Natalie Machado, MS, OTR/L
Associate Director of Occupational Therapy
OT Assistive Technology Coordinator
Natalie is an occupational therapist who is passionate about forming positive connections with children and their families. Natalie earned her Bachelor of Science degree in Dance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Prior to attending occupational therapy school, Natalie spent several years dancing for companies and teaching dance to children ages 2 to 18. It was during these years that she realized her passion for working with young children and decided to become an occupational therapist to help children reach their full potential. Natalie earned her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Throughout her time in graduate school, Natalie used her knowledge of movement to enhance her work, completing rotations in Early Intervention, pediatric clinics, and acute care settings. Natalie particularly enjoys treating kids with sensory processing and motor planning concerns. Natalie loves combining her creativity, knowledge of movement, and love for working with children into a single career! As the Assistive Technology (AT) Coordinator, Natalie enjoys making sure that children have access to the tools and devices that they need to succeed. She loves helping children find the right technology or product that increases progress towards their developmental goals!
Originally from the suburbs, Natalie was thrilled to return to Chicago after spending nine years in Wisconsin. During her free time, you can find Natalie exploring the city, dancing, or taking as many yoga classes as possible. She also enjoys spending time with her husband, cheering on the Wisconsin Badgers, and spoiling her golden retriever, Dahlia.
Caroline Stevens, MS, OTR/L
Student Education Coordinator
Therapy Resource Coordinator
Caroline is an occupational therapist who is passionate about working with children and their families to support growth and development in their everyday life. Caroline received her Bachelor of Science in Human Development and Family Studies from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign with a concentration in Child and Adolescent Development. While volunteering with various community organizations to provide adaptive sports and therapeutic group programming, Caroline realized that she was interested in working with children with disabilities in one-on-one and small group settings. Caroline completed a year-long fellowship focused on interdisciplinary care for children with neurodevelopmental disabilities while earning her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Caroline enjoys working with children of all ages, especially with children who are learning to regulate their sensory habits in order to play, learn, and grow alongside their family and peers. Caroline has experience working with children with medical complexity and neurodevelopmental disabilities through previous work and volunteer experiences. As the Therapy Resource Coordinator at PlayWorks Therapy, Inc., Caroline enjoys making sure that our therapy materials, books, and games are accessible for therapists for use to facilitate the growth of children's skills and provide support for families.
When not at work, Caroline enjoys practicing yoga, cooking, and riding bikes along the lake!
Cristina Brown, MOT, OTR/L
Cristina is an occupational therapist who strives to provide the best quality of care in the most fun environment for her clients. Originally from Indiana, Cristina graduated from Purdue University with a Bachelor of Science in Public Health. She realized her passion for working with young children while working in the elementary school system and pursued a Master of Occupational Therapy degree from Governors State University.
During her time in graduate school, Cristina completed clinical rotations in Early Intervention and outpatient pediatrics. She has experience in the areas of autism, ADHD, Down syndrome, sensory processing disorder, and developmental delay. Cristina’s favorite part of being an occupational therapist is watching kids grow and build the skills they need to participate in meaningful activities.
When not in the clinic, you can find Cristina making homemade pasta, exploring new restaurants, and taking her pup, Bodhi, to the dog park.
Rachel Sitzmann, MSOT, OTR/L
Rachel is an occupational therapist who is passionate about supporting her clients growth and development by addressing the whole child and family experience through collaborative therapeutic intervention. She earned her Bachelor of Science in Therapeutic Recreation and Minor in Psychology from the University of Iowa. Rachel’s love for working with children and their families, comes from her own experience as the sister of a child with disabilities. Her passion for supporting children in reaching their highest potential continued to grow throughout her undergraduate studies and in roles providing one-on-one care to children with unique needs. Rachel went on to complete her Masters of Science in Occupational Therapy from Lewis University. She has experience working with children with neurological disorders, ASD, sensory processing disorders, developmental delay, and medical complexity through previous clinical internships and direct care positions. She enjoys working with children of all ages, and has a special interest in treating children with neurodevelopmental disabilities, and those who are navigating sensory processing, self-regulation, and motor planning challenges.
Rachel is delighted to be a member of the PlayWorks Therapy, Inc. family! She highly values the collaborative aspect of the organization, particularly the emphasis on building meaningful relationships with children, caregivers, and team members. Rachel feels incredibly grateful to be a part of such a rewarding profession and is eager to work with each child and family in meeting their unique needs and goals!
In her free time, Rachel enjoys running around the lake, reading a good book, exploring local restaurants, and spending time with family and friends. As a new Chicago resident, Rachel is having fun exploring all the city has to offer!
Anna Hochstetler, OT
Anna is an occupational therapist who is passionate about providing evidence-based, holistic care for clients and their families. Anna’s favorite part of being an occupational therapist is supporting children and their families to facilitate the child’s success and independence in everyday life.
Anna earned her Doctoral degree in Occupational Therapy from Huntington University in Fort Wayne, IN. During her time in graduate school, Anna gained experience in outpatient pediatrics, pediatric mental health, and adult neurological rehabilitation. She has experience in the areas of developmental delay, visual perceptual disorders, coordination disorders, ASD, and sensory processing disorder.
Before becoming an occupational therapist, Anna completed her BA degree in Education, with a minor in teaching English as a second language for kindergarten through high school aged students. After college, Anna worked as an English teacher with elementary aged students in South Korea, and as a lead teacher at a nature based daycare in Ann Arbor, Michigan.
In her free time, Anna enjoys going on walks, trying new coffee shops and restaurants, learning how to crochet, and spending time with friends and family.