Developmental Therapists

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.

Kelsey Lanham, MA, DT

Therapeutic Preschool Teacher

Kelsey Lanham

Kelsey is a therapeutic preschool teacher who is passionate about working with young children and their families. Kelsey is dedicated to helping every child reach their fullest potential!

Kelsey earned her Bachelors of Social Work from Indiana University in 2016. During her time at Indiana University, Kelsey gained experience working with children while interning at the Youth Services Bureau. After graduating, Kelsey’s first full-time job was as a Service Coordinator with Indiana’s early intervention program, First Steps. It was during her time with First Steps she became passionate about early intervention and the important work this program does to support young children with developmental delays and disabilities.

Kelsey decided she wanted a more hands-on role working with children and joined a transition to teaching program. She worked as a Special Education Teacher with Indianapolis Public Schools while earning her Masters in Special Education at Marian University. In 2021, Kelsey decided to combine her loves of early intervention and teaching and joined the PlayWorks Therapy team in Chicago.

Outside of work, Kelsey enjoys traveling, hiking, cooking, reading, and spending time with her friends and family (including her two nieces)!

Briana Renteria, MS, DT

Briana Renteria

Briana is a developmental therapist who is passionate about supporting children and their families to help meet the child’s individual needs. Before becoming a developmental therapist, Briana has been a teacher and supervisor in a child care center for almost five years. While in the toddler classroom, Briana was introduced to Early Intervention, specifically developmental therapy. While she enjoys being in the classroom, she loved the one-on-one aspect with the child and following a play-based, family-centered approach.

Briana attended Illinois State University and earned her bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Sciences. She then went to receive her Master’s degree at Erikson Institute in Child development with a concentration in infancy. Briana completed an internship with a developmental therapist in Early Intervention and is excited to implement her skills at PlayWorks Therapy! While at Erikson, Briana was also part of the OSEP scholar grant program where she was trained in Facilitating Attuned Interactions (FAN) approach and was taught to use a trauma informed lens when working with children and families. Briana also holds DIR - Floortime credential.

In her spare time, Briana enjoys spending time with her family, playing with her dogs Kobe and Jax, reading, getting her nails done and watching Netflix!

Brooke Chelew, MS, DT

Brooke Chelew

Brooke is a developmental therapist who is passionate about meeting each child where they are at and supporting them in feeling successful while exploring their environment. Brooke believes that the child’s whole family is an integral part of the therapeutic process and enjoys creating a playful environment that is an enjoyable and meaningful experience for everyone involved.

Brooke earned her Bachelor of Science in Psychology from Saint Louis University in 2017. After working several years as a therapeutic clinician working with children with a variety of developmental differences, Brooke attended graduate school at Erikson Institute where she earned her Masters of Science in Child Development with a Concentration in Infancy. During her time at Erikson, Brooke was an OSEP Scholar, which provided her with the opportunity to gain deeper knowledge around supporting children and families who have experienced trauma. Brooke is dedicated to creating a safe and nurturing environment that promotes positive development and regulation while celebrating each child’s differences. Brooke is a firm believer in the value of an interdisciplinary approach to care and is excited to be a part of such a passionate and dedicated team at PlayWorks Therapy Inc.!

During her free time you can find Brooke exploring new coffee shops around the city, checking out local farmers markets, spending time with her family or snuggling up to her two pups, Cita and Meni!