplinary work and thinks there is so much to learn from other professionals who share a common goal of helping children and families. She is excited about the range of care provided at PlayWorks Therapy, Inc. and cannot wait to grow as a clinician alongside such passionate and driven individuals.
In her free time, Melissa loves traveling to new places with friends, watching The Office, listening to true-crime podcasts and spending time with her incredible family.
Lisa Trubow, MSW, LSW
Lisa is a social worker with a passion for collaborating with children and families to help them realize their full potential as well as strengthen their relationships, social-emotional capacity, self-regulation skills, and self-awareness through therapeutic intervention.
Lisa received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Maryland and went on to do interior design for ten years. She realized her passion for working with families during that time by learning about individual needs inside their homes. While working at a pediatric clinic, Lisa reignited her passion for being creative and engaging with children while focusing on their development, individual strengths and challenges, social emotional skills, and cognitive capacities. This led to Lisa earning her Master of Social Work degree through Erikson Institute, where she focused on individual child development, family, context, and community. Lisa practices with a special focus on anxiety, behaviors, attachment and relationships, social-emotional functioning and capacity, trauma, and the strength of a team-based approach to treatment. She loves to be able to integrate movement, art, yoga, and mindfulness into various therapeutic interventions. Lisa loves to use creative ways to interact and engage with children.
In her spare time, Lisa enjoys spending time with her son, staying active, practicing yoga and meditation, being in nature, walking her dogs, enjoying sunshine, and running two small businesses: one for dry nail polish strips through Color Street and the other involving homemade seasonal sweets and treats.
Elizabeth Gilbert, MSW, LSW
Elizabeth is a licensed social worker with a passion for working with children and their families to promote positive growth and development, social-emotional wellness, and mental health.
Elizabeth earned her Bachelor of Social Work from the University of Kansas with a minor in behavioral science. Elizabeth worked as a preschool aide for four years during her time at the University of Kansas, and through this experience Elizabeth developed a passion for working with children while promoting emotional regulation, self-esteem, and coping skills in the classroom.
Elizabeth moved from Kansas City to Chicago to pursue her Master of Social Work from The University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. During her graduate career Elizabeth gained clinical experience providing school-based therapeutic services to elementary aged students. Elizabeth gained experience and developed skills in trauma-focused therapy, play therapy, mindfulness, and social-emotional learning curricula. She has also provided comprehensives services and support for children and their caregivers involved in the foster care system, including individual and group therapy, caregiver support, psycho-education and advocacy. Elizabeth is also pursuing certification as a trauma-informed children’s yoga teacher.
Elizabeth believes in empowering children and families in developing common goals and providing support and strategies for promoting positive development and growth. She practices with a special focus on building relationships, creating routines, and promoting positive self-concept through a strengths-based and family-centered approach. Elizabeth loves incorporating play, mindfulness, yoga, movement, and art into therapeutic interventions.
Elizabeth enjoys running, reading, and baking for her family and friends. In her spare time, you can find Elizabeth exploring new coffee shops and restaurants through-out the city of Chicago!
Autumn Smith, MS, CCC-SLP
Director of Speech and Language Services
Autumn is a speech-language pathologist who enjoys creating meaningful relationships with her clients and families throughout the therapeutic process. Autumn earned her Bachelor of Science in Communicative Disorders from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and her Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. Upon graduation, she moved to Chicago to complete her clinical fellowship year with PlayWorks Therapy, Inc. and has enjoyed working with the dedicated team of therapists here ever since! Autumn has comprehensive experience working in the pediatric setting, including supporting children with speech and language delays and disorders, motor planning disorders, and feeding/oral motor concerns. She has a passion for supporting clients with childhood apraxia of speech to help them grow into successful, independent communicators. Autumn’s favorite part about working with the PlayWorks Therapy, Inc. team is the collaborative and inclusive environment that she gets to be a part of on a daily basis. As the Director of Speech and Language Services, Autumn enjoys providing clinical supervision to each member of the speech and language team and supporting a collaborative environment for group learning.
Autumn is trained in the PROMPT technique, Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets, which is a multidimensional approach to teaching the specific motor movements needed to produce accurate speech sound targets. This approach has been proven to be widely successful for children with motor planning disorders, such as childhood apraxia of speech. She has also completed the Kaufman Speech to Language Protocol training and uses the Kaufman approach for children across the age span.
Autumn is trained in the Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Approach to Feeding and uses the program's four basic tenets to guide her sensory feeding therapy sessions. SOS is a transdisciplinary program that specializes in assessing and treating children with feeding difficulties/refusals, including children with sensory aversions, limited or restricted diets, and children who struggle to transition between feeding milestones. Additionally, Autumn has completed training for the Beckman Oral Motor Protocol and uses the assessment and intervention strategies from this protocol to create a client-specific oral motor exercise program to support feeding success.
In her spare time, Autumn enjoys reading a variety of fiction novels, hiking the trails at nearby state parks, and visiting her family back in Wisconsin (especially her nephews!).
Therese Brown, MS, CCC-SLP
Student Education Coordinator
Therese is a speech-language pathologist who brings her passion and creativity to therapy sessions. She loves building relationships with children and their families in order to help increase success and language development. Therese earned her bachelor’s degree in Speech and Hearing Sciences at the University of Indiana- Bloomington and her master’s degree at the University of North Texas. Following graduate school, Therese returned home to Chicago and began her clinical fellowship with PlayWorks Therapy, Inc. Therese holds her certificate of clinical competence and is experienced in treating a variety of delays and disorders including speech and language delay and disorder, autism spectrum disorder, auditory processing disorder, fluency disorder, articulation and phonological processing disorder, feeding disorder, and childhood apraxia of speech and other motor planning difficulties. Therese is passionate about understanding the global needs of each child and incorporating a collaborative, multidisciplinary approach with team and family members. Therese loves integrating arts and crafts and creative games into therapy sessions in order to keep clients engaged in the therapeutic process. As the Student Education Coordinator and a Clinical Supervisor, she enjoys facilitating relationships with graduate externship programs, as well as supervising and supporting students and clinical fellows through a meaningful and insightful experience involving a collaborative approach to providing high-quality therapy to our clients.
Therese is trained in the PROMPT technique, Prompts for Restructuring Oral Muscular Phonetic Targets, which is a multidimensional approach to teaching the specific motor movements needed to produce accurate speech sound targets. This approach has been proven to be widely successful for children with motor planning disorders, such as childhood apraxia of speech. She has also completed the Kaufman Speech to Language Protocol training and uses the Kaufman approach for children across the age span. Additionally, Therese has participated in training conferences regarding central auditory processing disorders in order to support children with processing and subsequent language difficulties, in addition to interventions for sensory integration and speech delays to support the sensory needs of clients in order to facilitate a more regulated state for language-based learning.
Therese enjoys spending time with her family and friends, especially her husband and son. Depending on the season, you’ll find her playing outdoors with her son, cheering for her favorite sports teams, crafting, or making fun activities to share with her son and clients alike.
Claire Hacker, MS, CCC-SLP
Claire is a speech-language pathologist who enjoys positively impacting the lives of children and their families. Claire received her Bachelor of Art in Speech and Hearing Sciences from Indiana University and her Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from the University of Tennessee. Claire completed her clinical fellowship year at a pediatric clinic in Knoxville, Tennessee where she gained experience working with children with a variety of speech and language delays, fluency disorders, and motor planning disorders. Upon completion, Claire moved to Chicago to be closer to her family and friends. At PlayWorks Therapy, Inc., Claire enjoys being part of a supportive and collaborative team with a clear passion for the work they do!
Claire is trained in the Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Approach to Feeding and uses the program's four basic tenets to guide her sensory feeding therapy sessions. SOS is a transdisciplinary program that specializes in assessing and treating children with feeding difficulties/refusals, including children with sensory aversions, limited or restricted diets, and children who need support transitioning between feeding milestones.
In her spare time, Claire enjoys spending time with her family and friends, baking, and cheering on her favorite teams – the Chicago Cubs and the Tennessee Volunteers!
Sarah Lydon, MA, CCC-SLP
Social Media Coordinator
Sarah received her bachelor’s degree in Communication Sciences and Disorders from Central Michigan University and her master’s degree in Speech Language Pathology from Kent State University. After graduating, Sarah spent three years working as a public-school speech-language pathologist in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. In addition to her full-time school job, she spent many weekends working at both a rehabilitation hospital and a skilled nursing facility. Prior to working at PlayWorks Therapy, Inc., Sarah and her husband moved to Denver, Colorado, where she was employed at a private therapy clinic focusing on speech, language, and feeding therapy. It was at this clinic that Sarah began to further develop her passion for working with children with feeding difficulties and childhood apraxia of speech, among other speech and language impairments. Thanks to the variety of settings Sarah has worked in, she has gained experience with a wide variety of speech and language needs, including articulation and phonology, fluency, motor planning disorders, craniofacial abnormalities, developmental disorders, genetic syndromes, and alternative augmentative communication (AAC). Sarah is the Social Media Coordinator for PlayWorks Therapy, Inc. As the Social Media Coordinator, Sarah enjoys curating relevant and easily accessible content for our community, including parents, clinicians, and students alike.
Sarah is trained in the Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Approach to Feeding and uses the program's four basic tenets to guide her sensory feeding therapy sessions. SOS is a transdisciplinary program that specializes in assessing and treating children with feeding difficulties/refusals, including children with sensory aversions, limited or restricted diets, and children who struggle to transition between feeding milestones. Additionally, Sarah has taken courses covering neonatal feeding and swallowing, oral motor development related to feeding and swallowing, and introduction of new foods to children with limited food repertoires. Sarah is also trained in the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), which helps children who are minimally verbal or non-verbal communicate their wants and needs. She uses this technique to teach both parents and children how to facilitate effective communication skills across many environments.
In her free time, Sarah enjoys spending time with her husband and daughter. You can frequently find her chasing her daughter around the local park or taking walks on a nature path. Additionally, Sarah loves traveling back to Michigan to visit her family!
Ana Burgoon, MS, CCC-SLP
Assistive Technology Coordinator
Ana came to PlayWorks Therapy, Inc. from Michigan, where she earned both her Bachelor of Science in Allied Health Science with an emphasis in Speech-Language Pathology and her Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from Grand Valley State University. During her graduate program, Ana enjoyed supporting elementary-age children in both general and special education classrooms as they worked towards their speech and language goals. Ana completed her graduate level externship at the Ann and Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, where she had the opportunity to work with children with varied needs in the areas of aural rehabilitation, expressive and receptive language, pragmatics, phonology, and more. Ana then began her clinical fellowship at PlayWorks Therapy, Inc. and has been with us since! As an Assistive Technology (AT) Coordinator at PlayWorks Therapy, Inc., Ana enjoys conducting research on available AT options as well as pathways for obtaining these options. She also enjoys working collaboratively with team members across disciplines to ensure that each child has access to these tools as needed. Ana also enjoys her role as a co-leader in the PlayWorks Prep therapeutic preschool program. Being a speech-language pathologist allows Ana to combine her love of science with her love of language and learning. She enjoys shaping therapy sessions into highly motivating and communication-rich experiences for children. Ana also values working with parents and feels privileged to have a career that is rewarding, ever changing and fun!
Ana is trained in the Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Approach to Feeding and uses the program's four basic tenets to guide her sensory feeding therapy sessions. SOS is a transdisciplinary program that specializes in assessing and treating children with feeding difficulties/refusals, including children with sensory aversions, limited or restricted diets, and children who need support transitioning between feeding milestones.
Ana and her husband enjoy long walks, watching classic films, and spending time with their friends and family (including their two nephews)!
Kelsey Martin, MS, CCC-SLP
Lead PlayWorks Prep Speech-Language Pathologist
Health and Wellness Coordinator
Kelsey is a speech-language pathologist who is passionate about fostering meaningful relationships with her clients and their families in order to create an environment that promotes development. Kelsey received her Bachelor of Arts from Indiana University and her Master of Science in Speech, Language, and Learning from Northwestern University. Following graduation, Kelsey completed her clinical fellowship year with PlayWorks Therapy, Inc. and has enjoyed working with the amazing team since then! Kelsey has experience working with a wide variety of pediatric clients, including those with language delays and disorders, phonological and articulation disorders, autism spectrum disorder, feeding disorders, and oral motor difficulties. Additionally, Kelsey is involved in PlayWorks Prep, a therapeutic preschool program, where she has the amazing opportunity to support a variety of children in a curriculum-based classroom setting. As the Health and Wellness Coordinator at PlayWorks Therapy, Inc., Kelsey enjoys sharing her passion for living a healthy lifestyle with the team by providing ideas and recommendations for self-care and well-being.
Kelsey is trained in the Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Approach to Feeding and uses the program's four basic tenets to guide her sensory feeding therapy sessions. SOS is a transdisciplinary program that specializes in assessing and treating children with feeding difficulties/refusals, including children with sensory aversions, limited or restricted diets, and children who struggle to transition between feeding milestones.
Having grown up in the Chicagoland area, Kelsey is an avid Chicago sports fan who can often be found cheering on her favorite teams, specifically the Cubs. Kelsey also enjoys spending her free time singing along to her favorite music, attending Broadway shows or concerts, checking Chicago’s many restaurants off her list, or taking a quick trip to the suburbs to see her family and their golden retriever, Riley.
Jackie Donahue, MS, CCC-SLP
Food Explorers Program Coordinator
Jackie is a speech-language pathologist who enjoys building relationships with families and children in order to help them achieve developmental milestones and communicate effectively at home and in the community. Jackie earned her Bachelor of Arts in Communication, Sciences, and Disorders from the University of Iowa and her Master of Science in Speech-Language Pathology from St. Ambrose University. Upon graduation, she moved back to Chicago to be near her family and begin her clinical fellowship at a pediatric clinic in the Chicagoland area. Jackie has several years of experience working with families to support their child’s speech and language skills as well as feeding and oral motor development.
Jackie is trained in the Sequential Oral Sensory (SOS) Approach to Feeding and uses the program's four basic tenets to guide her sensory feeding therapy sessions. SOS is a transdisciplinary program that specializes in assessing and treating children with feeding difficulties/refusals, including children with sensory aversions, limited or restricted diets, and children who need support transitioning between feeding milestones. Jackie is also trained in the Beckman Oral Motor Protocol. She has taken additional coursework, such as Joan Arvedson's course, Solving Complex Pediatric Feeding and Swallowing Problems, to better support families with feeding concerns such as failure to thrive, limited diets due to oral-sensorimotor or oral motor difficulties, and other feeding transitions. She is passionate about using a multi-disciplinary approach to improve feeding skills and make mealtime an enjoyable experience for both children and families! Jackie is also trained in the Picture Exchange Communication System (PECS), which is a type of assistive communication used to support children who are minimally verbal. She works with both the child and parents to teach PECS and encourage effective communication skills across many environments.
After work, Jackie enjoys trying new restaurants around the city - especially those with patios that her dog Wilson can enjoy, too! When not in Chicago, she and her husband enjoy traveling to different countries to try new foods and meet new people.
Emma Baime, MS, CF-SLP
Nicole Sherlock, MA, CCC-SLP
Assistive Technology Coordinator
Jennifer Brown, MS, OTR/L
Director of Occupational Therapy Services
Natalie Machado, MS, OTR/L
Assistive Technology Coordinator
Robyn Geist, MS, OTR/L
Lead PlayWorks Prep Occupational Therapist
Continuing Education Coordinator
Caitlin Chociej, MS, OTR/L
Caroline Stevens, MS, OTR/L
Therapy Resource Coordinator
Urooba Khaleelullah, MOT, OTR/L
Amy Sauers, PT, DPT, c/NDT
Director of Physical Therapy Services
Assistive Technology Coordinator
Elle Faerber, PT, DPT
Insurance and Billing Specialist
Sara is thrilled to be at PlayWorks Therapy, Inc., a new industry to add to her already diverse resume. Her background in theatre has proven to be a great resource for interacting with a variety of different people and situations over the years, including with an e-commerce retail company, as a project coordinator with a quality assurance company, and in the pharmacology industry.
She is the mom of a wonderful pre-teen son, who keeps her on her toes, and a house full of furry pets. She is looking forward to welcoming foster kids to the family soon! Outside of work, you can find Sara reading a book, playing Mario Cart with her son, or trying to convince her pets to snuggle with her.
Susan earned her bachelor’s degree in Art History from the University of Michigan and her Master of Arts in Teaching from Loyola University Chicago. After teaching kindergarten and gifted children, the devoted mom took time off to raise her own three children.
Susan's focused, dedicated and thoughtful personality leads her to take on many roles. She gained business and administrative experience as the secretary and treasurer of RDR Productions, a 30-year-old corporate video production company based in Northbrook, Illinois, owned by her husband David. In addition to maintaining her duties at RDR Productions, she has been an ACE (American Council on Exercise) certified personal trainer and has run her own business, To Life Fitness, for the past 10 years. Susan, or as her husband has nicknamed her ‘Buff,' uses her sweet and encouraging ways, along with intense workouts such as interval training, to whip her clients into shape.
Her prior experience working in small business settings is critical to the success of PlayWorks Therapy, Inc., where Susan is responsible for administration and client billing. She finds joy in working closely with her daughter, Amy, and is thrilled to play an essential role in the continued growth of PlayWorks Therapy Inc.
Susan does not see herself slowing down anytime soon and plans to continue supporting all of the family businesses, and of course spending as much time as possible with her grandchildren. One thing is for sure though – her morning coffee is a must!
When the Detroit native finally takes a break from being the busy bee she is, you can find Susan cooking, gardening, reading, watching movies, or trying out the latest new gourmet restaurants in town.